Of the several factors couples consider when they hire vendors for their wedding, diversity and inclusion are two increasingly favorable components. But how do you incorporate inclusivity into your service-based business? Let’s discuss a few inclusive business practices for your processes and systems, as well as tips you can give clients during the wedding planning experience.
Website, Email, & Social Media Marketing
Your website may be your first impression on a couple searching for wedding vendors. When your 'Contact Us' form offers a text field for pronouns, you give potential clients a cue that your business is socially aware and respectful of their identity. Consider sharing your own pronouns and values around diversity and inclusion in the 'About Me' section of your website.
Marketing thought leaders say that web visitors quickly navigate to the photos. Create a portfolio of photos that showcase representative weddings of couples who are biracial, disabled, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, of all body sizes, etc. If you haven’t worked with couples who identify with underrepresented groups, consider what you can do with imagery that aligns with your inclusive values. Photos are worth a thousand words, and it’s a simple way to continue to promote your brand through an inclusive lens.
Networking with vendors who often serve a diverse set of clients is a great way to simultaneously build industry relationships and your portfolio. Peruse the member list on the directory of the National Society of Black Wedding & Event Professionals and photos on Equally Wed’s Real LGBTQ+ Weddings to find inspiration. When you’re planning styled shoots in the off-season, consider featuring real couples who identify with an underrepresented group or culture to showcase the diversity you want to promote and celebrate. This practice extends to your social media photos, too.
According to the World Health Organization, there are about 1.3 billion people who are vision-impaired and 466 million people who are hearing-impaired. You can make your website more accessible by using alt-text on images to describe the content in your photos. Use rich text to make your site compatible with text-to-speech tools. Instead of “click here,” use descriptive link text to make it clear what your web visitors will see if they click on your links. This will help both your website visitors and search engines understand your content and its relationship with relevant web pages. You can find out your website’s accessibility score with this Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool List, or use the accessibility tools on your website builder to revise and refine your content.
Your Google Analytics account can give you actionable insights about your site visitors’ behavior on each page of your site. More often than not, people use mobile devices to browse sites. Before you publish changes to your site, test out the user experience on mobile. Your website isn’t the only thing potential clients are viewing on their mobile devices.
The stories feature on Instagram has made captioning filters available in English-speaking countries to automatically transcribe your speech. The feature will be available on reels soon also. Even emojis have become more inclusive on social media.
There are androgynous characters available and a variety of skin tones for most avatar emojis. Explore hashtags that express a culture of inclusion related to your line of business. When you find social media accounts that are owned by underrepresented identities, give them a follow, and populate your feed with people who are from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles.
Inclusive Wedding Planning Services
Offline, you can encourage clients to include pronouns on wedding escort cards and RSVP cards. If your clients are using escort cards that guests are expected to take to their reception table, it can even help normalize conversations about pronouns. Start this conversation with your wedding stationery vendor partners to find out what options they have available.
Wedding party attendants may include a variety of gender identities among bridesmaids, bridesmen, groomsmen, and groomsmaids. If your client is considering a grand entrance to the wedding reception, offer the option for the DJ or MC to announce each wedding attendant’s name and their pronouns. Wherever possible, bring the conversation about inclusion into your vendor meetings. It’s one thing to make these changes in your web presence, but it’s critical to walk the talk and inspire others in the industry to do the same.
Hero photo courtesy of Arliquinn Photography