‘We need to be seen’ Taking steps to end racism in the wedding industry

Posted at 4:35 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 19:34:26-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The black lives matter movement is prompting change in the local wedding industry.

Many brides see historic mansions, old trees, and the beauty of former plantations as the perfect wedding venue. However, for Alex Vaughan with the FLWR Shop, she’s had a policy for years that she won’t work with brides who are having a plantation-style wedding.

“I feel like we as a society if we truly acknowledged the atrocities that took place more people would feel uncomfortable having their weddings at a plantation," Vaughan said.

While it comes with some financial hardship, she believes it’s one thing she can do to help end systematic racism while she continues to support the black lives matter movement.

“It’s hard, especially in the south there’s a lot of plantations and a lot of people want to have weddings at plantations, and so as a wedding vendor it is a very difficult thing to make that decision,” Vaughan said.

The current movement has also brought to light other issues in the wedding industry.

“I have seen people discussing doing more styled wedding shoots including couples of color, and including a more diverse group of models for their styled shoots.”

Danielle Rogers has operated her company, Weddings Unlimited by Danielle, for 8 years. “I think now is the perfect time for us to be seen and to be heard in this industry," Rogers said.

In the past, she said she’s been left off vendor recommendation lists that are provided by wedding venues.

“We need to be seen, and we need to be heard, and we need to be seen like every other vendor,” Rogers said.

Rogers said the wedding community needs to do a better job at incorporating diversity into panels and conferences too. “As a planner I have grown to accept what I have, and the gifts that I have, and the gifts God has given me even if I still struggle, I make my own way."

Rogers said there’s also been a big push for black brides to be featured in more magazines too.

We reached out to half a dozen plantation wedding venues for their take on the story, and changes they might be making, but no one was immediately available for an interview.