Inclusive is more than just a trendy word in business. It’s an action-oriented method of showing up for minority customers and letting them know you create a welcoming and safe space. In the LGBTQ+ community, we’re looking for LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros who will celebrate our love. But just being a nice person isn’t good enough. You’ve got to show you’re LGBTQ+ inclusive so we can trust you enough to do business with you. Here are five ways to immediately make your wedding business more LGBTQ+ inclusive.
1. Remove all gender-specific language from all written and verbal communications. Switch out terms like “bride and groom” for terms like “couple,” “marrier,” or “celebrant,” and substitute the term, “wedding,” for anything you might currently call, “bridal” (i.e. “wedding party” instead of “bridal party”). Do this on your social media bio and posts, contracts, website, and in emails and conversations with clients and colleagues. Only use gendered language when the client uses it first.
2. Ask your clients what their pronouns are. An easy way to do this is to tell them yours first and then ask for theirs. You can phrase this as, “What are your pronouns?” or “What pronouns do you use?” If you’ve been using “preferred pronouns,” drop the “preferred,” as it implies there is another option — that someone’s identity is a choice.
3. Put something in your social media bio and website’s About section that immediately shows you are LGBTQ+ inclusive. You can use that term or “LGBTQ+ Affirming” or something like, “We welcome all couples.” The best choice is “LGBTQ+ Inclusive.”
4. Start following LGBTQ+ owned and operated social media accounts and hashtags, and begin interacting with the posts. On Instagram, you can begin with @equallywed, @equallywedpro, #equallywed, #equallywedpro, #lgbtqwedding, #gaywedding and #loveislove.
5. Mix up your posts online and on your website by including images of LGBTQ+ and nonbinary folks and people of color (often shortened in social media to “POC”). Don’t have any to show? Invite your target clients to pose as models in a styled shoot or repost something from Equally Wed or another LGBTQ+ focused channel — just remember to always give credit to the original poster and the photographer, and only create LGBTQ+ styled shoots with real LGBTQ+ people.
Want to learn more? Take an immersive online course in LGBTQ+ inclusivity taught by Kirsten Ott Palladino and Equally Wed Pro. At the end, you’ll sit for an online exam and, upon earning a passing grade, you’ll be awarded an official LGBTQ+ inclusive certification from Equally Wed Pro.
Featured photo is from Equally Wed’s summer photoshoot.
venue: Summerour Studio
photographer: Jessica Hunt Photography
planner + designer: CONFERO
florist: C.Wayman Floral & Events
caterer: Soiree Catering and Events
makeup: Claudia Garay
hair: Scott Tyler
sparkling wine: Blanc de Bleu and Blanc de Rosé
linens: I Do Linens
models: Brooke and Meagan McCall