Wed Altered Issue 2 - June 2018

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The Business of Bridal Done Differently - building up and connecting the independent business owners of the bridal fashion world!

T

oday’s couples plan their

weddings on social media.

They look for inspiration,

answers to burning questions,

and for leads to help them find the

creative professionals they will

ultimately hire to bring their

dreams to life.

Your social media identity is

determined by your content and

your commentary. It is often the

first encounter a prospective client

has with your brand. Visual social

media content includes photos and

videos of your work from inspiration

shoots to real weddings to the work

of colleagues you admire and share.

If you welcome and serve a diverse

population of couples regardless of

race, size, orientation, your images

will reflect that authentically and

attract more of the same.

Inclusivity

Inclusivity isn’t only about language

or images, it is a mindset that is

engrained in you — an eagerness to

work with all couples because

doing so matches your values. You

don’t see a plus-size bride, you see a

beaming woman who is a knockout

in her Ines Di Santo dress. You don’t

see a same-sex couple, you see two

women in love and the excitement

on their faces in the photo when

they slip into the gorgeous gowns

that you sold them.

When inclusivity is a value you

embrace every day, it effortlessly

shines through in your visual

content on social media.

Greed is an enemy to authentic

inclusivity. If you only add images of

different types of couples so you can

grow a new revenue stream, and

not because you truly accept the

values of a niche market, it will

show. Your efforts to attract certain

clients will be transparent and will

more likely drive them away.

Inclusivity Isn’t Tokenism

Tokenism is marketing to specialty

subgroups without being genuine

by using a limited number of

couples from a subgroup to

represent a larger trend. You are

guilty of tokenism when you luck

into serving two brides, for example,

and you use their images

everywhere to attempt to give the

impression that you work with

same-gender couples all the time.

Being truly equality-minded means

that your inclusivity is evidenced

throughout everything you do —

your marketing verbiage, your

social media presence, your

communication with couples. If you

throw up a photo of a same-sex

couple simply for the sake of

appearing like you are open to

working with them, but your staff

asks every new consult what her

“future husband’s” name is during a

fitting, you are guilty of tokenism.

Nurture an Inclusive Culture

There can be growing pains when

you try to become more inclusive.

Many wedding professionals make

assumptions and end up putting

their feet in their mouths. Assuming

that all prospects are cisgender in

hetero relationships has been a

common mistake for years. The

gender and orientation spectrums

are fluid, so you can’t put anyone in

a box. You have to approach every

new client consultation as an

opportunity to learn more. Practice

using open-ended questions and

building on information that your

clients provide you.

Avoid Appropriation

Accepting all couples regardless of

the race, gender, orientation, size or

other characteristics is one (noble

and desirable) thing. Claiming

elements of the minority culture as

your own is considered

appropriation because it represents

an imbalance. A straight wedding

professional can alienate a LGBTQ

couple by saying something like,

“oh, I have a cousin who is gay – I

love gay weddings!” This doesn’t

make you more relatable, instead it

confirms that you are singularly

focused on how different your

prospect or client is.

Instead of forcing the relationship,

Dresses in this picture by Pure Magnolia

Photo by Stacie Carr

www.wedaltered.com 26

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