Condé Nast’s Brides has developed a new experiential service for readers in search of the ultimate wedding dress but there’s one hiccup: It will cost a pretty penny.
Called “The Bridal Style Package,” brides-to-be will be able to meet one of the magazine’s editors for up to $12,500. The package includes a one-hour pre-consultation via Skype, followed by half a day at the Brides’ offices at Condé Nast headquarters at One World Trade Center. The day includes a breakfast — not lunch — with one of Brides’ senior fashion editors, followed by a style consultation in which the soon-to-be bride will try on dresses pulled by staff. She will receive a digital look book with photos of the experience, which will be posted to Brides’ Instagram account, as well as a luxury gift bag. (The dress isn’t included.)
“I would love for this package to lead to her finding her dream dress,” said Brides editor in chief Keija Minor, explaining advice would extend to shoes, veils and other accessories. “It’s definitely about the consultation now. We’re not trying to sell dresses out of our [fashion] closet. It’s more about arming her with the information she needs.”
The package can be extended to the mother of the bride, maid of honor or bridesmaid for another $2,500. That offer — called the “Wedding Style Package” — includes a 30-minute style session and custom look book. The bride-to-be can also purchase the “Honeymoon Package” for an additional $2,500 should she need an insider honeymoon itinerary guide compiled by the editors of Brides.
Minor noted that the packages do not replace wedding planners, but instead will serve as a way for brides-to-be from all over the country and abroad to gain access to Brides’ editors in order to “streamline the [wedding] process.”
According to Minor, there hasn’t been any pushback from her staff about the project; in fact it has been the contrary. “It’s a new way to connect with our audience,” she said, adding that only two to three editors will work on the project.
When pressed further about the expanded demands of not only putting out a magazine but also serving as a stylist-for-hire for readers, Minor added: “Gone are the days where any editor wears just one hat. We’re all exploring brand extensions and what it means to be an editor.”
She also noted: “We’re not pushing certain brands — it would be one thing if we were pushing certain dresses or hawking a certain shoe brand.”
Clients can purchase Brides’ Private Access packages at bridesprivateaccess.com.
Although there won’t be any discounts applied to the purchase of goods or services, Brides chief revenue officer and publisher Michelle Myers justified the hefty price tag of all three offers by pointing to research.
“What I’m seeing from our research is that the Millennial girl wants experiences,” she said, noting that couples are registering for experiences in addition to appliances.
“Girls want their wedding to feel customized,” Myers offered, noting that while she and Minor developed the idea to speak to a “white space” in the market, it was nurtured by Jill Bright, Condé Nast chief administrative officer.
Bright heads up a new brand experience group that facilitates the development of new revenue streams for each magazine via new licensing deals and product launches across the company.