Starting today, our wedding announcements take on a new look. You can see them in the Your Life section.
For years, people have asked if they could run bigger photos or include more details about their weddings. Because we already devote so much space to these announcements, we felt we could not justify the added expense of making them larger.
Now we will offer several options to allow them to do just that for an additional charge.
The standard free package will include a half-column photo with about 3 inches of copy. The paid packages, ranging in price from $35 to $140, go all the way up to 10 inches of copy with a photo two columns wide by 5 inches deep.
During the years, The Chronicle has not charged for running wedding announcements because we feel this is a public service. Couples who wants to tell the world about their marriage ought to be able to do that at no charge. This used to be a common practice among newspapers, but as cities have grown and the cost of newsprint has gone up, many papers have dropped this free service.
The problem is that a wedding announcement is of limited, but intense, interest. Not many people care about an announcement, but for the family and friends of the couple every word is important.
In an average week, The Chronicle prints more than 30 wedding announcements on several pages. Each reader might find only one or two of those interesting, so how do you justify additional room for these when space is such a limited and precious commodity in a newspaper?
We decided the best way would be to allow couples to buy advertising space at a low rate. We're able to make enough money to cover costs while keeping rates low enough to be affordable.
So now, if you want to tell all about where you're going on your honeymoon or where you went to school or who is in the wedding party, you can put in those kinds of details. Or you can tell more about the wedding reception or where the bride and groom work.
If you don't want to give a lot of details about the wedding but want to run a larger photo, you can do that. Or you can give all the details and run a large photo. If you want to buy extra copies of the paper to send to friends and families, we'll set that up, too.
Later this year we will offer similar options for engagement announcements. For the time being, we will continue to offer only a brief announcement without a photo, free.
Weddings are special, exciting times. The bride and groom are full of hope for the future. The possibilities are endless. The Chronicle wants to continue to be a part of that special time. With this new plan I think we have found a way to give everyone what they want without squeezing other content out of the paper.