As you plan your wedding day you want to ensure that you and all of your guests walk away feeling like it went off without a hitch. From start to finish that can include making sure dress code is clearly stated, meal choices have been sent to caterers, and transportation to get folks back to their hotels has been taken care of. A big part of that also includes doing big and little things all throughout the day to make sure each and every guest feels welcomed and looked after. With that in mind, we have five tips for planning a more inclusive wedding.
Consider Venue Accessibility
So, you've found your dream wedding venue, but it has some quirks. For example, some historic venues may be grandfathered into protocols in a way that doesn't allow for ADA compliance meaning lots of steps and no elevators. As you consider the needs of various guests, you will want to loop in vendors, and work with the venue for accessible options. This may mean coming up with solutions for differing levels of mobility, like a live stream from an area requiring stairs to one that is on ground level, or arranging for a ramp to be brought into an entrance. By offering solutions for guests, you'll ensure that everyone on your list can RSVP with a big "YES!" knowing they'll be able to enjoy the day to the fullest.
Consciously Hire Diverse Vendors
In honor of Pride Month, Brides made a great list of LGBTQIA wedding vendors. As we know though, diversity and inclusion go far beyond a single month and span across all ethnicities, genders, varying abilities and disabilities, and identities. As you begin to hire vendors for the big day, seek out and hire a diverse crew. In addition to the list from Brides, other individuals and publications have begun to compile lists, so try a quick Google search of "BIPOC wedding vendors" + your city, "Black Owned Business"+ your city, "LGBTQIA wedding vendors" + your city, etc. and you may find a treasure trove of folks that could be the perfect addition to your wedding day vendor team.
Opt For Inclusive Language
The first wedding related communications, the save the datesinvitations, you can set the precedent for your wedding day's inclusivity. It's perfectly fine to skip titles and pronouns on these printed pieces or use them in accordance with individuals' preferences. Additionally, you can implement the same approach to any printed items including those for the plus ones. While certain traditions of the day like a bouquet toss, Single Ladies dance, or garter toss can be gendered, by communicating your preferences with your DJ, announcements can be made to ensure these and any other moments of the day are for everyone.
Mix Up The Wedding Party
Don't be afraid to break the mold in your wedding party! If your bestie is your brother and you can't imagine having anyone else stand by your side, then that's who should take that spot! That's where the last point can come in handy. By viewing the role as something like Person of Honor or Attendant of Honor, you can lose a little bit of the pressure to choose the person based on their gender. This can also be helpful in creating a more inclusive event. As you begin to look at mixed-gender wedding parties, throw in varying options for attire. We love a mix and match wedding party as it is, and we always recommend having a wide variety of styles for your attendants to choose from. By tossing in a few options with pants or suits, you'll cover all of your bases to ensure all members of your party are looking and feeling their best.
From bachelor and bachelorette parties to their 'cross the pond counterparts, stag and hen do parties, there's a long standing tradition of pre-wedding celebrations separated by gender. While traditions have their place, this is one spot where they can easily be kicked to the curb! Regardless of gender, these events should include your nearest and dearest family and besties, and it would be a shame to send your special someone along to your fiance's party for no other reason than their gender. So take a note from the experts at Brides and try your hand at some inclusively named events with these suggestions: Bach Party, Bachelorx Party, Wedding Party PARTY, Pre-Wedding Bash, Hag Do, Sten Do.
While the wedding day is all about making your dreams come true, one of the best feelings is making someone else feel seen. Hence why weddings have so much emphasis on the experience of guests. With these not-so-small, thoughtful additions to your wedding, you can ensure that all of your guests walk away feeling like they attended the best, most inclusive wedding they've ever been to!
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