How I Approached Submitted Work to Style Unveiled | What Makes a Submission Undeniable IMO

The Submission Process

I was the creator and the editor of Style Unveiled for almost 8 years and during that time I received roughly 10 submissions per week ... It was my goal to make sure I never strayed too far from what I believed to be *the best* to share with my readership ... and I believe I earned a reputation for being extremely picky and that is why Style Unveiled was one of the very best wedding blogs out there ... so to whoever it goes to next, you have some VERY large shoes to fill ;)

I received a question from a fabulous girl named Renee who runs a Pennsylvania wedding and event rentals company called Forget-Me-Not Vintage Rentals and she asked:  

>> What are you looking for when you are picking submissions to feature? I'd love to know about the whole process from the perspective of an editor. <<

I love this question.  Renee, I can only answer from my own experiences and the criteria I set up for Style Unveiled ... but hopefully this will shed some light on this crazy process!

The first thing I **always** took into consideration was: does this company advertise on Style Unveiled - are they adored members?  I personally feel that if you accept money from a company to advertise on your blog you have to believe in them ... you have to admire what they do, love their brand and what they stand for, and truly WANT them to succeed ... so if I accepted advertising money from a wedding pro, I was also telling myself: You would LOVE to feature their work on Style Unveiled.  So, if the answer to that question was yes, I would make sure to look at it a bit differently << we'll just say it automatically got a few extra points ;)

The second thing I would immediately need to feel was a connection to the images themselves ... image quality and style came before how gorgeous the couple or models were or how darling the details ... I held and still hold a very high standard when it comes to photography and photography that was subpar would not pass the threshold to be featured on my blog.

The third thing I would check out were the details.  While I'd love to believe that readers come to wedding blogs to see cute couples in love, I am realistic about the fact that probably 90% of them are details junkies << just like me ... so details are VERY important.  If the submission was a styled shoot I would want to see 4 main factors:  wedding invitation suite, a wedding cake, table decor, and a bouquet shot.  Yes, we could go further, but for me personally I wanted to at least be able to show a story that utilized those 4 wedding ingredients.  If the submission was a real wedding I wanted to make sure that the wedding style would fit the type of bride who I felt visited Style Unveiled: not rustic, not DIY, and not shabby chic ... ballroom, classic, timeless << those were the words that I held high and wanted to make sure I followed as closely as I could.

The fourth thing I always had to consider was: can I design with the images provided ... could I take the images and tell my own story and piece it together into a beautiful layout ... this is important because each post I made live on Style Unveiled was touched by me: it had my signature ... the layout, the order of the images, the way I picked and decided what my audience would look at ... so in cases where the submission only had a few images to work with I would typically respond with:  are there more images from this shoot or real wedding and if so, can you make those available to me so I can make a final decision about a feature?  In most cases more photos could be submitted.

I think the true test of an amazing wedding editor is what do submissions feel like to them ... for me it was like Christmas morning ... I would see a file come to my inbox and waiting for the images to load felt like HOURS (even though it was seconds or a minute at the most) ... it was such a thrill for me to see what was being chosen to have a shot of being featured on Style Unveiled ... a few of my favorites are below that left my speechless and to feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

Syed of SYPhotography (a New York wedding photographer) submitted this incredibly artistic and moody styled shoot that was inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and I was so excited about it that the feature went live THAT DAY:

SYPhotography | Little Red Riding Hood submission

The submission shown below was emailed to me by Kimberly of Alante Photography (a Seattle wedding photography company) and it was during a time when I was obsessing over the idea of featuring a flower wall ... these images made my entire year:

Alante Photography | flower wall submission

As a huge Hunger Games fan I was over the moon when J Morgan Flowers (a South Florida couture wedding florist company) sent this my way ... the sparkly cake pops went major viral on Pinterest ... so much fun!

Hunger Games wedding inspiration submission

I wish I could say: do THIS and you will get featured ... but every blog editor has their own special way they go through a submission approval process ... and sometimes it literally only comes down to one thing: what does your gut tell you ... this won't be at all helpful, but sometimes all of the above went right out the window: I would see ONE image that grabbed at my core and it would be approved ... one thing about being a great editor is being able to see the future: what will be crazy huge online and how can I make sure Style Unveiled has shared it.  It's a crazy and amazing job, being an editor ... and I will miss it terribly.

I am LOVING my new 'Ask Heather' idea ... so if you are a wedding pro or a blog editor who has a question you'd like me to address on The Editor's Touch you can submit those HERE!

If you are a wedding pro who has weddings or work you have created and you want to know the best way to go about getting it featured, I can help!!  My consultation services include assistance submitting your work and giving feedback on either future ideas for styled shoots or getting your current work ONLINE for brides to see!  

XO~ Heather