How To Make Your Wedding Business LGBT Friendly

May 19, 2015

As the wedding landscape becomes even more diverse today and in the years ahead, it's important as wedding pros to really pay attention to the messages they're communicating in their wedding businesses-- online and offline. The wedding world is about all kinds of people, and so I'm super stoked to have our local same sex wedding ninja Crystal of Cherry Blossom Weddings (who happens to help other pros looking to be more LGBTQ-inclusive when she's not planning weddings) here on Tidewater and Tulle today to give a few tips on how to make your wedding biz more friendly and inclusive to all engaged couples.

The state of Virginia finally recognizes same-sex weddings -- hooray! Now why doesn't your website? If you're reading this, you're probably in the wedding industry or at least considering it. Whether you focus on photography, deejaying, or flowers, it is absolutely imperative you take a look at your website and marketing materials to make sure you're not inadvertently turning away potential clients. Here's how to get started:

Print your website page by page and eliminate gender-specific roles.
Take a red pen and strike through the words "bride" and "groom." In meetings, contracts, questionnaires, and all other places, these need to be omitted from your vocabulary altogether if we're being frank. Your website should be a reflection of your personality, and this is a wonderful opportunity to introduce some flair for inclusive and personable verbiage: lovebirds, couple, partner in crime, your better half. All of these phrases are gender-neutral and convey the same idea as "bride + groom" would. Added bonus: you're not turning away a lesbian, gay, or transgender couple.

See above step and do the same thing with your contracts and questionnaires.
I'm sure Tim and David don't want to have to choose who is going to be the bride yet again on another form. It's much like biracial children having to choose which ethnicity they are on a standardized test. It's a bummer.

Showcase an LGBTQ couple on your website and/or social media.
Our industry loves details, and I can't think of a better way to convey the fact that you're pro-LGBT than by featuring an LGBT couple. If you haven't done a same-sex wedding yet, get together with a photographer friend and do a small "product shoot" -- you can always feature two simple wedding bands side by side, two bouquets, or maybe an invitation to Mary + Julie's wedding. The ideas are endless!

Consider putting a logo of a well-known marriage equality organization on your website.
By using a simple visual, you can instantly tell potential clients that you are welcoming and ready to take on their awesome wedding day!

These suggestions are really just the tip of the iceberg. Your packages, marketing materials, and business cards, they all need to be taken into consideration and that can be a little overwhelming to do all at once. If you need some help or maybe just a sounding board, my door is wide open, and I'm happy to help. Congrats on moving your business into the present and good luck!

- Crystal

Get to know Crystal and her local efforts to support the Hampton Roads LGBT community on Facebook and Instagram.

Photography by The Girl Tyler. To see these brides' full feature, head over to their rustic Chesapeake wedding day here on Tidewater and Tulle.