outstanding advertisement in UK wedding magazine
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It’s notoriously difficult to create an advert that you know will work for your business. This applies in every industry, with weddings being no exception. If you’re thinking of advertising in a UK wedding magazine you should read this.

Is there a secret to wedding magazine advertising that really works?

There is.

You need a beautifully designed advert, a standout product with superb photography and you need it to be shown to the right audience in a receptive mood. You need to knock their socks off and get an instant purchase, or a phone enquiry. And then you need them to love your product so much they tell all their friends about you.

That’s the magic formula.

It’s easy to see from outside, and maybe you’ve seen an advertisement in a wedding magazine that really inspired you – perhaps a larger competitor always takes out big, gorgeous looking ads and you wonder if they work… but maybe you won’t have the budget to test an ad that size if it doesn’t work!

UK wedding magazines advertising information and reviews
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The UK wedding magazine review so far has focused on brides, giving an idea of what’s inside each of the best UK wedding magazines. I hope it’s been helpful for some of you and will prove useful for future brides and grooms.

Now it’s the advertisers’ turn. I know a lot of wedding business owners read the blog and you have strong opinions about wedding magazine advertising, based on your own experiences. It’s been very interesting reading your tweets, facebook comments and emails so thank you!

UK wedding magazines: advertising

I’m going to provide you with “the science bit” in this blog post. I have my opinions; but this blog post is about the facts – add your own opinions on the English Wedding facebook page or in the comments below.

As a blogger in the industry I really wanted to write positively about wedding magazines. They provide a valuable service to brides – sales figures prove that. Advertisers are a crucial part of wedding magazines, love them or hate them!

Cheshire Bride magazine
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I included a couple of regional wedding magazines in my review of the best UK wedding magazines. I appreciate you won’t all be familiar with Cheshire Bride, but most counties have their own publications so this represents them.

Cheshire Bride magazine: a review

Issue compared: 2011 edition
Cover price: £4.50

  • 292 pages
  • 77 pages of real weddings
  • 9 pages of advice and feature articles
  • 7 other non-selling pages (contents etc)
  • 4 pages of product ideas
  • 195 pages of advertisements
  • 67% of the magazine pages are ads

Cheshire Bride magazine

I have to give this regional wedding magazine credit for having so many real weddings: with 77 pages of them this is pretty impressive. It works out at a quarter of the entire magazine pages – the others only have around 10%.

I found it really hard to pick out advertorial in Cheshire Bride magazine – there are a lot of ads and many of these contain advice within the advertisement itself. This isn’t a criticism: the adverts offer useful advice and information!

Cosmopolitan Bride magazine
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The latest installment in my UK wedding magazine review: Cosmopolitan Bride is – as you’d expect – fashion-led, stylish and young at heart. With fewer pages than most UK wedding magazines and more of a focus on aesthetics and trends, it’s one to buy if you’re looking for a wedding mag that’s a bit different.

Cosmopolitan Bride magazine: a review

Issuse compared: April / May 2011
Cover price: £3.99

  • 180 pages
  • 18 pages of real weddings
  • 13 pages of advice and feature articles
  • 6 other non-selling pages (contents etc)
  • 59 pages of product ideas
  • 84 pages of advertisements
  • 47% of the magazine pages are ads

Cosmopolitan Bride magazine

Cosmopolitan Bride is the most lighthearted of the larger wedding magazines. It’s beautifully designed with fabulous shoots and is definitely a coffee table magazine.

Fewer pages than most of the UK wedding magazines reviewed meant fewer articles, but the features on wedding planning snags, chic modern hen night ideas and the bridal survival guide were good – plenty to read if you want to snuggle up with a wedding magazine and a cuppa.

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Another regional wedding magazine is Your [insert county here!] Wedding. County wedding magazines cover most of the country so this was a great title to include in the review representing regional wedding magazines. My local one is Your Manchester Wedding, but if you’re in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Bristol, Somerset, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Kent, London, South Wales, Surrey, Sussex or the West Midlands you can get this one where you live too.

Your Manchester Wedding Magazine: a review

Issue compared: February / March 2011
Cover price: £2.95

  • 103 pages
  • 8 pages of real weddings
  • 14 pages of advice and feature articles
  • 19 other non-selling pages (contents etc)
  • 27 pages of product ideas
  • 35 pages of advertisements
  • 34% of the magazine pages are ads

This is a nicely balanced wedding magazine, with fewer pages than most but with as many articles and advice pages as most of the best national wedding magazines.

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Wedding magazine definitely caught my attention with its feature on the top UK wedding bloggers, and has some of the most inspiring bridal shoots as well as being one of the best designed UK wedding magazines overall.

