Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why Wedding Blogs Are Better Than Wedding Magazines

Why Wedding Blogs Are Better Than Wedding Magazines
Today, I'd like to cover a topic that is casually talked about but rarely gets the attention that it deserves. It's a sore subject for some, and I know I'll probably get some interesting feedback for my opinions, but I think the wedding industry owes it to itself to acknowledge the obvious:

Wedding blogs are better for wedding planning than wedding magazine print media.

In the past year, we've seen a few of our favorite (and very popular) traditional wedding magazines close their doors due to various reasons. Lack of advertising interest, supply price increases and loss of readership are definitely factors in their demise, but the main catalyst in each case is the shying away of print media by today's planning brides. And for good reason. The wedding industry is a constantly evolving environment that caters to a very targeted niche. When the majority of that targeted audience demands something, the industry should take note and work to satisfy that want.

Today's planning bride are significantly different from the brides of yesterday. The DIY bride movement is in full force and the dedication to tradition is evolving into new traditions. Personalization of a wedding is the new standard and brides are eager to find fresh inspiration to fuel their unique creativity. The industry took note, and along came wedding blogs to fill the void of delayed inspiration.

In 2002, there were less than 15K total blogs on the Internet. In 2009, that number was 27 million. Each offering a personal view on a broad topic. And within all those blogs, the wedding industry was lucky enough to inspire a collection of wedding blogs that, for awhile, unknowingly and effectively advanced the wedding industry to the next level. Inspiration and advice was now readily available 24/7 and most importantly, it was free. No longer did a bride have to wait for the next issue of their favorite wedding mag to be delivered or show up on grocery store rack to motivate their planning process. Wedding blogs were just a click away and she knew it was just a matter of minutes before brand new inspiration or advice could be found. The delayed inspiration problem had been solved.

Where print media left off, wedding blogs took over. Both magazines and blogs provide bridal information to brides, but wedding blogs do it more effectively. How so?

Wedding blogs are constantly updated. And just as important, they can easily be edited after publish. Adding on extra information once created is a luxury that every blog has. Being able to include continuous updates or findings inside a post is a direct reflection of blogs supplying the most up-to-date information to it's intended audience. Fresh info is good info.

Wedding blogs are cutting-edge and diverse. Rock n' roll brides, vintage brides, eco-brides, budget-conscious brides and every other bride can usually find a wedding blog that speaks directly to them. Wedding magazines try their best to cover each category with broad stroke articles but usually fall short. Niche specific wedding blogs allow a personal touch that won't be found in mainstream print media. Individual opinions and reviews are what fuel these category wedding blogs.

Wedding blogs are interactive. You can't comment on a print article. You can't express your opinion and instantly share it with others. It's a one-way street when dealing with wedding magazines. They decide what they think their subscribers will like and ship it to your door once a month. Not satisfied, simply wait another month and try your luck. Or, you could just do a little research and find a wedding blog that consistently delivers relevant information that you can use. And that takes me to my next point:

Wedding blogs allow sharing. If you find a cool wedding project or picture that you want your best friend or bridesmaid in another city to check out, simply email to them. Or Facebook them. Or tweet them. Within a few minutes, you can share you finding and get the feedback you want. Unless your friend has the exact wedding magazine in their hand as you do, it would be pretty hard to share that info instantly. Planning brides love efficiency.

Wedding blogs make finding information easy. Instead of tearing out pages of a magazine and storing them in a folder or box, you can just bookmark the exact blog post that you want saved and access that information at a later time. Oh, and the blog post might even be updated when you get back to it! Planning brides love organization.

Wedding blogs lead to other relevant resources. When blogs link to other bridal references, they instantly create a seamless path of information. One blog post may lead to another, then lead to a different blog and then ultimately provide a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to the reader. There are no links in magazines. No opportunity to delve further into a topic.

Wedding blogs are personal. Most wedding bloggers often includes links to their other sites, projects or products, enabling interested readers to pursue deeper relationships with that person/blog. A system of familiarity forms and a blog quickly becomes much more than just written advice and photos. It becomes trustworthy. It becomes a daily visit to a familiar place. Reader loyalty is what separates a good wedding blog from a great wedding blog.

Wedding blogs are free. Almost every single wedding blog on the Internet today is totally free from any subscription fees, renewal notices or annual billing. Wedding bloggers don't charge their audience for their interest in their blog. The information is shared with the intention of allowing visibility to every single person who visits their site, free of charge. This is a completely different business model from print media. Instead of relying on paid subscriptions, blogs rely on creating consistent content and building their audience the to create their value. There is no risk to the reader since there are no monetary barriers to cross.

So there it is. My personal opinion on why wedding blogs will continue to create the pulse of the entire wedding industry and how they are straight-forward better than traditional print media for helping today's bride plan her wedding. While a part of me was excited to write this post, a part of me was hesitant because I wanted in no way to dilute all the positive things that wedding magazines have done for our industry. It's simply a new era and it's time to acknowledge that wedding blogs are the chosen medium for the bride of 2010. Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you to everyone who is passionate enough to express their own personal opinions in our comments.

