Is the Wedding Industry Too White? Yes!

When I received an email with the title of “Are our weddings too white?” I had to read it to figure out what the title truly meant.

This is a UK based article which has some really valid points. I want to put a U.S. perspective to it based on what I see. Your view might be different and I welcome the discussion via commenting on this blog post.

Disclaimer: This blog post in no capacity is a means to reduce, ridicule, or speak negatively on any couple that got married over the years.

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In the United States, there are roughly 2.3 million weddings taking place a year.

Out of the millions of people that get married, if you look on social media from leading wedding magazines or blogs, you won’t see a sea of the many couples who tied the knot. What you will see however, are many weddings featuring White Americans.

If you do not believe me, jump on Instagram and look up your top 5 wedding magazines or blogs. Do a Google image search for “Wedding Couples” or “Wedding” and tell me what shows up the most.

If you did the same search I did, you will see that most of the images are predominately white couples getting married. Certainly you will find African American couples, Asian couples and even LGBTQ couples on these pages. Sadly they are sprinkled around and not as equally featured.

When Price Harry and Meghan Markle got married this was not just a celebration for a wedding. It was a celebration for the much needed diversity that needs to be shown on a global level.

It’s been a long overdue awakening for the wedding industry to properly represent all couples that get married.

Yet who should be the leaders in making this shift happen?

Photo Jenna Norman

Photo Jenna Norman

Wedding Blogs & Magazines

I believe media outlets (wedding blogs and magazines) need to be at the forefront of this movement. It takes nothing to show diversity. Blogs and magazines get dozens of submissions each week to pick from. There is no lack, trust me.

In a perfect world all magazines and blogs should feature the diverse wedding industry that we have today. There shouldn't be a reason to only showcase black couples, Asian couples or any single race.

Certainly I understand why you have magazines that cater to non white couples. That’s because the couples they represent need and deserve equal representation. Their efforts, while certainly seen, is still not enough. In fact, I believe they too need to take the step and show diversity on their platforms. Easier said than done, I know.

Photo: Inno Nhara

Photo: Inno Nhara

Wedding Vendors

I make it my goal to have a diverse group of both event and wedding vendors at every event. Why? Because talent is talent and there is no one race that is better than the other. I want my clients to see the beauty that the industry actually offers.

All Wedding Vendors should be doing the same. If you are a Wedding Planner and every Vendor you bring on is the same skin color as you, that is a problem. If you are not a Wedding Planner and are constantly seeing your skin color among the vendors working a wedding and have not spoken up about it, that is a problem.

When was the last time you sent business to a diverse group of professionals?

Have you taken on a client that doesn’t look like you?

Are you marketing your services to attract clients that do not look like you?

Is your portfolio filled with the same kind of client?

In the article I referenced above, Sofia and Ayoola Olatunde were getting married. He’s a British Nigerian and she’s Pakistani. Sophia couldn't find caterers that would fuse Asian and African food traditions. "They said there would have to be two caterers, two kitchens."

How did we even get to this? A catering company with a chef unable to create a menu that supported them both? Blasphemy!

I believe when you have Wedding Professionals executing weddings with diversity and submitting those weddings to blogs and magazines, those media outlets are forced to see the diversity. Now the problem becomes the culture of that blog or magazine. Are they solely driven to show white weddings or are they open to more?

In Conclusion

The basis of this is simple. People want to be seen. They shouldn’t have had to resort to entities that were created for the sole purpose of filling a discriminatory void. Many want to break those barriers when they get married not fight the big bad wolf to do so.

We all want to be catered to. We deserve better. The wedding industry is filled with traditions, cultures and religions that comes with huge spending power and are not always white. It’s time to come together and celebrate the fact that people are getting married regardless of skin color.