written by Jaime Ta of Jaime Ta Creative
photo by Kai Hayashi Photo
We are all at different levels of learning when it comes to inclusion in the wedding industry. I honor and acknowledge that this process will look different for everyone. Maybe you’re brand-new to the industry or maybe you’ve been doing this kind of work for over a decade.
Wherever you are, it is always a good time to continue or start doing the work of being inclusive. Help give BIPOC and the queer communities a much-needed voice. The stories and voices of BIPOC & queer folx deserve to be heard and shared.
This checklist offers a few questions that you as a wedding vendor can ask yourself as you are planning content — whether that content is marketing material, styled shoots, or blog posts on your website. This checklist will help guide you in making decisions that allow you to intentionally bring in diverse vendors and more as you share your work with the world.
Photo by Emily Vandehey Photography
inclusivity checklist for wedding vendors
- Am I doing this work outside of social media as well? Am I doing more than reposting a photo or story (though this is still a form of support if you are highlighting BIPOC & LGBTQ+ vendors and a good place to start)
- Am I actively engaging in conversations of racial justice, diversity, and inclusion with my wedding vendors, friends, & family?
- How can I invite others into changing the wedding industry with this content?
- Does this content or post inspire others to want to take action?
- Why is this important to me and my business? Is it a marketing strategy or is it a genuine desire to do what’s right and open up a seat at the table to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ vendors?
- Am I tokenizing a minority, and how can I change this if I am?
photo by RT Faith Photography
inclusivity checklist for couples
- Choose your wedding vendors with intention
You’re already researching businesses, styles and prices, so take a few minutes to research the owners, too. Hire BIPOC-owned businesses when possible, but don’t forget that these businesses should align with your style and not just your ideals.
- Build relationships with your wedding vendors
When you’re in the process of hiring vendors, trust your intuition. Similar to when you meet someone for the first time and there is a “gut feeling” and you’ve hit it off, chances are they are someone you want on your wedding team.
- Continue to share that appreciation for your wedding vendors after the big day
Write reviews and testimonials about their services and products. In a world of smartphones, we often judge by the reviews that are right at our fingertips. Taking a few minutes to write about how well your vendors treated you or how beautiful their creations are can help them immensely. And good old-fashioned word-of-mouth referrals help both the vendors and your engaged friends seeking advice. It’s little things like this that can help BIPOC-owned businesses bloom.
- Have engaging conversations about diversity
I suggest that progress also can be made by having discussions about racial justice, diversity and inclusion with wedding vendors. Express yourself and share your diverse heritage with your vendors. They can use it as inspiration in planning for your wedding. Embracing your own unique marriage traditions and cultural beliefs can be a powerful starting point for planning your wedding, and showing off your background can empower others to feel confident about their own.
photo by RT Faith Photography
ARTICLES & RESOURCES FOR EDUCATION:
People Are Not Props // How to Avoid Tokenism in Your Portfolio: Catalyst Wedding Co. is an online resource offering wedding advice and inspiration, with an intersectional feminist lens.
To Be an Inclusive Wedding Professional You Must First Diversify Your Life: When You Look Around at Your World, What Do You See?
MunaLuchi Bride: A source for Multicultural weddings, styles and vendors.
Altared PDX: Learn and talk about how together we can be more inclusive, sustainable, mindful, and, ultimately, happy with what we do and how we do it. This is a Portland based community focused on finding a supportive community where you can ask questions, offer advice, and find solutions.
BIPOC & LGBTQ+ Pacific Northwest Vendor Directory: A directory made for clients & wedding vendors.
I would love to keep adding to this checklist and any articles/resources you may have. If you’re a BIPOC and/or queer vendor, I want to share your voices. Email me your thoughts.
My name is Jaime and I’m a PNW Event Coordinator & Magic Maker, the owner behind Jaime Ta Creative. I enjoy bringing beauty out of unexpected places, discovering hidden gems & learning about new things. I prefer honest conversations over small talk. Follower of Jesus & Enneagram 1w2, doing things with integrity.
Wedding inclusivity and representation in the industry are important to me! I work to advocate for my couples to be included & to have their story told. #changetheweddingindustry
Co-Founder of the PNW Vendors of Color Directory.