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10 Reasons Editors Reject Real Wedding Submissions

Getting featured in a magazine or on a major publication's website is an incredible honor -- not to mention a great way to communicate your value to future clients. Want to be featured in a major publication? Avoid these common missteps for a (read: much) better chance at having your work published!


You didn't follow the submission guidelines.

Every publication is different. Some want you to submit via email, others want you to submit through an auto-upload platform. (The Knot uses Two Bright Lights to make it easy for you.) When you do submit a wedding, editors are usually looking for a few specifics before they even click on the album. Always follow their guidelines but in general, you'll want to include: the photographer (if you're not responsible for the photos), the couples names, the date, the name of their venue and the location.

There aren't enough detail photos.

While of course you want to make sure you're including a few shots of the couple, it's important that you don't overdo it on the couple shots. Weddings that get published include lots of wedding details. So make sure you're including lots of them. Before you submit, do a check to make sure you're hitting the major detail categories like the cake, the centerpieces (both close up and pulled back), the bridesmaid dresses, the ceremony setup and the reception tables.

The competition is fierce in your area.

This is a tough one. The reality is that if you have a lot of other planners and photographers in your market that tend to get published, it can be hard to break through and get noticed. How to break out? Submit weddings that are unique or slightly different from the norm in your area. For example, The Knot weddings editors are not only looking for stunning work, they're also looking to feature weddings that look a little bit different than the norm -- that stand out. So if you have a wedding in Northern California that doesn't involve blush and gold (which happens to be the predominant color scheme for most weddings there), you have a better chance of having it featured.

There aren't any photos of the couple at their reception.

While you really do want to focus in on the details of the wedding and not overload your submission with couple shots and portraits, you do need to at least include a couple photos of the couple at their own reception. Sometimes The Knot gets submissions of weddings that look more like a styled shoot than a real wedding -- we want to make sure we're featuring weddings that real people attended!

It looks like a lot of other weddings.

You know what we're talking about. It's all regional-based so in New York City, it's a lot of ballrooms, in California, it's a lot of outdoor spaces with long tables. You should absolutely submit your weddings like this -- but know that when a submission looks like a lot of other weddings in the area, the competition is fiercer and it can be harder to get picked up.

You didn't send enough photos.

This happens all the time. More is better. If we only get 10 photos of a wedding, we're not really able to tell whether there's enough to make it work in a magazine spread or even on the website. As a good rule of thumb, send in at least 50 photos.

The color balance doesn't look natural.

One of the biggest turn-offs from a photo editor working at a publication like ours is to see photos of the wedding that look like they've been heavily edited and filtered. Images like that might look interesting, but they typically don't translate well to print or an online feature.

We recently featured that venue.

It happens. We'll sometimes get several submission from the same venue. We can't feature the same venue more than once in a magazine and we try to spread the love in general in our online features. That said, this can work in your favor. If you're doing a wedding at a venue that hasn't been featured all over the place, you have a greater chance of getting picked up!

We recently featured the planner.

Same thing goes with the venue and the planner. Our editors' job at The Knot is to find weddings that will inspire couples. If we're constantly using weddings from the same wedding planner, the weddings tend to all look the same. That's not to say that some wedding planners get featured more often -- they do! Usually they get featured more often because they're doing work and sending in photography that works well for publishing. In short, it's all about representing as many styles as possible.

The couple doesn't want to be published.

Believe it or not, this happens. We'll get a really great submission, send the couple a questionnaire to fill out about their wedding and then find out that they would rather not share their photos with us and the rest of the world. To each their own but it's incredibly important that wedding submissions be okay'd by the couple first.

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