Lifestyle Magazine

UK Wedding Magazines: The Review: 2

By Claire

The results are in, the wedding magazines are back on the shelves, and I can now officially reveal the result of my UK wedding magazine review. Drum roll please….

The best UK wedding magazine

Properly objectively analysed, pages counted and compared with other top UK wedding mags… The best UK wedding magazine is You & Your Wedding. With the best quality content, valuable advice, inspirational and exciting shoots and comparing well for every criteria I considered – You & Your Wedding magazine is far and away the best UK wedding magazine for brides.

Joint second best UK wedding magazines are Brides and Wedding Ideas. Brides is a top quality magazine for design and with a great standard when it comes to articles and features. Wedding Ideas is the best magazine for more affordable weddings, with plenty of real weddings, advice and articles to inspire.

This is my objective review of the top UK wedding magazines. See how your favourite compares!

UK Wedding Magazines: The Review

You and Your Wedding magazine
How it worked: I gathered a stack of wedding magazines, one of each of the most popular titles. I pored over them, counted pages, counted ads and features, read articles and advice, and made notes.

I chose my own categories for comparing the wedding magazines. The best UK wedding magzine should have the best content: real weddings to inspire, well written advice and lots of it.

There should be inspiring bridal shoots to enjoy (the eye candy factor) and the magazine should be well designed and look appealing. I awarded points for wedding magazines which didn’t entirely ignore the grooms! Forefront in many readers’ minds is advertising: the best UK wedding magazine should have fewer ads, and not focus entirely on selling products (because weddings are about more than shopping, right?)

UK Wedding Magazines: finding the best!

Best UK magazine for real weddings:

  1. Cheshire Bride magazine with 77 pages of real weddings!
  2. Wedding Ideas magazine with 43 real wedding pages
  3. You & Your Wedding with 24 pages of real weddings

Best wedding magazine for advice (by page count):

  1. Perfect Wedding magazine had 21 advice pages
  2. Wedding Ideas had 18 pages of advice
  3. You & Your Wedding had 16 advice pages

Best magazine for quality of advice:

wedding magazine advice feature from You and Your Wedding

  1. You & Your Wedding featured in depth advice from two top wedding planners, with imaginative and unusual ideas to inspire creative brides and grooms.
  2. Brides magazine had longer articles exploring wedding music, diamonds and modern etiquette (involving family & friends in weddings).
  3. Perfect Wedding’s ‘Wedding SOS’ advice feature was thorough and informative. The bridal lingerie feature by Rigby & Peller was very good.

Best UK wedding magazine for bridal shoots:

  1. Eternal Sunshine bridal shoot in Cosmopolitan Bride magazine
    You & Your Wedding with 40 pages of bridal shoots! Themes were:
    • A family affair
    • Tropical wonder
    • Fifties inspired vintage
    • Wild wood
  2. Wedding with 28 pages of bridal shoots: Enchanted Garden, Cool Britannia, Beyond Retro
  3. Cosmopolitan Bride with 26 pages of bridal shoots: Eternal Sunshine and Club Tropicana

Best wedding magazine for not ignoring grooms:

  1. Brides magazine wins this one hands down for a four page feature on choosing wedding music. Aimed at brides and grooms, and beautifully written.
  2. Wedding covers ‘What every husband should know’ – with some good advice and giggles: “everything is your fault. Learn to embrace this.”
  3. You & Your Wedding has a grooms’ Q&A – although I’m not sure it’s really intended for the guys to read, it’s the thought that counts.

UK wedding magazine with least advertising pages:

  1. Your Manchester Wedding has only 35 pages of advertising (which is just 34% of the total page count in the magazine)
  2. Cosmopolitan Bride has 84 pages of ads: 47% of the total pages in the magazine
  3. Perfect Wedding has 123 pages of adverts – that’s 47% of the total page count.

UK wedding magazine review advertising spread
The UK wedding magazine with most pages of adverts is Brides – with a whopping 252 pages of ads in the issue I read!

That was 64% of the magazine, but Cheshire Bride had 68% of its pages devoted to advertising. Make of that what you will… if you want to buy stuff, great!

Best UK wedding magazine for not over-selling:

UK wedding magazine review Ideas selling pages
This one needs a definition. Adverts are the obvious selling pages, but wedding magazines are full of advertorial (paid-for editorial and product features) and ideas pages. So here I’m looking at all those “here’s a theme idea, go buy things” pages as well as the ads: how many pages are flogging products, basically!

  1. Your Manchester Wedding has the least selling pages: 62 in total (35 advertising pages & 27 ideas-with-prices-on)
  2. Cosmopolitan Bride has 143 selling pages (84 ad pages & 59 ideas-with-prices-on)
  3. Cheshire Bride has 199 selling pages (195 pages of adverts but only 4 ideas-with-prices-on pages. I may have missed some cleverly disguised advertorial here)

Best designed UK wedding magazine:

  1. You & Your Wedding just looks gorgeous. Lovely typefaces, consistent layouts, and plenty of white space makes You & Your Wedding the best designed UK wedding magazine

    best UK wedding magazine review layout and design

  2. Brides is a pretty classy publication as well, uncluttered and with nice layouts that don’t make my eyes bleed.
  3. Wedding uses nice layouts and fonts, with plenty of white space but perhaps a little overcrowding on some of the ideas pages.

Data table: best UK wedding magazines at a glance

Gold Silver Bronze

Advice (number of pages) Perfect Wedding (21) Wedding Ideas (18) You & Your Wedding (16)

Advice (quality) You & Your Wedding Brides Perfect Wedding

Real weddings (page count) Cheshire Bride (77) Wedding Ideas (43) You & Your Wedding (24)

Inspiring bridal shoots (page count) You & Your Wedding (40) Wedding (28) Cosmopolitan Bride (26)

Interest for grooms Brides Wedding You & Your Wedding

The lowest number of advertising pages Your Manchester Wedding (35) Cosmopolitan Bride (84) Perfect Wedding (123)

The lowest number of selling pages Your Manchester Wedding (62) Cosmopolitan Bride (143) Cheshire Bride (199)

The highest number of non-selling pages Wedding Ideas (96) Cheshire Bride (93) Perfect Wedding (58)

The best designed magazine You & Your Wedding Brides Wedding


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