1. How long have you been editor of the magazine?
I joined Wedding Inspirations in February 2010 and have worked on seven issues of the magazine so far.
2. What appealed to you about a niche consumer magazine rather than the more mainstream glossy magazines you have worked on before?
Niche publications are more intimate and more clearly targeted. You know exactly what your reader wants and needs, and have the opportunity to become a valuable resource for them, rather than just a pleasant read.
Working on a niche publication, one is also able to learn the ins and outs of a specific industry, which is always fascinating. Weddings in particular, are such positive, happy celebrations – and the local wedding industry is so full of amazing creative talent, that I couldn’t resist!
3. Who is Wedding Inspirations aimed at?
Primarily brides who are in the process of planning their big day, however, we also have content that is relevant and interesting to grooms, bridesmaids and mothers of both parties, so the magazine does have relatively wide appeal.
4. The magazine has gone through quite a big change since you started; tell us what motivated the change?
Several factors: I come from a news background and truly believe that content is king, so it was important to strengthen the magazine’s editorial base and really provide articles that were useful and practical. I also wanted the magazine to be visually stunning and up-to-date with international trends, while of course retaining local appeal.
When the magazine launched it was A5 in size and was intended to be a handy reference guide that bride’s carried everywhere (hence our payoff line: The bridesmaid in your handbag). However, over time it became clear that if we were really going to do justice to all of the incredible shoots we were featuring, we needed bigger pages. Our advertisers had also expressed a desire to have their businesses represented in a larger format – hence the decision to re-launch as an A4 publication in March this year.
5. What is your aim for the magazine?
To make it the leading bridal publication in South Africa; a valuable information resource for local brides living here and abroad, and a magazine that industry players are proud to be seen in.
6. What challenges have you have faced since joining a niche market magazine?
Our editorial budget is smaller so we have to be clever about what we feature and how. The advertisers in this industry tend to have tight budgets as well. People assume that because weddings are big business there is lots of money, but the reality is that the majority of wedding service providers and suppliers are small businesses with limited cash flow. Another challenge has been tackling the general perception that because niche magazines don’t sell tens of thousands of copies and appear in every retail space, we’re somehow less worthy – which of course is definitely not the case.
7. Tell us about the wedding industry that you are so much a part of.
It’s an incredibly creative industry and one that is constantly evolving. The service providers and suppliers I know personally toil tirelessly to help their clients create a perfect day. And their standards are high.
8. With so many service providers involved in making a wedding day fabulous, how do you cover all of this in the magazine?
We have five distinct sections in the magazine – fashion, beauty, reception, real weddings and honeymoon travel – and we aim to provide different ideas, advice and inspiration in each of these sections, every issue. These days, couples take about a year to plan their weddings, so most brides will buy at least four issues of our magazine. This gives them a really good spread of information. We also sell back copies of the magazine and post fresh content, tips and hints on our website.
9. Where can brides-to-be find the magazine?
We’re distributed nationwide through stores such as CNA and selected branches of Exclusive Books, PNA, Estoril Books, Dis-Chem and SPAR, as well as at independent retailers. Brides are also welcome to subscribe (details are on our website).
10. We understand that not all bridal magazines are ABC audited; is Wedding Inspirations?
Wedding Inspirations is most certainly ABC audited. It is important from an advertising point of view that our sales and distribution figures are transparent. And I believe it benefits readers as well to know that we are a credible publication and take ourselves seriously.
11. Social media is a standard these days; what are you are doing to engage readers online?
We’re active in all aspects of social media, from Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and LinkedIn. We also have a fantastic website that’s easy to navigate and a regular blog which keeps followers abreast of hot news and international trends.