Wedding ProTips: Create an Awesome Wedding Submission
Howdy wedding photographers and wedding vendor professionals! Today I'm going to share a little behind the scenes on how you can submit a wedding submission that gets approved AND featured right away on The Big Fat Indian Wedding.
Now, these secrets of ours aren't really secrets; many wedding bloggers will feel the same way. Please, take a moment to read these tips, put together your story, and submit away. Submitting a wedding that is in near ready-state will stand a much better chance to get featured within a couple weeks. Of course, if our schedule is full (which it is currently is until mid-May), then you will at least be able to pat yourself on the back and know you're a badass for getting it done early.
Before I go through the list, have your initial photos in order and read the directions the wedding blog wants you to follow. It is cumbersome that we all have different rules, but we all different blogs with different readerships. We wedding bloggers appreciate your patience!
1. Wedding submission must be of ONE wedding. This sounds insane to say, but when you submit a wedding to us for featuring, it has to be of ONE WEDDING. Don't submit your portfolio. Don't submit your 'best of pics' from different weddings. Those types of submissions we consider sponsored.
Protip: Only ONE wedding per submission
2. Meet the minimum requirement of photo size. We require a MINIMUM WIDTH of photo to be 1500px wide. That's *not* 1500px tall or anything else you come up with. If you don't want to submit photos of this size, then don't submit at all. We need these size photos to meet requirements for responsive designs and eventual scaling up with higher-res screen quality.
3. You may watermark. We understand that the industry is full of bad apples, so we allow for *tasteful* watermarking in the corners only. We prefer images to have no watermarks, but understand the reality of the photography world.
Protip: Borders are *NOT* allowed on images
Protip: Watermarking across the middle of the image is *NOT* allowed. There are a couple exceptions to this rule, and unless you are *that* photographer, we cannot accept the photos.
4. Get the vendor list sorted out. If you don't know the vendors that were present at the wedding, find out. Get the list from the planner. We *must* know the wedding vendors that were involved. This includes the company name, city/state, and website.
Protip: Don't send us your vendor list piecemeal because you're too confused to make a doc or a draft email.
Protip: If we do get hate mail from vendors that were forgotten in the list, we'll forward that mail to you. That's how important it is to get it right.
Protip: To all wedding vendors, don't send us hate mail that you were left off the vendor list. 100% of the time it's because you were never on the list. I don't read people's minds, and there isn't a malicious intent. So please don't think the world is out to steal your stuff or strip away your hard work.
5. Use your cultural common sense. As a wedding blog that features not just Indian weddings, but Hindu weddings, Muslim weddings, Pakistani weddings, and weddings from all across South Asia, it is important that when you submit a wedding to us, you HAVE PERMISSION from the couple.
Listen, our terms exculpate us from any issues you have with your wedding party. And even though you may own copyright to those photos, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use common sense. We have had several weddings fall through because the photographer who submitted the wedding didn't bother to confirm with the couple that it was okay to feature. Or sometimes we receive an email from the couple freaking out they were featured.
Protip: Once stuff is on the internet, it is ON the internet. No take-backsies.
Protip: South Asian weddings can be very conservative, ensure your couple is OKAY with their wedding being online.
6. Don't submit racy/improper photos. I get it, those getting ready photos can be really gorgeous. And sensual. And that sweet Muslim bride getting her hair done before wearing a hijab is adorable. But please don't submit those types of photos, they are just inappropriate to share. While we know those kinds of photos shouldn't be publicly displayed, other wedding blogs may not know. Please save yourself the embarrassment and not share improper photos with anyone.
Protip: For Muslim weddings, do *NOT EVER* submit photos of women with their hijabis off. This could be at the haldi when there's dancing, or of the bride herself getting ready and she wears a hijab. And please know that a hijab is different from a chunni/veil.
Protip: *Don't* submit photos where the bra, underwear, or anything intimate can be seen. Keep that for the b-roll for the couple.
7. Get the wedding interview completed! We are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy when the photographer or wedding vendor can easily get our wedding interview completed. And this interview is stupidly easy to get completed. You send over this hyperlink to your couple, have them fill it out, and you're done.
Protip: Just get it done.
8. Two Bright Lights is your best friend. For those of you on Two Bright Lights system, it is easy and fast.
We have two major restrictions though: 1. don't submit weddings without an album cover or a message. If you want to submit a wedding with absolutely no information, that's fine, we'll just stick the wedding to the bottom of the list (if it even gets approved) AND not contact you at all; 2. don't bitch at us that we featured your wedding wrong. If you submit your wedding, and we feature it, and you don't like the way the links look or how you're tagged in the Facebook post (when it works), then ask us politely if we can fix it. Send us a hate mail, and we'll be sure to put you on our permanent shit list.
Protip: Submitting a wedding through Two Bright Lights still means you need to follow steps 1-7.
9. Please share the wedding! I know, we're not always sending you an email when your wedding was featured, and for that we're truly sorry. We are working to improve a system so that all vendors involved know about the publication and can share it with friends.
10. Put up a badge. We have some adorable 'featured on' badges. We love it when you put them on your website or Facebook page. Below are our styles, feel free to grab one and stick it up.
Alright wedding peeps, follow these 10 steps and you'll be on your way to an amazing submission that will make our lives not only easier, but super happy to share the love with our readers.