Size inclusivity is a hot topic, but when it comes to the wedding industry, it doesn’t just apply to bridal boutiques. This is SO important, and we’re sharing 5 ways the wedding industry can be more size inclusive.
One of the things we hear most from our brides is that it’s so difficult for them to find any photos that they feel represent them. They love scrolling through Instagram feeds for wedding inspiration and love seeing their own wedding vendors post about their work, but feel like they’re very rarely seeing brides who represent a size 12 or above. So what steps can you take to be more size inclusive?
The biggest (and easiest) way to do this is to simply incorporate more plus size brides into your social media feed. I had a very real, very raw conversation with a previous bride from my wedding planning days, and what she had to say was SO eye opening.
She loved her wedding day photos and basically stalked her photographer’s social media in the weeks following the wedding day. She was excited to see photos from her day, just like she’s seen the photographer post photos from other wedding days. But those photos never came. In our conversation, she told me she felt that this photographer didn’t share any photos from her day because she didn’t fit the “model aesthetic” the photographer seemed to have on her feed. She was too big and the photographer didn’t want to show that. Y’ALL. This is heartbreaking and brides should NEVER have to feel this way. Of course, the photographer could have decided not to post these photos for any number of reasons. But what matters is how it made the bride feel.
The perception was that she didn’t matter to this vendor because she was a plus size bride. Show how much you care. Not just about size inclusivity, but about your brides – by making sure your featured couples aren’t all the same size, ethnicity, or even style. Inclusivity and diversity is so important!
I think we can all agree that there is definitely not enough representation of models size 12+, especially in our industry. When it comes to women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and orientation in the bridal industry, we all still have a lot of work to do. Every bride needs to be able to relate to and see themselves in the models and images we are posting. And not just in 1 or 2 “plus size” features. They don’t want to be labeled or singled out; they want to feel like they’re included. She doesn’t want to feel like a Plus Size Bride; she wants to feel like a Bride. So how can we do that? By simply incorporating models in your shoots that aren’t the “standard” model size. Not because you’re doing a “plus size” shoot, but simply because you’re doing a shoot and need a model.
Talk About Why Size Inclusivity Matters to You
Share about your personal experience or knowledge. Even if you’re not considered curvy or plus size, we all have times we have felt self-conscious or nervous about our bodies. Don’t be afraid to tell your story! I think a lot of people feel like it’s a sensitive subject and are afraid to talk about it. But here’s the thing: plus size girls know they’re plus size. You don’t have to tip toe around it, or be afraid to speak up about body issues because you’re afraid of offending someone. Let it be up to you to shift the conversation and just talk about it in a way that’s relatable.
This may seem obvious, but when it comes to the wedding industry being more size inclusive, it starts with you. You need to be carrying more sizes (and styles). Brides come in all shapes and sizes, and we all know how bridal sizing works. Providing options in a size other than 10 or 12, can help brides feel much more comfortable in their shopping experience.
If you do carry a selection of plus size dresses, be sure they know! Make it easy to find on your website. Plus size brides are doing a LOT of research before they decide which stores they’re going to make an appointment with. It doesn’t have to be an entire page. Something as simple as “We carry plus sizes” in a banner at the top of your home page can be so helpful. If you want to take it a step further (and I recommend you do!), collaborate with a photographer to capture plus size models in a few of your dresses. Then feature those on your site along with your other images.
We are in a time where size inclusivity is important to every vendor and business in the wedding industry. It really matters, and doing it well is so important. We all need to be working toward ways the wedding industry can be more size inclusive.
I’m so passionate about this mission and I’d love to chat with you more about ways you can incorporate inclusivity into your specific business. Reach out and let’s set up a time to chat! (No strings attached – I truly just want to help spread the mission!)