How to Make Your Unique Wedding Inclusive
If you’ve been following me for some time you’d know that I am an advocate for inclusivity in life, but also in the wedding industry.
I believe that weddings don’t have to be done in a specific way and definitely not in a way that isn't accessible and considerate to ALL the people attending. After all, celebrating such a big life event should have everyone involved feeling valued and comfortable.
So let’s look at how to make your unique wedding day inclusive!
3 Ways to Create an Inclusive Wedding
- Pick an Accessible Wedding Venue
- Keep in Mind Dietary Requirements
- Ditch Gender Norms!
- Read till the end for a bonus tip!
Pick an Accessible Wedding Venue
This is a big one and of course, depends on the needs of you and your guests.
Remember that not all disabilities are visible, so it might be a good idea to ask if your guests have any needs you should take into account to make their experience enjoyable.
The obvious one for people using mobility aids or who have difficulties moving around is accessible routes all around. Some wheelchair-friendly wedding venues may have ramps that can be installed on the day.
Make sure there is an accessible restroom (that is large enough!) close to where all the action will be happening.
You might want to consider a “quiet room”, a space where people, particularly those of us with neurodivergent brains, can come to whenever the party gets a bit too overwhelming.
Please note – that’s different from just a quiet room that people with small children might want to use, as those of us who are autistic or have ADHD can experience sensory overwhelm. It’s imperative to be able to retreat to a truly calm area.
In fact, having a separate nursing area/kids zone will definitely be appreciated by parents and children attending!
I will be compiling a list of accessible wedding venues in Kent, so watch this space for suggestions if you don’t want to do all the legwork yourself :)
For now, my top 3 recommendations in Kent are Winters Barns in Canterbury, The Crown Lodge in Wye and The Darenth in Sevenoaks.
Keep in mind Dietary Requirements
Nothing makes me happier than a wide array of food available to suit different dietary requirements.
To accommodate all of your guests you could ask them to inform you of any dietary requirements on the wedding invite!
Whenever I choose a place to eat or recommend a venue, I make sure they cater to different diets, particularly vegan & gluten-free as those can often be overlooked. I find that venues that accommodate dietary preferences in a suitable manner and do not just serve chips or salad to tick the vegan box have better tastier dishes overall.
Maybe there’s more than just a correlation between prioritising a customer’s needs and finger-licking delicious food.
If a venue doesn’t offer in-house catering, to make your unique wedding inclusive, consider hiring a caterer specialising in accommodating dietary needs. Don't forget to make sure food served is clearly labeled to things easier for your guests!
Here are a few caterers that can accommodate various food requirements:
Ditch Gender Norms!
This one can sometimes be tricky in such a gendered heteronormative industry, but it makes all the difference.
You don’t have to divide your wedding party into bridesmaids and groomsmen. And they don’t have to wear specific attire based on perceived gender either. Gender neutral wedding outfits are becoming much more of the norm these days!
There’s no rule saying you need to be called the bride or the groom. When designing your stationery skip using the gendered titles of Mr/Mrs/Miss etc.
Encourage the person performing the ceremony and anyone doing speeches to use inclusive language by avoiding gendered language and using gender-neutral pronouns. This will create a welcoming environment for all guests, regardless of their gender identity.
Bonus point: Use Inclusive Wedding Suppliers
This is the biggest one yet!
By supporting businesses that are encouraging positive changes in the wedding industry, you are helping create a more inclusive future for other people who choose to get married.
These suppliers understand the importance of celebrating human nature in every shape or form or identity. So, to make your unique wedding inclusive, you can get help from inclusive wedding suppliers, like me (an inclusive wedding photographer), too!
Here’s a small list of amazing local inclusive suppliers:
- Celebrant – Celebrant Kathryn
- Stylist – 4yaparty and Lily Jones Events
- Florist – Faux Meadows
- Wedding Cake – White Petal Cakes and Tiny Sarah Cakes
- Wedding Planner – Jodie from Ellabella Weddings and Events, Lexie from Queer Weddings and Lorna from My Oh My Weddings
- Wedding Attire – Quinlan Couture Bridal and L’Amour Plus Size Curves Bridal Boutique
Ready to create your inclusive wedding?
Now you know how to make your unique wedding inclusive, you can go away and start wedding planning so you create the day that suits you and your guests perfectly!
There is no rule book to follow, so create a day that you love and that makes everyone feel included.
I am an inclusive wedding photographer in Kent, so get in touch if you’d like to chat.