When it comes to inclusivity in your wedding business, are you asking yourself how being inclusive in your business will help others, help you and why does it matter?
What does Inclusive mean?
Quite simply it means not to exclude any section of society.
I have had many people comment on posts, about being more inclusive in their wedding business, asking why should they change their language and marketing? When they serve everyone, so therefore they are inclusive. In a perfect world that would be amazing, if everyone did just serve everyone, no matter who they were or what they identify as. But we don’t live in a perfect world, far from it. Many LGBTQIA+, disabled and people of colour still face judgement, hate, discrimination, racism and homophobia every day. So we need to step up and do more.
I have been to many a wedding show exhibiting my services and the last one I did, I found only two of us had a rainbow flag on our stall to show we were safe for the LGBTQIA+ community. Any marketing materials were of white cis-gendered straight and able-bodied couples getting married, where are other couples going to feel seen?
“Bride” stickers were being handed out, why do the partners not get a sticker? Do grooms not have a say? What if there are two brides or two grooms? What stickers do they get? They had a couple come in and they said they were both getting married the person handing out the stickers didn’t know what to say so they were left with the awkwardness. How is that supposed to make them feel? This day was supposed to be exciting for them and they hadn’t even stepped through the door and they’ve already been made to feel awkward.
Someone had parked their van at the end of the row blocking two disabled spaces so the cars couldn’t get in or out of the space. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but trying to get in and out of an event as a disabled person whether the disability is seen or invisible can be incredibly difficult and full of anxiety and overwhelm for the person and again that was before they had even got into the event. That’s without having to worry about accessing the venue, the toilets or around the venue.
How to be more inclusive at a Wedding Fayre
So when you are next getting ready to exhibit at a Wedding Fayre, think to yourself is the Wedding Fayre itself an inclusive one? Can disabled couples get around the venue safely, do they have things in place like ramps if needed, doorways clear and disabled toilets clear and alarms chords hung to the floor? If not is this stated when booking?
My favourite is The Quirky Wedding Fayre as they are constantly evolving with their Fayres and Magazine to be more diverse and inclusive for couples.
How can you make your stall inclusive?
- By showing more diverse couples in your pictures
- Having a rainbow flag on your table.
- Making sure your table is accessible to get to and around you
- Using gender neutral language when speaking to couples
- Never assume who the couple are
- When greeting the couple telling them your pronouns and asking for theirs
This is just one of the ways we can step up and be more inclusive in our businesses.
How to be more inclusive across your platforms
We can make changes in our everyday language, on our website, social media and any marketing we do. Never assume you are talking to a cis gendered couple. A wedding business I know recently assumed she was chatting on the phone with a male Groom, but she was a trans woman. Cue one very embarrassed wedding business. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake and changing nothing. If you make a mistake and we all do, we are only human, apologise, use the right term and then carry on.
- Gender neutral terms throughout your copy
- Use diverse pictures
- Making sure you have written somewhere on your homepage, that you are fully inclusive and a safe space for couples.
- Have a rainbow or a logo ion your website to show you are an inclusive supplier
- On your contact page have somewhere for their pronouns if they wish to share them
- Using descriptions on your photos for those hard of seeing
- Using gender neutral terms throughout your captions
- Use diverse pictures
- When going live think about the language you use no “Hey guys” or “Brides”
- If you are in a wedding industry that mainly markets to females like hair and you are inclusive start stating that female includes anyone who identifies as female, gender fluid and non binary.
- State your pronouns in your bio
- Using descriptive writing underneath your captions for those hard of seeing.
- Follow disabled, people of colour and LGBTQIA+ run businesses
If you don’t have any pictures to use, this is a perfect opportunity to do a styled shoot, but don’t just see this as a box ticking exercise it is not just about using a disabled, couple of colour or LGBTQIA+ couple. They need to be real couples and a diverse team behind the camera also.
- Make sure your proposal, contracts, T&C’s and privacy notice are all gender neutral and for all couples not Bride and Groom.
How can we do more?
- Do a course like at Equally Wed Pro
- Download my LGBTQ Ebook
- Follow LGBTQ+, Disabled and People of colour run businesses like Freckles and Flowers Ross Willsher Photogrpahy Disabled Eliza Nina Tame Queerweddingsuk 4yaparty
- Learn about their struggles that they face everyday, get involved in their campaigns.
- Volunteer or give to their charities. Buying my ebook, 10% of every sale goes to Stonewall
- Start talking about it and questioning others
I see it a lot in the industry and most of the time it is never meant to exclude anybody, but I will question suppliers who come to me wanting to be on my ‘list’. I will ask if they are inclusive, as there website doesn’t show it and I will help them with ways to change it. Start having the discussion with people around you about how you can be more inclusive in your businesses.
Start questioning people that say uneducated things like one i’ve had before “Is it a normal wedding you know between a man and a woman?” You don’t need to be confrontational but start educating people and the world might just start to be a better and safer place for couples in the wedding industry, which is full of love and kind and very caring suppliers.
Thank you for Reading
x Jodie x
You can download my Ebook here