After an unplanned break from Pasties & Petticoats, I’m so glad to be back. I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed pinning, reading, researching and writing about all things weddingy. I’ve missed it lots!
Today’s post sees us launching our new “behind the scenes” series, where I’ll interview the people behind some of Cornwall’s best wedding businesses, and I am VERY excited to be kicking off with none other than the people behind the utterly fabulous Wed Magazine. So, without further ado, it’s over to Rebecca and Brendan to tell us all about life behind the scenes at Cornwall’s most fabulous wedding magazine!
Front page of the most recent issue of Wed
Tell us a bit about the magazine
We came up with our concept for Wed Magazine in 2006 and our first issue was published in March 2007. Having got to know various people in the Cornish wedding industry and studied the marketplace, we decided there was a glaring gap in the market for a contemporary wedding magazine. We envisioned a magazine that reflected the aspirations of the modern couple and showcased the best of the local wedding industry in a creative and high quality style, combining engaging editorial, creative imagery and contemporary design. Weddings were increasingly becoming more personalised events and we could see that more and more couples were throwing out the rule book in favour of a wedding that reflected their vision – and we wanted to both reflect and encourage couples to ‘do it their way.’ We also wanted to make our content accessible to people living outside of the county – as well as inside the county – by utilising the internet effectively.
And who’s behind it?
My partner Brendan and I run the magazine together, and the idea behind it developed organically between the two of us, while Hannah, our chief features writer, and Matt, our designer, have also made a major contribution to the way Wed Magazine looks and reads today.
Brendan handles advertising and oversees the running of the magazine, wedding shows and our online presence. I (Rebecca) am the editor and manage the content of the magazine, write and edit editorial, as well as coordinate photo shoots, oversee the finance, manage the social media, blog and reader newsletter, as well as attempt to keep on top of emails! Hannah, our chief features writer, writes a lot of the magazine content and works on the website and administrative tasks. Our designer, Matt, designs the magazine and website. We have other freelancers, such as writers and illustrators, who contribute regularly etc.
Andrea Michele Photography
Wed is sold at all major outlets: WH Smith, M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and independent newsagents. Magazines are also available from selected bridal boutiques and venues. We have a print run of 4,000 copies per issue and we sell 500-600 copies per issue online. The online orders tend to be concentrated around London, Southeast England and the Midlands, but we have sent the magazine as far afield as Australia!
Putting the magazine together
The process takes approximately ten weeks per issue. Hannah and I will start with an editorial meeting, and then we’ll begin sourcing and writing content as well as organising photo shoots. The second phase comprises the sourcing of images, editing copy and proofing, while Brendan liaises with advertisers, fine tunes their artwork and helps with their marketing enquiries. We look for fresh ideas, originality, accessible format, user-friendly, inspiring and engaging content – we love anything that stands out for sheer creativity that we think will wow our readers.
Producing a wedding magazine sounds really glamorous. Is it?
It has its glamorous moments but most of the time you’ll find me hunched over a computer screen clad in a hoodie and jeans (including evenings and weekends), trying to keep on top of emails and working on content!
Glamorous highlights include an art deco dinner and dance at Burgh Island and spending the night in their best suite where the likes of Agatha Christie has stayed. We’ve also had some amazing experiences staying at places such as Bovey Castle on Dartmoor (and being served dinner in a private drawing room), a luxury tree house, a yurt and a gorgeous seaside bolthole with a garden overlooking the sea – it’s moments like that when I want to pinch myself!
What’s your favourite part of putting the mag together?
It’s great receiving images from a photo shoot which look fantastic and as you envisioned them – particularly when we’ve put so much work into the planning process. Receiving the proofs back from the designer looking fab is also a highlight. And I love getting stuck into an article that inspires me.
And your least favourite?
Proofing! As the magazine keeps getting bigger, the process just gets longer. Every phone number, website, title, detail has to be checked as well as image quality and print quality. It takes forever – and a good deal of caffeine!
Aside from the magazine, what else do you do?
We run the biggest wedding show in Cornwall, The Wed Show, which has taken place annually in the spring in 2011 and 2012. We’re planning two shows for 2013. We wanted to put on a high quality, interactive and well-presented event that reflected the cream of the Cornish wedding industry – and we’re pleased to say our two shows have gone down a treat. The website is a fundamental aspect of the Wed brand, and works hand in hand with the magazine. It is comprehensive, includes a supplier directory and a huge amount of articles and features. We work hard to ensure that the website appears very high in the search engines for the key weddings search terms and our online traffic sees over 14,000 unique visitors a month. Brendan and I also present guest lectures at University College Falmouth, and various colleges and schools about publishing and media. I also edit Movie Magic/Big Screen magazines.
Do you ever get free time? And if so, how do you like to spend it?
It is only Brendan and I who work on both the Cornwall and Devon issues full time, so it is pretty much a seven-day week, and we don’t get very much free time (I’m a self-confessed workaholic!) When we do, Brendan goes to the gym, boxing and had now abandoned his rock band singer days to sing as a member of Mousehole Male Voice Choir. And I like to spend as much time as possible with family and friends, as well as practise yoga, running and I’m working on a novel (though I haven’t made much progress of late!) We both love to go to gigs, and travel and visit new places as well.
You’re getting married yourself soon aren’t you? Can you tell us anything about your day? Will you be featuring your own wedding in the magazine?
Brendan and I are getting married in September! One thing that I’ve learnt during my six years in wedding publishing is that the most memorable weddings are those that reflect the personalities and loves of the bride and groom. So our wedding will be very personal, and a rather eclectic mix of all the things we love. There will be a strong Celtic element to reflect my Cornish roots and Brendan’s Irish-Cornish heritage. We bonded over our love of live music and offbeat comedy, so we’re going for a laidback festival vibe with a series of live performances from a male voice choir to a rock band, as well as a few fun and humorous touches that we feel reflects who we are as a couple. And we’re following the trend for the wedding weekender – one day simply isn’t long enough! We have to feature the wedding in the magazine – everyone is so interested, which is lovely.
Have you got any funny anecdotes you can share?
Looking back over the last six years, we sometimes wish there had been a camera following us around, as there would be countless humorous episodes that would make for hilarious viewing! Photo shoots usually present the most comical moments. During one shoot in Devon last year, we had to abandon our visions of a whimsical, bohemian shoot in the woods when the heavens opened. We ended up planting the model in a boat on a lake – we had to cross a field of spitting llamas to get to said lake – while Brendan ran around the riverbank letting off smoke flares and I towed the boat by rope – all the while the rain poured and the model looked terrified. It’s at moments like that when I’m reminded of how crazy and comical life can be when you run a magazine!
What do you love about the Cornish wedding industry?
The Cornish wedding industry is so exciting at the moment. It’s full of creative, dynamic, enthusiastic and talented suppliers, while the sheer breadth of venues – from the breath-taking cliff top hotels and beachside bars to the secluded rural retreats – offers a gorgeous backdrop for every taste. You can find suppliers and venues of a quality that easily equals – and often surpasses – that of anywhere in the country. Then there’s the inspiring location – Brendan and I both grew up in Cornwall and we attempt to infuse Wed with a strong sense of place and a passion for our surroundings.
Do you have any top tips for couples planning their wedding in Cornwall?
Read Wed Magazine! Embrace all the wonderful talent in Cornwall to make your wedding the perfect reflection of you as a couple. And do it your way!
A HEYOOOGE thank you to Rebecca and Brendan for taking part in our ‘behind the scenes’ series… now, go buy Wed Magazine now. It’s ace!