The first thing I did after getting engaged was to run at the speed of light towards the wedding magazines. A whole new section in WH Smiths was now for the taking. My dream! As I’ve mentioned, I’m a big fan of an actual tangible magazine or book, something you can hold, smell, fold down the pages of, and it’s hard for me to read solely online or on a device.
One magazine that’s an exception to this fastidiousness is Ultimate Wedding Magazine (UWM). Why? Its layout is clean, its voice is accessible, its features are interactive, removing the passive reader experience. This is a new and engaging way to view wedding loveliness. When Paula Broome and I ran our competition with UWM, I saw first hand that it was easy to navigate and I enjoyed getting around it and seeing all the brilliant content.
But it’s no use my saying to you, “yes, you should definitely read this magazine.” Even though that’s all I want to shout from the rooftops! Goodness knows we’re recommended stuff all day every day. So, I thought I’d chat to Tina Reading, the editor and founder, in more detail about UWM and get the lowdown on what makes it different and exciting.
What’s brought you to the world of writing about weddings?
Six years ago, I launched a series of nine lifestyle magazines along the Thames corridor from Oxford down to Chelsea, but found my true love was writing the wedding features. After three years, I became disillusioned with generic lifestyle articles and decided to launch my own wedding publication – best decision I have ever made.
I’ve always loved writing and having spent a lifetime doing PR and marketing for large clients, I felt the time was right to take control of my own destiny. I teamed up with one of the designers from the old lifestyle magazines and the rest is history! A team of two, taking on the world of weddings in a unique and stylish format.
We started as a home counties handbag print magazine, but realised that our readers wanted more, so Ricky, our creative guru, pioneered the world’s first interactive digital magazine! Available on all mobiles and tablets, this is a totally different way to view weddings. We completely engage with our readers (excuse the pun) and bring them into our world, using video to immerse the reader in a venue or product. There is nothing else like this in the UK or in the world.
What can brides and grooms expect from UWM?
Expect the unexpected! Press your screen and see what happens! You can view venues, gowns and suits in real time. No more looking at a pretty picture and thinking ‘what it is really like?’ You just press and discover for yourself. We are simple in design, keeping the publication elegant, informative and inspirational.
Working with the best brands and venues across the UK, we interact with our couples like no other publication. We have the best team of inspirational writers – leaders in the industry. We constantly deliver the latest trends and news, with not a hint of cheese! Unless it is cheesecake. We love that!
Best thing about working in the wedding industry?
The couples! Just love meeting them and talking to them about their big day! I’m also a qualified wedding and event planner, so I get to wear both hats. I hope the advice I give is helpful with a little added humour. I’m also a passionate photographer and hair and make-up artist, so I’m comfortable that when talking to our couples I do have a little knowledge of the subject, although please never ask me to shoot a wedding, that is way beyond my abilities!
Favourite trend so far?
I’m an old-fashioned girl and don’t really go for trends. I think every day is personal to the couple itself and they should do it their way. One trend I don’t like is the invasion of social media, and if a couple requests that pictures are kept private, I do think that must be honoured.
What has Pinterest done for planning?
This made me go all Monty Python….’What have the Romans done for us?’ Pinterest has opened the doors (as has the majority of social media) – it has enabled couples to have their wedding scrapbook with them wherever they are. They see an idea, they pin it! Such a simple idea, but Pinterest has opened the doors to sharing ideas and information – it is fabulous!
Plugged or unplugged wedding?
I hate social media at weddings! Can you imagine a picture of you on Facebook as you walk down the aisle!!! Huge no no in my world. Leave the mobiles and posts alone for a while. If it was my wedding, I would ban it.
Your first dance song was?
Mine was The Platters, Only You! I really am an old fashioned girl!
If it wasn’t weddings you write about, it would be?
Cars, it would be supercars! I am a complete petrolhead. If not cars, I would tour the UK as a secret writer and review venues!!
Being different is good! You need never conform; step into the light and shine.
A partnership based on love, commitment, understanding and communication.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing for a US magazine called Tied in a Bow, and as of January 7th, 2015, I launch my own business, which is @ultimateoffers. I realised that no one offers a specialised wedding offer website, so I created one. This is a place where venues and suppliers can list special offers, helping couples with the cost of their wedding day.
Tina, thank you so much!