Too many brides have felt excluded while planning their weddings – and, as these stories make abundantly clear, something needs to change.
We know all to well that our society has major problems when it comes to diversity. It’s something that impacts every industry and every sector, and thankfully, as more people speak out, it is a problem that’s gaining more exposure.
However, while the worlds of entertainment and film have seen high profile names call them out for their lack of representation (inspiring positive change in the process), the wedding industry has not been held to account in the same way.
Now, the Most Curious Wedding Fair has spoken out about the ongoing problem of representation.
Taking to Instagram, a spokesperson for the alternative wedding fair explained that they have become aware of just how many brides feel excluded and victimised by the lack of diversity in the wedding industry, and how crucial it is that changes are made.
“We have been receiving messages from people asking how we are ensuring Most Curious Wedding Fair is an inclusive show, people who have left in tears from other wedding shows, being asked where the groom is? People who automatically feel like an outsider when they walk in to see only white or male with female cake toppers hand in hand,” they write.
The post continues: “People feel like what’s the point, I won’t feel inspired because no one there, physically in person, on the catwalk, or in images on people’s stands will look like me. So, we want to put it out there right here, right now, that this is an issue. It’s our issue and we want to make sure we are making strides with it going forward.”
Most Curious Wedding Fair admits “we are very, very, VERY aware that we have a long way to go” before noting that the brand’s campaign images aren’t inclusive, but says that their website now has an inclusivity guide and has “opened the conversation” and “are ready to listen, ready to learn”.
The post has prompted an outpouring of real life examples from brides who have felt excluded while planning their weddings.
One social media user pointed out how rare it is to see a disabled model in bridal wear marketing, writing: “My niece has hidden disabilities and when we have been to wedding shows we have to take her wheelchair. She is able to stand and walk for short periods and she likes to see things up close (so has to get out the chair anyway) which then causes people to give her funny looks as to why she’s in a chair but can walk.
“It makes you realise that although there are provisions there’s still a way to go yet. It would be great to see catwalk models in wheelchairs. I know it doesn’t show of a dress to its fullest but it goes a long way to showing inclusivity.”
Another Instagram user highlighted the difficulties of being a business owner in the wedding industry and how excluding that can feel, too: “I’m a black woman in this industry and I don’t feel that I should have to say it, but I’m very aware that my face doesn’t always fit – especially at industry functions. Now to the point that I don’t go to them anymore. Every business coach I speak to talks about showing the face behind the business, but if I’m honest, I don’t feel comfortable enough to!”
Another woman agreed, writing: “I am a black woman just starting out in the industry and searching for faces that look like mine is hard! Putting myself out there is even harder!”
While another social media user described her experience at a wedding fair, commenting: “I went to a well-known wedding show last year… me and my friend after walking around looked at each other and said there is nothing here for us. Beautiful products, and I respect the entrepreneurs as it would not be fair to take that away from hardworking creatives, but we as black minority were under represented. It was like minority people were an afterthought although we live in such a multicultural place.”
As the Most Curious Wedding Fair readily confesses, the wedding industry has a long way to go until brides of all walks of life feel comfortable in every step of planning their special day, from a day out at a wedding fair to feeling properly catered for shopping for their outfit. But this, at least, is a start.
Images: Getty Images