Hundreds of guests watched at San Francisco City Hall last November as Ivy Getty, of the billionaire Getty Oil family, dressed in a custom John Galliano gown and flanked by bridesmaid Anya Taylor-Joy, married her husband Tobias Alexander Engel at a ceremony officiated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Millions more watched the spectacle online, where every detail of Getty’s over-the-top wedding weekend, from the “British Invasion”-themed welcome party to the all-night reception at Ann Getty’s home, The bride’s grandmother, who was covered in roses for the occasion, was shared on Vogue.com. In total, the website published 100 photos of the festivities.
The wedding quickly went viral after that, gaining coverage on Page Six, the daily mail Y People magazine, among others. A Fashionthe story received more than 1.2 million visitors and, to this day, is the second most viewed wedding on the site.
But for the post, it was more than just a web traffic gain.
“It was definitely a turning point, because obviously she has a recognizable last name, but she’s not a celebrity in any way,” said Chioma Nnadi, editor of Vogue.com. “The response was so great that we realized this is something our readers and the world at large are interested in.”
Over the past year, as Condé Nast implemented its strategy to move Fashion and other publications definitely out of the print age, weddings have emerged as a dark horse in the race for online relevance. Vogue has become the hottest spot for a couple seeking press attention for their big day, largely because the weddings it covers are often picked up by other outlets or dissected on platforms like TikTok.
In July, visits to content focused on weddings amounted to 25 percent of Fashion’s overall online traffic, up 56 percent year over year. On average, wedding content generates 1.7 million monthly visitors to the site, with readers spending a total of 3.3 million minutes interacting with it.
Before, weddings were mostly relegated to specialist bridal publications like girlfriends either Martha Stewart Weddings. town country has long covered society nuptials, but typically only the world’s biggest weddings, like Kate and William’s or Meghan and Harry’s, received the full fashion magazine treatment.
Now, publications are realizing the power of weddings as a topic of conversation and, potentially, as a generator of income. With Fashionother non-bridal publications, such as harper’s bazaar, they are also embracing weddings. In addition, new media such as Over the Moon, a wedding-focused website founded by Fashion collaborator Alexandra Macon, are bridging the gap between fashion and weddings. What unites them: a combination of voyeuristic allure, can’t-eye-away opulence, and celebrity with a concept that everyone understands and experiences in some way in their own lives.
“The one thing anyone can commonly relate to is a wedding,” said Savannah Engel, founder of Savannah Engel Public Relations, which handled public relations for Ivy Getty’s wedding and has begun hiring couples who seek media coverage of their wedding. “To some extent, it’s an equalizer. Everyone knows someone who has gotten married.”
As more brides want to cover their weddings, more are hiring top-tier publicists, photographers, and stylists to land one of those coveted spots. Celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger, a Fashion A bride herself, she said that most of her bridal clients come to her with the goal in mind of getting their wedding featured in the media.
“It’s really about having an editorial approach and really thinking about art direction, set design, styling, hair, makeup, everything,” he said. “It’s no different from throwing a pitch in many ways.”
A wedding featured in Fashion could get extensive writing: Getty logged more than 2,000 words. But the dozens of photos, each with a caption, often tell the story. A lots of Fashion weddings include a large number of photos, between 30 and 100, each with a title, as well as an introduction of more than 500 words on top. Nnadi admits that there aren’t many stories on the other site that are as “solid” and attributes the approach to Macon’s vision. (In addition to directing Over the Moon, Macon, the former managing editor of Vogue.com, still writes many of Vogue’s most popular wedding stories, including Getty’s.)
“She knew and understood that when you’re telling such a personal story, don’t skimp on the details,” Nnadi said. “[When you] involving the bride and having those personal insights, you get that sense of warmth and personality.”
A famous girlfriend or boyfriend (or both) is an instant draw. But a spectacular location or a unique encounter between two photogenic strangers can turn heads.
“I always say my favorite kind of Fashion wedding is something I’ve never heard of,” said Shannon McNulty, who has amassed more than 50,000 followers on TikTok for her videos analyzing Vogue’s wedding coverage. “There’s a mystery about ‘How did you get in? Who did you know to appear in Fashion?’ You see a celebrity in the audience and you think ‘Who are these people?’”
What’s next for wedding content
nadi said Fashion is focused on becoming a “true global wedding hub”, attracting couples from around the world to showcase a variety of backgrounds, traditions and cultures.
Over the Moon, which began in 2015 as a blog that chronicles wedding stories, has expanded to include a registration function, a product store, and a bridal styling service. She has used weddings as a springboard for partnerships that extend beyond the traditional bridal sphere, including a collection of dresses with the Brock Collection, swimwear with Marysia, and a luggage set with Steamline Luggage. Macon said that while these collaborations usually have some sort of tangential link to weddings — swimsuits and luggage for a bachelorette party or honeymoon, for example — that’s not a firm requirement.
“People come to the site who aren’t even necessarily getting married and just want to buy a beautiful dress for an occasion,” she said. “But obviously we also have the user who has a record and could be a style client. It’s just strategic and smart to serve both.”
For traditional publishers, wedding monetization faces the same challenges as other types of content, namely unpredictable digital ad revenue. Many looks at a wedding photo slideshow don’t always translate into dollars.
“It’s really hard to monetize,” Amy Odell, former editor of Cosmopolitan.com, who recently wrote about the virality of Fashion Weddings in their email newsletter, Back Row. “A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, a bridal customer will theoretically only shop with you once in their lifetime.”
Publishers are finding ways to put weddings front and center for advertisers and readers alike. Fashion is incorporating more affiliate linked posts with outfit suggestions and experience planning a wedding, whether you’re a guest or a bride. town country dedicates two print issues a year to weddings and works with advertisers who can talk about more niche elements of weddings. Travel companies, for example, gravitate toward coverage of destination weddings, while jewelry brands are also interested in wedding content because of the connection to the products they sell, said Stellene Volandes, editor-in-chief of Country Town.
The trend extends beyond the US and traditional fashion media: over the past half decade, Condé Nast Traveler Spain has published a supplement focused on destination weddings and covers destination weddings throughout the year.
“Internationally, we are now seeing a lot of interest in Indian weddings because of the scale,” said Divia Thani, global editorial director of Conde Nast Traveler.
The boom in wedding coverage is just beginning: both Erlanger and Engel predict attention will continue to grow as more brands launch bridal collections (this year alone, Intermix, LK Bennett and Loeffler Randall featured bridal) and look to capitalize on other aspects. of a wedding, like a bachelorette party.
“Media brands are trying to get people to visit their site for a long period of time,” Macon said. “This is content that has a high level of engagement, people are poring over the images.”