Together we can advance the wedding industry.


  1. I throughly enjoyed this post! It covered a very hot topic very informatively. Thank you for your time and energy posting this on your blog!
    Joyce Goeppinger
    La Vie Le Gage Couture Events Wedding Planning

  2. What a superb article, and one that, as a 'Wedding Blogger', I have been googling for for a number of weeks now. Superbly written, concise, factual. I love looking through print-media, but increasingly find myself putting a mag down after I've flicked through the pages (I like so many of them and have my favourites, but cannot justify the GBP £4-5 per magazine) but agree the the time has come where those planning a wedding/working in the wedding industry want something more interactive and timely, and that is FREE at the point of access. Most Brides use their lunch breaks at work to plan their weddings these days anyway - so many Blogs offer inspiration and planning ideas that can be printed out there and then at no cost.

    I am very excited to a part of this 'blogging' revolution :) Long may it continue.

    Annabel xXx

  3. I totally love it when Rudy writes his blog posts! Wish he would do it more often. 100% agree that wedding blogs are the best way to plan a wedding, but I just can't seem to stop swooning over my wedding magazines. There is something to be said about curling up on a warm couch with a cup of coffee and a bridal mag. Call me old fashion. Once again, fascinating post! Lots to think about.

  4. As I am planning a wedding in October this year I couldn't agree more with Rudy's comments regarding the magazine v blog. I spend many hours viewing various websites to find everything I need for our wedding, from candelabras to bouquets.
    I have been inspired by wedding blogs not magazines, simply because the magazines don't seem to dare to do anything different ie. offbeat, rock n roll, etc.
    All magazines seem to cater for the traditional bridal market which in 2010 us ladies are breaking away from.
    Thank goodness for wedding blogs because I would never have found the suppliers I wanted for our double wedding from a magazine. I must say that Twitter has been one of the best tools in my wedding plans. I found a fab makeup artist and bespoke jewellery designer from other wedding peoples tweets.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this post. I have a traditional website, a blog and I subscribe to several wedding magazines just to try and stay in the loop. While there's something I still enjoy about seeing a professionally photographed wedding cake on slick glossy magazine paper, I still get brides each week coming into my shop with a picture of a cake they found and printed off a blog. I update my blog twice a week - my website WISHED it got updated that often!

  6. I really loved this, I have just started my bridal blog and I always thought that the blogs out there were great because it is new information everyday...and for every newly engaged girl that's all they really want!

    I do still love getting a few selected magazines though!

  7. Thanks Rudy! I enjoyed your blog very much, and I agree with almost all of it. I also admire you taking on this topic.
    I read most of my news online, but love holding my paper. I also love holding, and reading an old fashioned book, but will be buying an IPad soon.
    Can I agree and be torn over the loss of yesterday's great things?

  8. Blogs are great, especially because they are constantly changing and interactive. I still buy wedding mags, though. There's something about sitting down with a new magazine that I just love! (Something to do with the fresh, glossy pages and that new smell.) I spend a lot of time reading blogs and sharing my favorite posts on fb and twitter. It's so much more fun than just reading a magazine alone!

  9. Debi Brim / IndianapolisMay 16, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    As a fellow wedding blogger, I want to add that we bloggers are more .... for lack of a better word ... "truthful" to our readers. Part of my motivation is to counter the untruths that brides are being told via traditional print media. I also find that the magazines are loyal to their advertisers (and part of me understands that) but its a disservice to their reader. I've never seen a magazine, that is full of pages and pages of wedding gowns, tell a bride that "any 'ole dress will do ... it's just fabric and thread", but I've seen magazines advise a bride that a cake is just flour and eggs, a DJ can be replaced by an iPod, and good 'ole Uncle Phil can do photos with a point-n-click. It is a very one-sided type of advice being given and I see it based on how heavy their magazine is supported by the dress industry. Definitely a bias and the poor brides are lured into it. If the magazines don't understand the difference and what these professionals bring to the event, I have to wonder why they are advisors in the wedding industry to start with. And that's why I share my experiences with my brides ... because I'm tired of them being lied to.

  10. Great post! I agree. Wedding blogs are preferable to magazines, because you get such a wide variety of information. There are SO MANY terrific bridal blogs out there.

  11. Very interesting. I like it.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Ooof, a tough and interesting subject. I'm not entirely sure I agree, just because I think that there's room for both in the marketplace. Weddings are actually one of the times when I can see a magazine being useful because print is still great for showing off images.

    What is true is that the in-built arrogance of the mainstream media is being chipped away as the blogs rise up. What I would like to see is more bloggers seeing the value in what they do. I'm not saying that they should get an ego, just that they need to see their worth - if you're (genuinely) getting tens of thousands of readers a month then you have a business. End of.

    I'm also really keen to champion bloggers who want to produce print magazines. It's so fricking easy and it can be a great product to stand alongside your blog. If you use a print on demand publisher like MagCloud then it needn't cost you anything either. I'm happy to talk any wedding bloggers through our experience of this so far - andrew@iamstaggered.com.


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