Woman's Day paid $300K for Jen Hawkin's wedding pics. Then this happened...


Woman’s Day reportedly beat out New Idea and paid between $300,000 and $500,000 for the exclusive rights to Jennifer Hawkins’ and Jake Wall’s wedding photos.

So you can imagine the magazine would be suitably upset that a Channel 7 helicopter has pipped them with this unauthorised aerial shot:

Woman’s Day editor Fiona Connolly said that the photos her magazine has bought will be published in a special issue of the magazine on Friday. She described the photos as “ some of the most amazing wedding pictures we have ever seen — with amazing dresses, a breathtaking cliff-top location and no less than 20,000 flowers.”

We know what you’re thinking: Connolly would say that. She’s just paid more the $300,000 for those images and needs sell a LOT of magazines to make that investment worthwhile. She needs the public to know they’ll be seeing something worth paying for – even if they have already caught a glimpse on Channel 7.

Jen and Jake’s wedding and its associated coverage has put the culture of the celebrity weddings in Australia firmly in the spotlight. Specifically, the culture of celebrities selling their wedding photos for exorbitant amounts of money.

Jennifer and Jake are not the first couple to sell their wedding pics. Last year, Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster sold their photos to Woman’s Day – although the exact figure paid is unknown.

In 2005, New Idea paid $1 million to Bec Cartwright and Lleyton Hewitt for a deal that included pics of their first child. In 2008, OK! and Woman’s Day paid $100K to Kyle Sandilands and Tamara Jaber for their happy snaps.

People magazine reportedly paid $1.5 million for Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries’ wedding shots. OK! apparently paid $3 million for Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s photos. Roger Federer and his wife Mirka Vavrinec were paid $1 million for theirs.


Anne Hathaway and her husband Adam Shulman also took the wedding money. But they gave the money away to charities (including one that supports same sex marriage.)

We spoke to a former magazine insider about what goes on behind the scenes when you’re negotiating for a celebrity wedding photos. Here’s what they had to say:

Weddings and babies are circulation gold for magazines. When an A-list celebrity gets engaged or announces they are expecting, the weekly titles are swept up in a “we must have this at any cost” fervour.

Often the financial reality of whether costs will be recouped in sales figures gets sidelined in the hunger to “beat” your competitors.

Because, the reality is, if Woman’s Day DID pay over $350,000 for the rights to Jennifer Hawkins’ wedding, they are unlikely to make their money back.

You do the maths – the magazine’s official circulation figure is just shy of 350,000. That’s $1 of your cover price blown on one set of photos alone. Sure, the magazine will be hoping for a circ spike, but if they manage to flog 50,000 extra copies I’d be VERY surprised.

Once a magazine is the successful bidder, the real negotiating begins on how to PROTECT the exclusive. Platoons of security guards are required, umbrellas must be used to cover the bride as she’s hustled to the marquee, guests must sign confidentiality agreements, no cameras can be used at the venue.

Channel 7 had aerial footage of the ceremony. Eeek. That’s a no-no. Jen’s manager and the editor of Woman’s Day more than likely had very heated discussions last night about whether the price paid for the wedding should be renegotiated.

So imagine for a moment, if you will, that you are a celebrity. Would you sell your wedding pics?

We’ve been talking about this in the office at length today. And while we can all agree that the likelihood of someone ever paying us for our wedding photos is very, very, very low (read: never going to happen) is hasn’t stopped us from asking the question of whether we would sell the photos is the opportunity presented itself.

On the one hand it seems somewhat morally wrong; to profit from the moment that supposed to mark the most important day of your life. Suddenly the wedding becomes more about the magazine deal – the timing, the poses, the perfect – than it does about the day.

But on the other hand, selling the photos would give the celebrity an element of control. The most publicised photos would be the ones they had chosen, rather than shots taken by paparazzo hiding behind a shrub.

The photos are going to be out there in the public domain no matter what. So is anyone really going to say no to an extra 100K or 500K? Because – as demonstrated by Anne Hathaway and her husband – surely there’s someone out there who could use it.