Ritz-Carlton launches wedding publication

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Luxury hotel company Ritz-Carlton has tapped longtime custom publishing partner McMurry to produce a bi-annual weddings magazine.

Weddings by The Ritz-Carlton will launch in June with a distribution of 90,000. The custom-published glossy, carrying a 50/50 mix of editorial and high-end advertisements, will be placed in Ritz-Carlton rooms and given to brides and grooms who inquire about having their nuptials at the hotel. Weddings is currently offering local and global advertising opportunities.

“Weddings are such an essential part of Ritz-Carlton, so the test issue we did a couple of years ago was extremely successful with guests and as a marketing tool,” said Tracie McLoughlin, publisher of Weddings by The Ritz-Carlton. “The best part about Weddings is that it is actually being distributed to brides and grooms who inquire about holding a wedding there.

“What sets us apart,” she added, “is that as soon as they get engaged, everyone goes down to the newsstand and picks up every bridal publication. But we are very niche, and our editorial and ad content is very specific, with ads on the level of Ritz-Carlton. It will just set the level of advertisers apart from what you see in all the other publications because they attract a wide audience, and we are really focusing on the upper end.”

The magazine will play an important role in Ritz-Carlton's overall marketing efforts because it will be used as collateral with potential guests and wedding parties. McLoughlin noted that the magazine and the wedding business are important to Ritz-Carlton's long-term strategy because people who end up having their weddings at the hotel tend to become lifelong customers.

The new magazine tapped Carrie Tuhy — part of the launch teams for Real Simple, InStyle and InStyle Celebrity Weddings magazines — as editorial director.

McMurry has been working with Ritz-Carlton for close to a decade and currently publishes The Ritz-Carlton Magazine. The publisher ran a test of Weddings about a year and a half ago, and, McLoughlin reported, the enthusiastic response then paved the way for this more permanent publishing venture.

A full digital version of Weddings by The Ritz-Carlton will be available on RitzCarlton.com, under the Weddings tab. Right now, it is just a flippable e-magazine, but McLoughlin said the company is exploring some Web 2.0 tools.

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