I’m a lover of Australian bridal magazines, my bank balance always takes a hit whenever the season occurs and a few new ones pop onto the stands! So I’m delighted to be joined by Sarah Stevens, recently married, Sarah is the editor of Australian wedding magazine Bride To Be and kindly joined us to share her wisdom today!

Tell me about yourself? What is your background?

I started my media career in television at a place that could not be any further from women’s magazines or bridal, The NRL Footy Show. I moved from there to the Today Show, but always loved feature writing and so took the leap into magazines full time, where I’ve worked Cleo, Glamour and OK! before taking on my role as editor of Bride to Be in 2010.

How long has Bride to Be magazine been in circulation?

Bride to Be has a very proud history, having first hit the newsstands in 1968! Funnily enough, that was the year my parents got engaged… and I started at Bride to Be the year I got engaged (I tied the knot myself in August). Editors Note: See more of Sarah’s wedding on the Bride To Be Magazine blog

What is your philosophy for the magazine?

I want Bride to Be to be a constant source of inspiration for brides.

What is unique about your magazine? What do you offer the Australian bride that sets you apart from other bridal magazines?

I like to think that we’re a strong all-rounder, delivering great pages that cover everything from jewellery, gowns, reception styling, beauty, honeymoons, home and lifestyle, as well as even a couple pages for the grooms (because you know they have a little sneaky look when you leave it lying on the coffee table).

What is the starting point for each magazine issue?

Each issue starts with a few team meetings and some brainstorming for feature and shoot ideas. I have a small but incredibly hard working and talented team at Bride to Be. They are always amazing me with the style and creativity

Is the emphasis different in your magazine, than with your website? If so, can you explain how and why?

Not really. Generally, it’s the same philosophy. It’s just that online affords us the opportunity to share more content than we can fit in our 360 or so pages of an issue, and more immediately of course.

Does your magazine have a certain ‘style’ and if so, how do you ensure this is reflected (and consistent) in each issue?

As an editor, it’s very difficult to produce a magazine and not have it (in some ways) reflect your own personal style and tastes. It’s just natural to be drawn to the products and pictures that you yourself think are beautiful. That said, I have an eclectic team who all bring something different to the table, and that’s what I hope is reflected in Bride to Be’s pages. I want to make sure that every bride (whatever type of wedding she’s dreaming of) will find things in our magazine that she loves. And perhaps sometimes she’ll even surprise herself by going for something she didn’t ever consider.

How do you keep up with the latest trends?

I am inundated with emails each day with images of new bridal collections, amazing products, new reception venues and amazing honeymoon destinations. I’m a bit of a news/magazine/TV/online junkie too, so I’m constantly being inspired by all of those mediums. I also think that sometimes it’s about broadening your imagination – for instance, our fashion ideas aren’t necessarily strictly bridal fashion trends, but sometimes they’re general fashion trends translated by our team to fit bridal.

Your website is clear and easy to navigate. Do you find brides-to-be favour your website over buying your magazine, or do they use both sources of information as complementary to each other?

Definitely both, but first and foremost we’re a magazine. For us, the website is a great way to keep in touch between issues and offer the readers a bit extra.

Love your shop (via the website). What was the catalyst behind setting this up?

It was just another way for us to provide brides direct access to something that can help them plan and execute their wedding. The best part is, it has so much stuff that you can actually browse it for engagement parties, birthday parties, kids parties… you name it!

What inspires you about Australian women/brides?

I devour at a lot of overseas fashion and bridal magazines (and I’m probably going to sound particularly rude and biased here), but I prefer the freedom and creativity I see in the Aussie real weddings and fashion style of Australian brides. I think in general Australian women are braver and more likely to take a chance with their style and that pays off most of the time, and on the odd occasion it doesn’t (trapeze tops and bike shorts in the early 90’s, anyone?), at least we’ve got a good sense of humour to laugh at ourselves.

What is your number one tip for brides?

Take deep breaths and enjoy the day! It’s so easy to get caught up in everything going on – particularly when you’ve been so focused on all the nitty gritty details in the lead up – but when the big day arrives say to yourself, “It’s here. There’s nothing more I can do. What will be, will be” and remember the most important thing is saying those vows and marrying the man of your dreams.

What are your favourite wedding ideas?

That is a tough one. I see so many amazing real weddings and styling ideas come across my desk. I guess the ones I love most are the ones you can tell have a very personal touch and have come from the heart. Songs, readings, pictures, jewellery, details or items that have a significant meaning to the couple always make the day more special.

What bridal trends do you see in the future?

In terms of fashion, I am loving the shift toward different styles of gowns – shorter hems, longer sleeves, interesting necklines. I think we’re going to see more and more of this. When it comes to reception styling, I can only imagine what’s in store. I hope that there will be more and more colour (I love vibrant colours) and people will continue to be a little quirky, fun and unique. Couples are putting so much effort in to their styling these days, it really blows me away sometimes.


Could you give us 5 tips and tricks for the bride and groom?

  • Pick wedding suppliers whose style you really love and trust them to do their job. There are so many incredibly creative and talented people working in the wedding industry and the last things you want to do is stifle that.
  • Brides, don’t take a million people with you try on dresses. Take one or two people whose opinions you trust. And be sure to try on gowns you would perhaps not have considered looking at. You might surprise yourself.
  • Grooms, this is your day too! Make sure you let your personal style shine through. Be a bit adventurous with your style too. There’s nothing more adorable than a groom with a sense of style.
  • The day goes in a flash, but your photos last forever. With all the money you spend on the wedding as a whole, make sure you don’t skimp on photography. I cannot stress enough how important this is.
  • Get the Bride to Be Wedding Planner! Blatant advertising, I know. But honestly, it is full of EVERYTHING you need to know to plan your big day – questions to ask suppliers, all the legal and practical information that you must know, good information on costs to help plan your budget and some great checklists to make sure everything is on track.


Thanks for joining us today Sarah! Check out the latest edition of Bride To be Magazine on stands now and visit the Bride To Be Magazine website to see more from Sarah and her team!

Wedding images are courtesy of Jemma Keech and Sarah Kate Dorman