Vow to have your upcoming vows published in the New York Times Wedding section? These seven tips will help put your announcement in black-and-white.
As a New Yorker who is also a hopeless romantic, my Sunday mornings are spent cuddled up in bed with a big mug of coffee and perusing the New York Times Wedding section—the crème de la crème of marriage announcements. Though they have long included gay couples, I’ve pleasantly noticed an increasing amount featured since gay marriage became legally recognized in New York. After years of analysis, here are some tips that I’ve gathered to help put you and your partner’s names in black-and-white:
Gregory Brown and Linton Stables, featured in the New York Times Wedding Section
- Submit early: The Times requests that you submit your application at least six weeks before you wedding date, but two months prior gives you a bigger timeline to be timely selected (i.e. less competition) without getting lost in the shuffle. Not to mention, six weeks before a wedding is when the planning really gets crazy, so it’s one less thing you have to worry about.
- Picture Perfect: The Weddings/Celebrations pages typically publish formal portraits of couples, eyebrows at the same level, with their heads fairly close together and printed on a horizontal formatting. Occasionally, they include full-length images of brides in wedding dresses, as well as informal shots of the couples in attractive settings. Readers want to feel your happiness jump off the pages, so show those pearly whites! If you’re able to hire a photographer, do so, so you can ensure the clean, sharp image that the Times is looking for. Choose an attractive background (they seemingly like outdoor shots) and clothing that isn’t too busy and will look great in both black and white and color (for online). Also, refrain from Photoshopping away those 15 pounds you gained over the holidays—the Times doesn’t accept any digitally altered images.
- Tell Your Story: Everyone loves a good love story, so anything that is unique and interesting about your relationship (how you met, how you proposed, some quirky hobby you share), tell it. First and foremost, this is journalism and one of the first rules in journalism is to make sure the story is worth writing. You don’t have to be a bestselling author, just be yourself in your writing and, if selected, you and your fiancé/e will be interviewed and your story will be polished by a reporter.
- Bragging Rights: There’s no room for humbleness when it comes to the New York Times wedding announcements. Any and all accomplishments that you (or your family) have received should be shared. If your uncle is a celebrity chef, drop his name. If your future bride received her PH.D in [insert crazy science term here], mention it. And if you or your partner is an Ivy League graduate, you’re pretty much a shoo-in. And they love philanthropic work.
- Location: The Times typically features couples living in a 30-mile radius of Manhattan in their print version, but if you’re tying the knot in Iowa, don’t let that prevent you from submitting! Their online section features many couples around the country, from Massachusetts to Wisconsin to Arizona.
- Unique Nuptials: Having a circus-themed wedding or saying “I Do” in an exotic beachside ceremony? Any aspect of your wedding that sets it apart from others should be noted in your submission.
- Network: If you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) that works at the New York Times, ask them if they have a contact in the Weddings department. Shoot the contact an email politely saying that you’ve submitted and if there are any other steps you can take to make it easier on the editors. It certainly can’t hurt your chances of being selected if your name is recognizable to someone on staff, but don’t harass their inbox—send no more than one quick and simple email.
Of course, lack of the New York Times’ stamp of announcement approval certainly doesn’t make your day any less special, and they receive thousands of submissions each week, so don’t be discouraged if yours isn’t picked. Keep in mind that once the vows have been exchanged, we here at Equally Wed would love to hear about it! To submit your wedding for editorial consideration in Equally Wed, click here. We also feature proposal stories in our From the Heart section. For consideration, send an e-mail briefly outlining the highlights of your story and a snapshot of you two.
Photo: New York Times