Newest Review: ... at the back and lots of adverts in between. One thing I noticed that did vary considerably, was the target audience, as one magazin... more
A BRIDAL BIBLE OR A BASIC BOOK?
Wedding Ideas Magazine
Member Name: Wee_Jackie_163
Wedding Ideas Magazine
Advantages: Small size, good tips/advice, reasonable price...
Disadvantages: See review...
* IGNORANCE IS BLISS... *
When I first got engaged, I bought a fair few wedding magazines, keen to enjoy the excitement and anticipation of being a BRIDE on our Big Day, even though at that stage I had no idea when that day might come to be.
In the months that followed my other half slipping a diamond ring on my wedding finger, I dipped in and out of online wedding forums and the like, whilst sticking my nose in the occasional bridal book and magazine, content in the knowledge that I could subconsciously gather information and store it until required, as I had two years to plan my big day and enjoy all of the preparations when the time came.
This 'leisurely pace' that I had come to adopt had to quicken somewhat - in fact, had to sprint - when my other half and myself decided we did not want to wait any longer to be Mr and Mrs, and decided to bring our wedding forward by just over a year. Thus, in March of this year, we decided to get married in October this year, instead of November 2011.
Whilst this was all very exciting and thrilling, I can't deny that there was a small seed of worry in the pit of my stomach, a seed that was already starting to bud and grow into a full-blown frenzy....
* THE MAGAZINE *
I first came across the "Wedding Ideas" magazine in a local supermarket while I was browsing through their selection, looking for something to read to pass the time. What immediately struck me about the Wedding Ideas magazine was of course the content of the mag; the catchy name of the glossy struck me as being exactly what I needed..... Some Wedding Ideas!!!
The second thing I noticed about this magazine is, in my opinion, one of its best features; the size of the magazine. Whilst most magazines measure somewhere in the region of 30cm in length, the Wedding Ideas mag comes in a good deal shorter, at around 21cm in length (and approx 15cm wide). This of course means that the producers of the mag have found a way to make it easy for a busy bride to carry their publication with her as she busies herself to-ing and fro-ing with wedding related activities and research. How have they achieved this? Simple. Make the magazine handbag-sized.
At a cost of £2.99 per issue, the cost of the magazine is significantly lower than many of its rivals.
* WHAT TO EXPECT/CONTENT *
The average issue of Wedding Ideas will contain lots of helpful information for us B2Bs (Brides to Be). Information such as "10 Steps to Fabulous Hair", which offers advice about brides having 'trial runs' with their salon before the Big Day, to ensure they are completely happy with their hairstyle when the time comes, as well as useful tips about deep conditioning treatments and the like.
There is a plethora of useful tips throughout the mag, actually, and not just concerning hair and beauty (otherwise I'd probably only have bought Wedding Ideas once). Helpful advice such as "10 top tips when choosing bridal shoes" and "10 top tips for weddings abroad" may be significant in planning your Big Day, and both of these appeared in a recent edition of the magazine.
There is plenty of readers' input found throughout the magazine too; A "Readers Letters" page can be found near the centre pages, as well as a "Real-life Weddings" feature which appears in every edition, to the best of my knowledge. I find this feature is one of the most interesting, as it appeals to my nosy parker nature to read about real life brides and grooms and see pictures from their big day. I also find it quite helpful in terms of the way the magazine has put these pages together. Firstly, we are introduced to a couple, "Sue and Paul" say. We get to see approx ten photographs of various parts of the couples' wedding day, such as a photograph of the couple themselves, a picture of their reception venue, a picture of the bride arriving in the wedding car, one of the cake and one of the bride's dress and accessories etc, you get the idea. Not only does it appeal to my nosy nature as I said, but I do find it quite useful to know what other brides did in terms of the organising and planning of their weddings, as well as little details like wedding cakes and bridesmaid dresses, and in particular how all of these details are co-ordinated to match each other.
There are many other little snippets of information throughout the magazine such as the odd competition where you can win things like a honeymoon in the Caribbean, as well as 'reader offers' like 20% off a haircut at selected salons.
Yes, there is no doubt that Wedding Ideas is a magazine that contains just that. Personally though, when it comes to my own experiences with using this magazine, I have found that the biggest help it has given me has been the 30 or so pages of reference sites and company names/websites that can be found towards the back of the magazine. Without these, (and before it occurred to me to use these for assistance) I was literally trawling the internet, 'Googling' this and 'ASKing' that, finding it necessary to cut down huge lists of companies and select which ones were (at times even remotely) related to what I was ACTUALLY searching for.
To use wedding invitations as an example, I was unsure what style of invitations I wanted to purchase. I tried googling certain words followed by the word 'wedding invitation' which wasn't always particularly successful. I also found that a lot of the content that my search was finding was nothing whatsoever to do with anything I was looking for. This of course resulted in a lot of wasted time and a lot of frustration (mixed in with a few swear words) from myself.
The back section of the Wedding Ideas magazine has remedied some of this for me as this part of the magazine has lots of little advertisements from shops and companies that specialise in bridal wear or wedding items. There are advertisements relating to all sorts of items such as favour ideas, wedding dresses, DIY wedding stationery, hen party ideas and photography, to name a few. Granted, lots of these companies are miles away from where I live and I wouldn't be inclined to use them, but to get an idea of what companies charge for different services, as well as seeing what services are on offer in the first place has proven to be useful. Lets face it, how many people would know how much an average wedding cake would cost unless you had ever had reason to purchase one? This is a prime example as I had allowed a budget of £600 in my overall wedding budget for the cake, having absolutely no idea what it would cost before I began organising my wedding of course, and thanks to this magazine and all of the reference contained within it, I now know that I can get a beautiful cake for at least £100 less than this!
* THE DOWN SIDE *
As with most magazines these days, Wedding Ideas is not without its pages and pages of advertisements nestled snugly between pages of helpful advice and interesting articles. The one major difference with this magazine of course, is that all of the advertisements are wedding-related, and in actual fact I would estimate that around 90% of the advertisements are to do with bridal wear, brides dresses and bridesmaid fashion. It is perhaps unfair of me then to mark this point as a negative, as many B2Bs reading the magazine WILL be interested in this dress designer and that wedding dress collection, and the fact that I have had my wedding dress for a while now means that such advertisements are of no interest to me personally is perhaps a bit irrelevant.
What I DO think is extremely relevant is that some of the wedding dress advertisements are at the more 'designer' end of the price/style range, and I find it hard to believe that your "average" bride (assuming there IS such a thing) would be able to afford a designer wedding dress in this sort of price range by the time all of her other wedding paraphernalia has been bought and paid for. I have to question then, whether a bridal mag that costs only £2.99 is the best place to advertise such designer gowns, assuming that the magazine's target audience is your "average" bride. To be fair, shops like "Berketex Bride" (which is a more 'mainstream' shop and can be found in towns up and down the country) also advertise in the magazine, and in this shop your average dress will (only) set you back around (a mere?!?) £1,000. Considering that the 'average' price of your more 'glossy' bridal magazines is around the £5 or £6 mark, I feel that some of the advertisements featured in the Wedding Ideas magazine would be better suited elsewhere. Point made.
Overall though, and putting this one small flaw to the side, I WOULD recommend the Wedding Ideas magazine to any Brides-to-Be out there who are embarking upon the truly mammoth yet enjoyable task of organising their wedding. You will find lots of ideas and tips are helpful and informative, and if not, the reference pages towards the end of the magazine are an absolute MUST if you are using the internet as a tool in your wedding planning. I do suggest giving the magazine a try out, and for £2.99, I really feel that it IS money well spent.
Summary: It's not perfect, but it IS helpful...