Wedding Day magazine has gained its third owner since it was launched just three years ago by former Fleet Street editor Eve Pollard.
It has been acquired from Crimson Publishing by Beach Magazines & Publishing, which owns the parenting title Junior and is taking its first step into the bridal market. All 13 staff, including seven in editorial, are expected to remain on the title.
Crimson bought Wedding Day from Pollard’s company Parkhill Publishing in 2000. Although the magazine saw its sales rise for the February/March edition – which at 292 pages was its biggest yet – Crimson felt it could not provide the backing needed to gain third place in the market. The top-selling title is Brides & Setting Up Home (66,016), followed by You and Your Wedding (62,750), Wedding & Home (55,481), Cosmopolitan Bride (46,040) and Asian Bride (30,293), with Wedding Day on 24,399.
Crimson managing director David Lester said: “Wedding Day has come a long way from where it was when we acquired it. It has got to become a top-three title and it isn’t yet. The magazine is on a roll in terms of profile but to continue down that path would mean a lot more effort and investment and because of all the other calls on Crimson’s time we can’t do it all.”
Crimson also publishes a number of business titles, including Growing Business and PLC Director.
Lester admitted Wedding Day had suffered from being “pronounced dead” for a week before Crimson stepped in and rescued the magazine from closure. “It took a long time to convince the trade that Wedding Day was alive and well. Its sales are more than double what they were when we acquired it. The team have what it takes; they just need backing from a more savvy consumer publisher.”
Chris Taggart, managing director of Beach, believes there is huge potential for the magazine’s fashion coverage.
“Obviously, it’s a natural progression from weddings to children. Wedding Day has got probably the best fashion in the market and the fashion has always been strong in Junior and Junior Pregnancy & Baby,” he said.
He suggested there would not be many changes editorially but added that there could be improvements to the distribution and publishing.
“There is a lot we can bring to it without changing the character of the magazine or devaluing everything the staff have already done,” he said.
Taggart was chief executive of Attic Futura, where he oversaw the launch of teen magazine Sugar, before setting up Beach Magazines & Publishing five years ago. It launched Junior which has built up a worldwide presence and led to the launch in October of the bimonthly Junior Pregnancy & Baby.
By Ruth Addicott