Exclusively Inclusive—Being Inclusive on Social Media

In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples nationwide would legally be able to marry. This landmark ruling allowed couples all across the United States to realize a dream that they had had for years come to life.

With a new group of engaged couples, the event industry welcomed the LGBTQ community with open arms to plan their nuptials, but, even years later, businesses are still not realizing that they are limiting their clientele by the language they use and the photos they showcase on social media. When you are not outwardly showing your openness, then you aren’t able to attract all couples who would like to work with you.

Changing your language

You still might find yourself referring to an engaged couple as a bride and groom or a “bridal” suite or “bridal party” out of habit. You may even be surprised at how often you use that terminology in conversations online.

And even if your language choices are seemingly harmless, it’s essential to understand that you are excluding a group of people. The good news? You can easily adjust your verbiage. Try “wedding party” instead of “bridal party” and “wedding suite” instead of “bridal suite.” Instead of “bride and groom,” consider “to-be-weds,” “nearlyweds,” or “soonlyweds.” These phrases will convey your willingness to work with all couples.

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Picture perfect

We have all heard the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words, so take a minute and scroll through your business Instagram feed or even your Facebook from just this past month. What are you seeing? Photo after photo of heterosexual couples? If so, then that is exactly what your potential client sees as well.

Take the time to make a concerted effort to post photos from any of your LGBTQ weddings or inspiration shoots. If you don’t currently have any, I would suggest taking time in the offseason to pull together an inspiration shoot with your fellow vendors to ensure you are showcasing all couples.

Hashtagging the right way

Instagram is still one of the primary places couples will go to search for inspiration, and the easiest way for them to do so is through the use of searching and following specific hashtags that interest them. While I would typically suggest moving away from using tokenizing terminology like “LGBTQ Wedding or “Gay Wedding,” Instagram shows that these phrases have a high search rate with LGBTQ couples because, right now, that’s the easiest way for them to find content that is reflective of their relationship. 

With that being said, it only makes sense in this instance for you to use them. Be sure to only hashtag photos with these tags when it pertains to the picture. While having a standard list of used hashtags is okay, it is essential to use these particular ones thoughtfully. 

Facebook

Facebook is a platform that is ever-evolving and is now a strategic way to communicate with past, present, and future couples. It has developed into the perfect platform to share articles and events that include all kinds of couples. By sharing a mix of content ranging from wedding etiquette to best practices (some of which can be LGBTQ-specific!), your followers will see that you are an excellent source for information and well informed with what is going on in your community as well as in the wedding and event industry.

Consider reviewing your social media and website every few months to make sure everything is warm and inviting to all couples. It might even be a good idea to have an outside perspective take a look as a fresh set of eyes. By using these tips, you will create a welcoming environment for your ideal couples.

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Brittny Drye

Founder & Editor in Chief | Love, Inc.

Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc., one of the leading equality-minded wedding blog and digital publication. Her inclusive efforts have been celebrated by the New York Times, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Refinery29, NY Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and more. She serves on the 2018-19 North American Advisory Board for the International Academy of Wedding & Events.