Top Tips for Submitting to The Knot
The Knot is one of the most well-known and respected wedding publications in the industry. Even before the rise of wedding blogs, The Knot published one of the few wedding magazines easily found in grocery aisles and bookstores across the nation. Many engaged couples in the past two decades have looked to The Knot for ideas and advice throughout the wedding planning process.
Today, The Knot has a comprehensive website filled with wedding inspiration and couples everywhere turn to its platform to research vendors, create wedding websites, and seek advice from the experts. It also continues to publish the national magazine, in addition to 16 regional magazines that focus on local weddings.
As a wedding professional, you are in a unique position to submit your content to The Knot and provide inspiration for engaged couples in the throes of planning their weddings. Of course, every publication has its own submission guidelines, so we spoke with Hannah Nowack from The Knot to get the real scoop on real wedding submissions.
Capture a personal feel.
The Knot wholly believes in the idea, “Your Wedding, Your Way.” Thus, they are always seeking out weddings that showcase a couple’s personality in unique ways. Nowack elaborates: “It’s clear from the minute I look at a submission that a couple really highlighted themselves in a wedding and kind of just harnessed this idea of ‘you do you.’ Maybe that’s unique fashion or a really out-of-the-box venue. I love when I feel like I know something about the couple after looking at 20 or 30 images.”
Pay attention to the details.
As with most publications, the editors at The Knot want to see that the wedding team has put in time and effort to curate a great submission. “When a photographer or planner takes time to think through how to best structure and position their submission to increase the impact, that definitely goes a long way,” confirms Nowack. The Knot accepts submissions through Two Bright Lights, so take the time you need to understand the interface to ensure your submissions are presented in the best light.
Curate your best photos.
Naturally, the photos you submit will speak for the wedding — a written story is beautiful, but it won’t go far without some striking photos for company. Nowack suggests sharing an online gallery, adding: “It’s great if there’s a subfolder that highlights a photographer’s favorites. No more than 20-30 images that provide a high-level overview of the most interesting details of the day. Think about what’s going to make the most impact. Come out of the gate with the elements that make the submission unique; I can go more in-depth where I want to see more.”
Tell the story, but keep it short and sweet.
Editors love to know the story behind a couple’s relationship and their wedding, but they don’t have all day to read an essay for every submission. “I would say about a paragraph long is fine,” says Nowack. “Talk about what makes the wedding unique and the things that are interesting but wouldn’t be immediately evident to me from looking at the pictures. Don’t overthink it; when we move forward with a submission, our questionnaire is very extensive. We’re going to get all those details later on.”
Focus on color photos when possible.
Although most photographers have a certain editing style that draws in their target clients, publications typically lean towards crisp and colorful photos. “A submission should be more about the couple and their story rather than the photography style,” explains Nowack. “We do tend to limit how many black and white images we publish. If there is a really compelling image that’s black and white, by all means, feel free to include it. But I tend to prefer to see the color version of the image in a magazine spread. You want to really be able to see what’s going on in the images and not be too overly distracted by post-production additions to an image.
Feel free to submit multiple weddings.
There’s no reason to limit your submissions to one wedding, especially when you have multiple that could be a fit. “By all means, feel free to follow up and add more submissions,” Nowack encourages. “It really is a puzzle of balancing geography and styles, so it’s not like ‘Oh, I’ve submitted one wedding for consideration and they don’t want to see any more’ “Maybe you add one wedding that was more rustic and another that leaned more modern. One of them might be a better fir for our lineup, so I always encourage photographers and planners to feel free to submit more than one submission.”
Know your print deadlines.
If you’re looking for a print feature, you need to mark down the print deadlines to ensure your submission is in the editors’ hands on time and that it’s relevant to the season. Nowack explains: “Our online platform isn’t limited by our printing dates, so we’re reviewing and accepting weddings on a rolling basis — there isn’t quite as long a lead time. With print, it’s tricky because there’s a bit more seasonality. For example, with a spring issue, we’ll be looking at all sorts of weddings but with the spring season in mind. But, if it’s not a fit for print, that doesn’t mean it’s not a fit for online, so there are various ways your wedding can reach our readers.”
Whether you’ve got your eye on the national magazine, a regional issue, or a spot on TheKnot.com, these tips—straight from the editor—will help you to prepare and curate the best submission to win a feature with The Knot and reach its audience. For additional information about exclusivity, recency, and print deadlines, review the frequently asked questions about real wedding submissions.