*WARNING* Coarse & necessary language… also, a few totally unrelated but SUPER cute photos of my little nephew Hugo.
Mind your feckin’ language!
I wish this blog wasn’t necessary, but unfortunately there are still far too many pelicans in the wedding industry using the wrong fucking language! If you’ve just rolled your eyes and called me a hypocrite then I know I have your attention – thanks for tuning in.
Oh oh… Uncle Monty’s potty mouth made Hugo cry.
I’m not talking about dropping the occasional F-bomb, or generally being a bit risqué, I’m talking about the labels ‘bridal’, ‘bride’ and ‘groom’. Newsflash – Australia voted YES to marriage equality in December 2017, giving EVERY Australian the right to marry whoever they love, irrespective of their sex. So, why the devil are wedding businesses still marketing solely towards the heterosexual market and totally ignoring the fact that not everyone identifies as ‘bride’ or ‘groom’?
Apart from this being a real kick in the crotch to all those people who’re being left out, it’s bad business. Why would you intentionally deter potential business just because you don’t know how to mind your feckin’ language?!
It’s not OK to plaster the words ‘bride & groom’ all over your website, social media and marketing campaigns, because you’re basically saying to everyone in the LGBTIQ+ community that you don’t give a fat rat’s about them. ‘Bridal expos’ – wrong. ‘Bridal fairs’ – wrong. ‘Bride & Groom’ – wrong. Let’s try ‘Wedding expos’ and ‘couples or partner’. Was that so hard?
It’s a simple change that will do wonders for your business and the greater community’s perception of you. Being inclusive isn’t about shitting glitter and flying the rainbow flag, it’s about not being a jerk. Simple really!
And I’ll admit to being many things, but naive isn’t one. I know this will rustle many a feather in the wedding world, but I also know it has the potential to invoke a positive change of language in an industry that should be all about love and inclusion not outdated exclusion.
And although I don’t believe there is any excuse for wedding vendors to be still using the wrong language, it might be as simple as a lack of awareness on the issue – so I’m gonna do you all a solid favour righthere right now.
Does your website only have photos of brides and grooms? Does it have the words ‘bride & groom’? Does your enquiry form give two options – bride’s details, groom’s details? Do you only market ‘brides & grooms’ in social media posts? Are you wondering why you’ve not yet had a booking from a same sex couple or a couple who don’t identify as man and woman?
If you answered yes to any of these, then here’s what you COULD do and it’s a simple remedy that will make all the difference.
Remove the words ‘bride & groom’ from EVERYTHING and replace with ‘couple’. On your enquiry form, ask for ‘party one & party two’s’ details or ‘your details & your partner’s details’. Post a more inclusive range of photos so it’s obvious you don’t live under a rock. If you run a bridal expo – change to ‘wedding expo’ and ensure that all participating vendors are conscious of using inlcusive language in their advertising materials. Ask a couple which pronouns they’d prefer for you to use. Never assume someone’s gender. You’ll instantly make whoever is at the receiving end of your marketing feel included and they’ll be far more likely to engage with you and your business.
Or, you can completely disregard this advice, call me a dick/cockwaffle/bellend/shitbag (DM me if you’d like to see a longer list of insults) and go about your business your own way. Fine by me, but at least I’ll know I tried to make a difference in an industry I love ALMOST everything about.
Why am I making noise about this? Is it because I’m also a friend of Dorothy’s? (That’s ‘GAY’ for those of you born post WWII). Perhaps. Or, it’s because change doesn’t happen if you’re silent. And is it so bad that I’m trying to change the language of an industry to be inclusive and make everyone feel as loved as the person next to them, irrespective of who it is they love and want to marry? I don’t think so.
And the proof is in the pudding. I had a venue contact me to be one of their recommended celebrants about 10 months ago, and upon researching their website and social media, I found the language to be a bit bloody disappointing, so I gave them the same advice I’ve given you. I didn’t want to be recommended by a business that doesn’t support marriage equality so I told them, “change your feckin’ language and you can sign me up”. They did just that and within a month, they’d received their first same sex booking – something they’d been struggling to achieve. And although it wasn’t intentional, until this point, they had been deterring any potential same sex bookings purely because their language wasn’t inclusive to the LGBTIQ+ community.
And now the bookings just keep on rolling in! Yassssss!
“Woo! You Go Glen Coco”
Another example – about three months ago I met a lovely couple and their twin sons at a venue open day. I showed them around the venue and couldn’t believe the CRAP that dribbled from several vendors mouths to me after they had left. *Side note – consider your present audience before you go on a homophobic rant – or just never do it.* Needless to say, I’ve blacklisted a few vendors who ‘couldn’t believe that a gay couple would dare turn up to an open day’. Luckily the couple never heard this. Unluckily though, they recently attended a ‘bridal’ expo and, long story short, were almost refused entry on the basis of their gender, then treated as ‘brides’ and made to feel unwelcome at the event. This broke my heart. What is supposed to be one of the happiest journeys for them as they plan their wedding, instead left them feeling excluded and invalidated.
Hence this blog post. If you’ve found this blog offensive, then I say to you “Byeeeee Felicia!”, but if this resonates, let’s all make a change. Change your language and make these two guys and all of the LGBTIQ+ community know we love the shit out of them and everyone else!
And here endeth the lesson.
Actually, let’s end the lesson with Hugo instead.