Wedding magazine: a review

Issue compared: June / July 2011
Cover price: £4.90

  • 260 pages
  • 15 pages of real weddings
  • 25 pages of advice and feature articles
  • 13 other non-selling pages (contents etc)
  • 82 pages of product ideas
  • 125 pages of advertisements
  • 48% of the magazine pages are ads

wedding magazineI enjoyed reading ‘what every husband should know’ – an entertaining extract from a book with some laughs and nice advice too. The UK wedding bloggers article of course was brilliant – it’s great to see the wedding magazines really taking notice of wedding blogs (and while it’s not going to be my thing as I still have this gun pointed at my foot, the idea that we should all work together is a nice one)!

UK wedding magazine review Perfect Wedding
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Perfect Wedding magazine

Perfect Wedding magazine came joint fourth place in my review of UK wedding mags. It’s one of the handbag sized magazines and despite me losing it twice I managed to finish my review!

Perfect Wedding magazine: a review

Issue compared: March 2011
Cover price: £2.99

  • 260 pages
  • 22 pages of real weddings
  • 21 pages of advice
  • 15 other non-selling pages (contents etc)
  • 79 pages of product ideas
  • 123 pages of advertisements
  • 47% of the magazine pages are ads

UK wedding magazine review Perfect WeddingSomething that matters to me a lot (is it just me?) is page numbers. In magazines the contents list at the front is numbered, you read it, flick through and try and find the page you want… and Perfect Wedding keeps the numbers going so you can find stuff! It’s one of few wedding magazines with good page numbers. Boring maybe, but I got so frustrated with some of the others trying to find features inside, this was a refreshing change!

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Wedding Ideas is the best handy sized wedding magazine in the UK. Coming out joint second place in my comparison and review of all the UK wedding magazines, Wedding Ideas has an impressive count of real weddings, a healthy advertising ratio (relative to the other wedding magazines) and plenty of advice pages.

Wedding Ideas magazine: a review

Issue compared: June 2011
Cover price: £2.99

  • 338 pages
  • 43 pages of real weddings
  • 27 pages of advice and feature articles
  • 26 other non-selling pages (contents etc)
  • 98 pages of product ideas
  • 144 pages of advertisements
  • 43% of the magazine pages are ads

Wedding Ideas did brilliantly in my review of UK wedding magazines. With way more than the average count of real wedding pages, advice and feature pages and one of the highest page counts, this is a mag which has plenty inside.

It’s also a very cleverly targeted wedding magazine and focuses on value for money – there are plenty of ideas for brides looking for affordable decorations and themes, and a useful article on 20 ways to stretch your wedding budget.

UK Brides magazine cover
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The biggest UK wedding magazine, Brides came joint second in my review and comparison of the best UK wedding magazines. With a whopping (love that word!) 394 pages it’s also one of the most expensive, but has some good content.

Brides magazine: a review

Issue compared: March / April 2011
Cover price: £4.99

  • 394 pages
  • 12 pages of real weddings
  • 24 pages of advice and feature articles
  • 13 other non-selling pages (contents etc)
  • 93 pages of product ideas
  • 252 pages of advertisements
  • 64% of the magazine pages are ads

UK Brides magazine coverBrides magazine has more pages than any other so there is plenty of varied content, and the magazine looks great and feels expensive.

The articles inside are very good, in depth and compelling to read. Advice where it’s given is comprehensive and genuinely useful – it goes further than many other wedding magazines.

A Vera Wang interview which ran across six full pages makes this a very memorable wedding magazine. The quality of the interview and feature was really high, and for this reason Brides stood out as one of the best UK wedding magazines.

You and Your Wedding magazine
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The results are in, the wedding magazines are back on the shelves, and I can now officially reveal the result of my UK wedding magazine review. Drum roll please….

The best UK wedding magazine

Properly objectively analysed, pages counted and compared with other top UK wedding mags… The best UK wedding magazine is You & Your Wedding. With the best quality content, valuable advice, inspirational and exciting shoots and comparing well for every criteria I considered – You & Your Wedding magazine is far and away the best UK wedding magazine for brides.

Joint second best UK wedding magazines are Brides and Wedding Ideas. Brides is a top quality magazine for design and with a great standard when it comes to articles and features. Wedding Ideas is the best magazine for more affordable weddings, with plenty of real weddings, advice and articles to inspire.

This is my objective review of the top UK wedding magazines. See how your favourite compares!

uk wedding magazine review
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I’ve been poring over wedding magazines for you recently – up to my elbows in wedding dress ads and waking up in the mornings with the handbag-sized mags stuck to my face… terrible habit of reading last thing at night!

Why? Because I have too many preconceptions about wedding magazines and I really wanted to rediscover and reevaluate the wedding mags for myself. Are they really all the same? Are they all old fashioned? Well… no. I’m glad to say I was wrong on those counts.

So this is my very honest, practical, useful wedding magazine review.

uk wedding magazine review

I’ve compared UK wedding magazines so you – brides, grooms and wedding suppliers – can see how they stand against each other: which have most useful content, most ads, the best advice and the most interesting features.

Having spent a good few days on my little spreadsheet, I’m going to break this wedding magazine review into manageable chunks. This is roughly how it’ll pan out – feel free to bookmark this page and come back for the best bits as I post them and link back over the next few days.