Today, one of my editorial shoots for a chateau wedding in France was shared over on the Coco Wedding Venues blog. But whilst as a wedding planner I would normally be excited to see my work featured, this time I felt mixed emotions. I was proud to be able to share my work, but with everything that has happened over the past week since the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent conversations, it also felt somewhat bittersweet when I know so many wedding blogs still choose to ignore the talents of fellow wedding planners purely because of the colour of their skin.
As someone who happened to be born into white skin, I have been fortunate to benefit from white privilege – both in work and in general life.
Since I started in the wedding industry, I have noticed the very ‘whiteness’ of it. I’ve worked with the most incredibly talented black suppliers who consistently get fewer bookings than their white counterparts. I’ve had the most beautiful wedding submissions rejected from blogs for what I believe to be no reason other than the fact that the couple featured didn’t have white skin.
And yet whilst I have noticed these things in the past, some of them somewhat subconsciously, coming from a place of white privilege has meant it has been easy to be complacent and to not challenge or question why things are like that. For that (and many other areas where I could’ve acted better or done more), I hold my hands up.
But with all of the increased awareness and conversation over the past week, the disparity and discrimination in the wedding industry has only become even more acute; the endless sea of slim, white brides and grooms on my Instagram or Pinterest feed ever more apparent.
And that’s not to say we should stop posting that content. But we need representation – of every shape and size, colour, culture and orientation – reflecting the very diversity that makes up our society.
The fact that there are so many wedding blogs specifically for black couples shows just how much demand there is. But the fact we even need so many says it all. If the ‘mainstream’ blogs included a more diverse range of couples (and not just as a form of tokenism…), perhaps everyone could feel a little more represented. After all, weddings are weddings. Love is love.
I have been guilty of being quiet in the past. But it can’t go on any longer. Now is finally the time for long overdue change. And so I call upon fellow wedding suppliers to use our voices, and wedding blogs to reconsider their readership. We should be sharing all of the talent within our industry, and celebrating all of the love.