Monday 22 July 2019

Exclusive: It pays to get married - Vogue and Spencer land €100k payday for their wedding pictures thanks to royal connections

Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews during ladies day of the 2018 Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom
Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews during ladies day of the 2018 Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom
Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews's wedding picture. Photo: Hello! Magazine/PA Wire
Vogue Williams and husband Spencer Matthews. Picture: Instagram
Spencer Matthews and wife Vogue Williams. Picture: Instagram
Vogue Williams. Picture: Instagram
Vogue Williams and husband Spencer Matthews. Picture: Instagram
Irish model Vogue Williams at Epsom Downs Racecourse on June 1, 2018 in Epsom, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Paul Costelloe and Vogue Williams during a dress fitting | Photo via Instagram.com / PaulCostelloeOfficial
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews displayed their entrepreneurial spirit when they sold the pictures to their recent wedding to Hello! magazine.

The RTE presenter (33) and former Made in Chelsea star have documented much of their whirlwind romance with the publication, choosing to confirm their engagement with the mag and later in March, to announce they're expecting their first child together, for a tidy €50,000 sum.

But weddings are big business for magazines, in particular glossies like Hello! and OK!, both of which thrive on one-off events like celebrity weddings or their coverage of royal events. In fact, it's their focus on the British royal family that has kept them ahead of the curve in terms of sales. Other print titles like Grazia and heat are suffering with a steady decline in sales, while Look ceased publication after 11 years earlier this year.

Hello! editor-in-chief Rosie Nixon told the Guardian last year that the royals "appeal across age groups".

Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews's wedding picture. Photo: Hello! Magazine/PA Wire
Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews's wedding picture. Photo: Hello! Magazine/PA Wire

She added that coverage of Pippa Middleton's wedding to Spencer's brother James Matthews last May boosted sales by 100,000 in one week, and that was an event that was widely covered around the world.

So, it stands to reason that with exclusive access to a royal-adjacent ceremony -  in this case, Pippa's in-laws - for an event taking place at the Matthews's 30,000 acre Glen Affric Estate in Scotland, £100,000 is a reasonable sum to command for five pictures across a four page spread. Despite the fact that neither Pippa nor her husband, nor her brother James Middleton, who delivered a speech at the reception, were pictured, just a hint of access to their nearest and dearest is enough to captivate consumer attention.

"Magazine sales are suffering everywhere and glossies rely more and more on once-offs like this to boost circulation," a well-connected source told Independent.ie Style. "If Pippa had agreed to be pictured and was in a group photo on the cover, you can bet it would have been north of £150,000 for the guaranteed boost in sales."

In short, weddings sell - it's why glossies around the world compete with big money offers to celebrities of varying influence, and why these deals are surrounded by such secrecy. In fact, Vogue's first wedding to former Westlife singer Brian McFadden was sold to the same magazine and was rumoured to have earned them a €200,000 payday, which certainly contributed to the costs of their estimated €250,000 Italian ceremony in 2012.

Vogue Williams and husband Spencer Matthews. Picture: Instagram
Vogue Williams and husband Spencer Matthews. Picture: Instagram

Details of her and Spencer's big day still remain scarce as the couple maintain it what "exactly what we wanted", a ceremony surrounded by "just close family and friends."

They explained that part of the reason for their sudden nuptials was in part due to the impending birth of their child, a baby boy who will be born next month. "It's nice for a baby to be born into a family with the same name," Spencer told Hello!

"But it wasn't a huge concern. We just thought, 'if we're going to go down this super casual route, why not do it sooner rather than later?"

A spokesperson for Vogue did not respond to a request for comment.

Paul Costelloe and Vogue Williams during a dress fitting | Photo via Instagram.com / PaulCostelloeOfficial
Paul Costelloe and Vogue Williams during a dress fitting | Photo via Instagram.com / PaulCostelloeOfficial

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