In October 2011 we launched Ultimate Wedding Magazine. Originally print, we quickly evolved and launched Ultimate Wedding Digital – the world’s only fully interactive wedding magazine in 2013.
As well as reading inspirational articles and features, our readers can also engage with wedding-related video content and products which they can tap-to-buy in seconds. We connect wedding brands and services with readers in a way that traditional media cannot – plus we have a fab award-winning blog that sits alongside everything!
Before launching the magazine, I worked in lifestyle PR and publishing. I always loved writing the wedding features and wanted to create a publication that was fun, inspirational, and informative for readers – which is when Ultimate Wedding was born.
The magazine was originally launched as a luxury A5 printed title however, as digital readership began taking over print, in 2013 it evolved into a digital-only publication. Since then, the readership has grown not only in the UK but across the globe, with lots of our readers situated in the US.
Reader experience is a top priority for my team at Ultimate Wedding Digital, so the content must always be original and informative. The magazine is 85% editorial (more words than adverts!) to ensure that it is inspirational and a must-read for individuals and couples who are planning their special day.
Our biggest challenge occurred 3 years ago when we wanted to make the magazine available nationally. We were hesitant to invest in printing the title at such a large level, especially due to the number of returns and recycled magazine figures that retailers were quoting at the time. My team were inspired by interactive magazines at the time, and we knew that no-one in wedding publishing was currently doing this, which is why we decided to go solely digital.
90% of couples source their wedding inspiration online, so going digital seemed like a sensible route for us to take – and we have never looked back since!
In addition to our day to day publishing, we also started a campaign back in 2015 called ‘I Do Disability’ which encourages wedding venues and suppliers to be more understanding of disabled wedding guests, and accommodating of couples with physical or mental needs. We will continue to drive this campaign forwards as it is very important to us that we see change within this area of the hospitality industry.
I was selected by Jacqueline as one of her WOW winners back in August 2014. We all love some recognition for our work, and getting a WOW was such great accreditation – not only for me but the whole team. Being a WOW winner is like being a member of your own VIP Club with similar hard-working people – we are all there to support and encourage each other!
As a female entrepreneur, balance is key! I would implore you all to find a good work/life balance, as time goes by so quickly. For a few years I tried to raise my two children, whilst running two businesses and looking after my mother with Lewy body dementia. Eventually I had to stop, because it all became too much. I sold my businesses and focussed on my family. My mother gave me the best childhood, she was my hero, so this was the least I could do, and it taught me a valuable lesson that family should always come first. So, build those empires ladies – but remember that those closest to you need just as much attention and nurturing. Sometimes it is okay to walk away, because when you return you are much stronger for doing so.
2018 is a very busy year for me! My primary aim is to continue to grow Ultimate Wedding Digital’s readership across both our blog and magazine. In January I will also be launching Ultimate Wedding Offers, which is a site dedicated to weddings offers and deals aimed at savvy couples in the UK.
I never think of myself as a female entrepreneur, I am just one lucky lady doing a job that I love! And that work/life balance? My children are now 23 and 17. My son takes care of some of my social media (paid for of course), and my daughter writes for Ultimate Wedding on beauty. I found my utopia, I hope you all find yours!