The Romance of Wedding Ads

Since June is such a popular month for weddings, we thought it would be nice to review a few ads for this category. We get many requests to design ads for the range of wedding-related businesses but I didn’t realize how many until we requested some files to review for this blog post. As I looked through the dozens I got from our team, it was not a surprise to see that virtually all the ads are for jewelry, flowers, cakes, photographers, dresses, venues and planners.

As a rule, wedding ads are traditional. They featuring symbols like rings, flowers and cakes. Fonts are serif and often resemble invitation calligraphy.They have a single or main image rather than busy layouts. And if they are not romantic, they don’t sell.

The key thing to note about the ads is whether the style speaks to “the dream” that the bride, groom or other decision makers have for the big event. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s the bride most of the time! An instantaneous connection has to be made. For example, if hot pink daisies are featured and you want a formal, evening wedding, you will turn the page or click over to another website.

Nothing drives home this point better than ads for wedding dresses. Brides will visit stores that feature dresses in a style they like. Below you see two ads with elegant dresses, both of which are traditional and have modern twists. These places are probably not right for the couple that wants a sunset beach wedding or to have the ceremony performed as they jump out of an airplane.

Ad for wedding dresses from Couture Threads

Wedding dress ad from Couture Threads with seated woman, full skirt and long, flowered veil in elegant style

Ad for wedding dress from Promises & Lace with seated woman

Wedding dress ad from Promises & Lace featuring seated woman in strapless dress in elegant style

I think the most enjoyable aspect of the wedding to decide is the cake because of all those samples! But it still comes down to style with the cakes. Do you want a funky and creative color scheme or an elaborate white multi-tiered confection? Based on your answer, the choice is clear between Sophie’s and Melitsa’s. By the way, note the different font in Sophie’s ad, further reinforcing that this bakery can deliver for people who want a creative approach.

Ad for creative wedding cake bakery Sophie's Sweets

Ad for Sophie’s Sweets bakery featuring creative wedding cake design and happy couple

Ad for Melitsa's bakery and wedding cakes in traditional style

Ad for wedding cake bakery Melitsa’s with traditional style and multiple images

Another category of wedding ads is venues. In this case, businesses tend to focus on their strengths. The Waterloo Inn zeroes in on the reception–the elegant tables, linens, flowers, etc. Their tagline is “every moment, every detail.”

Waterloo Inn ad for wedding venue focused on catering

Wedding ad for Waterloo Inn venue focused on details, catering and elegance

In contrast, Lambermont conveys the drama of their property at dusk. It look like a grand castle.

Wedding venue ad for Lambermont dramatic setting

Ad for wedding venue for Lambermont focused on dramatic exterior

When it comes to flowers, Pink Poppi offers something a little different and claims to have “style.” The presentation of the product is unusual (we expect to see a bride holding them) and the font is modern, supporting the business’s claim.

Pink Poppi wedding flowers ad in non-traditional style

Wedding flowers ad for Pink Poppi with pink flowers and non-traditional font and layout

Further along the spectrum, Jane Marshall is clearly for those brides who want to be different and make a statement. The bouquet featured is orange, yellow and green instead of the standard white or pink. However, the ad follows tradition otherwise, using serif fonts, showing a white wedding dress and using a large, dominant image.

Ad for wedding flowers with yellow, orange and green bouquet

Wedding flower ad featuring traditional elements like a white dress but also a yellow, orange and green bouquet that stands out

It’s no easy task to pull a wedding together (especially with all these ads to wade through!). That’s why some hire professional wedding planners. The concept is reinforced here because the type of wedding featured will resonate with only part of the target audience. To me, this one suggests a big guest list, lots of friends and a fun, party atmosphere.

Ad for wedding planner targeted to couples that want a great party

Wedding planner ad focused on fun, parties and big groups

An exception to the rule of wedding ads using one image is those for bridal shows. They still use a dominant image but try to get the point across that you an learn quite a bit and cross many tasks off your list if you attend. So several cliches are typically trotted out at the same time: rings, cakes, flowers, tuxedos, etc. The one below uses several images of happy couples, suggesting the event has led to countless, joyous weddings.

Ad for wedding show with multiple images of happy couples

Wedding show ad with diverse variety of young couple featured

Now that I’ve shared ads for several different wedding businesses, you know the golden rules for designing them. Be traditional, unless you are specifically directed otherwise. Use elegant, serif fonts. Pick one main image and don’t use additional images unless absolutely necessary because a client needs to show variety. And, above all else, evoke romance if you want viewers to take action! Follow this advice and your client and the design will be a match made in heaven!

About Kelly Glass
Kelly has been vice president of Marketing at Affinity Express for nine years now. She drives company strategy and all marketing activities.

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