Planning a wedding can be such a joyous time, but on the other hand, it is daunting! There’s so much to get done, even if you have a full year to plan. If you are a wedding vendor, have you ever thought about LGBT couples and the challenges they face when planning their wedding? In this blog post, I want to point out a few ways you can be inclusive with your wedding business.
When I was a kid, my mom was constantly reminding me that words are a powerful thing. She was right! Within my photography business, I want to ensure the word usage from my website to my welcome guides is inclusive. I intentionally do not refer to the couple on my promotional products as the bride and groom. That’s because not every couple is a bride and groom! If two grooms are looking on my site and see “bride and groom” on everything they read, there’s a good chance it will be a turn-off.
Not every presenting man wants to be referred to as the groom. They may be non-binary and wish to be referred to as someone else instead of the groom on their wedding day. I heard on a wedding podcast that one person chose the word broom because he felt beautiful like a bride but embraced his manhood. Every person is different. Most likely, they will speak up if they prefer to be referred to as someone else on their wedding day. You could surprise them, though. After you have developed a relationship with the couple, genuinely ask. If you ask respectfully, most couples will be shocked that you took the time to ask.
The couple might not be same-sex, but their parents could be! If they go over the wedding details and mention they have two dads, you could respect their family by asking what the dads go by. Does their adult child call them Dad…Pops…?
Bridal Portraits and Bridal Suites
Another challenge I have seen pop up as a photographer is the portrait session for the bride-to-be. These are known as bridal portraits. Not every couple getting married has a bride. If you list this as a service within your packages, try saying “additional portrait session.”
The same idea can apply to the venue when referring to the bridal suite. Because not every couple has a bride try referring to the wedding dressing rooms as “Suite 1 & Suite 2” or how about something creative. You could name the rooms after popular love songs; remember to choose something that fits the style of your venue and stay on brand.
Proudly display your LGBT couples.
A gay couple exploring your website and social media is looking for couples that look like them. They want to picture themselves dancing under the lights with your farm in the background if you are a venue. It’s challenging to do this if all they see are brides and grooms together. If you are an inclusive wedding business, proudly display the LGBTQ community throughout your website just as you do with other couples.
Support other LGBT business
A good idea might be to connect with your local LGBT Chamber! There you can find other wedding businesses to partner with. This will allow you to be an excellent resource for the gay couple planning their wedding. People within the community love to support one another. Suppose you are part of the community or a fantastic ally jump in. It can be so much fun to connect and support. Here is the NC LGBT Chamber! https://www.harmonync.org
Posing Your Gay Couple
A challenge a photographer can face is posing for an LGBT couple. If you are working with a lesbian couple, please don’t pose one woman as “the man” and the other as “the woman.” You know what I’m talking about. For example, the guy usually will hold the woman in the heterosexual picture. Don’t just assume one will take the traditional male role. Change it all up and get creative. Ask the couple if they have ideas. If one is taller than the other, work with that too!
Let’s Learn Together
I hope this blog post is helpful. Learning how to be an inclusive business is something we should all strive to do. Disclaimer…I’m learning how to be an inclusive photographer. So if something in this post needs to be adjusted, please let me know! I’m open and willing to learn.
June 28, 2022