The ultimate goal: establishing full inclusivity for all couples.
After Marriage Equality, same-sex couples are marrying more than ever before, and so, it’s important for affirming photographers to know how to reach and connect with this beloved community in the best way.
LGBTQ+ clients are often most attracted to photographers that outwardly show their support, love, and inclusivity of the community via copy, content, and imagery.
Use “partner” when unsure of gender. “LGBTQ+ wedding” is most inclusive.
Use “same-sex wedding” only when both partners identify as the same gender.
For more on gender, click here.
Use “Wedding Party” instead of “Bridal Party”.
In the instance of two grooms, you’re without a bride. Getting into the habit of using “Wedding Party” allows your verbiage to target a wider range of LGBTQ+ clients and their allies.
INCLUSIVE CONTENT + COPY ON WEBSITE + SOCIAL MEDIA
Inclusive content + copy is language that doesn’t deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from being seen as part of a group.
Inclusive copy on your website, marketing collateral, contracts, questionnaires, and all other documents will show LGBTQ+ clients that you’re open-minded and willing to work with them.
USE GENDER NEUTRAL LANGUAGE.
Instead of “Bride + Groom,” use “Name + Partner’s Name,” or “Name + Spouse’s Name,” or “Partner 1 + 2” or “Client 1 + 2.” Then roll out all of your documents and materials to be gender-free. NOTE: As non-binary folks may not identify with “bride” or “groom,” I recommend staying away from “Bride/Groom + Bride/Groom.” on all documents.
TIP: Taking a few minutes to neutralize all of your documents will show care and consideration for all couples.
LGBTQ+ allies will also appreciate this, which may lead to future LGBTQ+ wedding referrals.
In the wedding world, there is often an emphasis on the “bride.” However, this can be seen as exclusive, thus unintentionally steering away grooms or non-binary folks in the LGBTQ+ community. Instead, speak to “couples,” and show images that highlights both partners.
If you want to shoot LGBTQ+ couples, SHOW LGBTQ+ couples!
If you’ve photographed LGBTQ+ couples in the past, ensure you have an image or two of them on your landing page. This will immediately make same-sex couples feel welcomed and accepted. If you’ve never shot an LGBTQ+ couple, reach out and ask friends/family if you can photograph them, and refer to the Posing Guide for assistance. This is potentially one of the best ways to draw in more same-sex couples, as it shows prospective couples that you are inclusive, accepting, and know how to work with them.
FUN FACT: LGBTQ+ couples love to throw tradition out the window. When meeting for the first time, ask about their engagement, and if there were one or two proposals — or if it was a mutual decision! I always enjoy proposal stories, especially when there are two. Double the fun!
Thanks for reading, friends!