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Next Steps to Becoming an Equality-Minded Business

By now, you likely know the impact the LGBTQ+ community has had on the events industry thus far and are anticipating the continued evolution of our market and its needs. In order to find longevity in the industry, you must shift to equality-based values and conduct business in a welcoming and inclusive way.

This move isn’t just for attracting same-sex couples; we’re experiencing an era of advocacy in which equal rights is a priority for most people regardless of gender identity or sexual preference. Heterosexual couples value inclusivity because they want the assurance that their LGBTQ+ friends, family members, and loved ones are equally accepted at their celebration.

The movement for equality is here to stay, so let’s look at how to build inclusivity into your current business model.

Lucy Schultz Photography

Understanding preferred pronouns

A welcoming environment begins with the language you use in-person and in marketing materials. Be sure to ask people for their preferred pronouns — making an assumption in this area can offend someone and lead to lost business.

A seemingly heterosexual couple could consist of a transgender person and a bisexual person. You can’t know from sight, so be respectful and allow them to self-identify. It doesn’t need to be a big deal; simply add it to your intake questionnaire or politely ask them from the start.

Adjusting your marketing content

Like attracts like, so if you want to be more inclusive, you need to promote your work as such. This does not mean reusing the same photo of a same-sex couple you worked with years ago — tokenism is ingenuine and, honestly, pretty obvious to the people you’re trying to reach.

Work with what you have and focus on your verbiage as well. Instead of using gender-based heteronormative terms like ‘bride and groom’ or ‘bridal party,’ opt for more inclusive phrases like ‘couple’ and ‘wedding party.’ Run through your website, social media content, and marketing materials to replace these phrases with language that is respectful of all people.

At the end of the day, you must remain open to learning new things. Understand that the LGBTQ+ community faces different struggles that you may not be familiar with. While your parents may have cheered you on at your wedding, a same-sex couple may not even have the support of their parents. Hone the art of listening, be sensitive to your clients’ needs, and avoid making undue assumptions about anybody.

Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc., one of the leading equality-minded wedding blog and digital publication. Her inclusive efforts have been celebrated by the New York Times, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Refinery29, NY Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and more. She serves on the 2018-19 North American Advisory Board for the International Academy of Wedding & Events.

 

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Brittny Drye

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2 Replies to “Next Steps to Becoming an Equality-Minded Business”

  1. Kiel Pilch says:

    Thank you for posting this, its encouraging to see this topic acknowledged at the national level. Please also note that nurturing the culture of your team in a more inclusive direction is also a paramount factor in making your guest’s feel welcome and included.

    1. Anna Silveira says:

      Nurturing your team’s culture is certainly important. Thank you for sharing your insight! 🙂

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