Weddingbells Ring in the U.S.
The 1985 Canadian launch of Weddingbells magazine won its publisher, Weddingbells, Inc., Toronto, both reader acclaim and financial success. Within 24 months of its release, the publication was operating in the black and continued its rise to become one of the leading consumer publications in the nation.
According to Alison Warner Timusk, publicity and promotions director, the magazine filled a void in the well-populated consumer wedding market, because it offered a unique editorial flavor. When conceptualizing the magazine, Weddingbells' Founder Edna Hall Clay targeted a diverse group of readers for Weddingbells. The primary market comprises young couples and their families, but Hall Clay ideally wanted to reach all demographics of those planning to wed, including an older demographic of second-time brides and grooms. As if meeting this diverse group's needs wasn't challenging enough, Hall Clay believed that there was also a need for a publication that crossed gender lines, and she set out to provide content that appealed to both bachelor and bachelorette. "We see, more and more, that brides and grooms are generally in their late 20s, and they're doing a lot of the wedding planning themselves, including paying for a large portion," Warner Timusk remarks.
Realizing that a wedding takes the cake as one of the most difficult events for which to plan—and plan well—the magazine was designed to intelligently speak to couples and to offer practical information they can put to use. "Diane Hall, our publisher, (hopes) to provide brides and grooms with something more meaningful than other publications," Warner Timusk explains. Hall, the youngest daughter of Edna Hall Clay, took the reins as publisher when her mother retired in 1990. "We set out to get the magazine into the (reader's) hands early in their planning cycle," Warner Timusk notes. Each issue of Weddingbells is laid out in a chronological sequence that corresponds with the milestone decision making inherent in six month's worth of ceremony planning, allowing "the bride and groom (to) really use it as a reference guide and workbook. The magazine is read from front to back," Warner Timusk adds.