Planning

We have had the honour of sharing some of the most beautiful weddings and editorial shoots last quarter, and a third of the content we shared included ethnically diverse couples. We feel so privileged to be able to bring you these real weddings, and inspirational shoots full of love, happiness and incredible style. Sharing these love stories means so much. That we are trusted as a platform to represent minority communities with integrity within an industry where they are largely still underrepresented is incredibly humbling. We know that suppliers are creating shoots with Rock My Wedding in mind. We know that couples are asking their photographers to only share their stories with us. And that is so special. We hope that we continue to do you proud.

Here is a look back at how we measured up against our diversity pledge from the start of October to the end of December 2021.


CHANGES

Our new revised content schedule has been in place for some time now. And whilst we aren't sharing as many real weddings and shoots on our website, we have ensured our planning articles have been more inclusive. Have you seen our bridesmaid dress roundups? Ouff! We also continued to share exclusive content via our Instagram grid and socials to further increase inclusivity, which during a busy time of editing for photographers has proved invaluable.

Rock My Wedding has currently seen the departure of some of our key team members, including our Founder Charlotte O'Shea. But rest assured the current team are just as passionate as ever to ensure underrepresented communities are represented on Rock My Wedding. We are still reaching out and actively seeking ethnically diverse, LGBTQI+ weddings and editorial shoots from photographers and suppliers. And after a busy 2021 where photographers were shooting and editing twice as many weddings compared to a normal year due to postponed weddings, we are slowly seeing submissions increase again. We can't thank you enough, because, without you, there wouldn't be an us.

 

OUR PLEDGE

1. We are aiming for a minimum of 1 in 5 posts you see on Rock My Wedding to feature Black, Black multiracial or ethnically diverse couples.

2. We are aiming for a minimum of 1 in 10 posts you see on Rock My Wedding to feature couples from the LGBTQI+ community.

Between the 1st of October and the 31st of December 2021, we shared a total of 85 articles on our website. A third of these articles were exclusively weddings or editorial shoots featuring members of the Ethnically Diverse and LGBTQI+ community. 31% of articles exclusively featured Ethnically Diverse couples or models and 13% the LGBTQI+ Community. This means that, based on the number of articles that were exclusively real weddings or editorial shoots we have fallen short of our pledge.

To rectify this we pulled together more roundup articles this quarter where we were able to be really inclusive and share more inspiration from underrepresented communities. We shared a further 8 articles with diverse content to help us further elevate the visibility of ethnically diverse and LGBTQI+ communities.

I also mentioned earlier about exclusive social content. Via Reels (some with over 20,000 views) and exclusive IG grid posts, we were able to share an additional 11 weddings and shoots. These were a mix of ethnically diverse and LGBTQI+ content. We also further promoted some of our website's diverse weddings and shoots on our Reels too for extra visibility. If you've not visited the Reels section of our Instagram before, get on over, it's good! (Said in our best Bruce Almighty impression.)

 

3. Having a more diverse selection of Recommended suppliers on our supplier directory.

One opportunity for increasing representation across the board is by connecting with more suppliers who are part of these underrepresented groups. That includes Black-owned businesses, businesses run by members of the LGBTQI+ community and disabled people. It's really important to us that we are able to share the work of underrepresented groups and so we have some focus meetings coming up dedicated to getting more suppliers involved and a part of the Rock My Wedding community. If you're one of these suppliers and aren't already Recommended by Rock My Wedding, please get in touch with us as we'd love to speak to you.

We'd like to introduce you to these ethnically diverse suppliers that joined our Recommended list this quarter: Bo Leray Photography and Chi Ramos Photography.

4. Having a more diverse voice across our features.

We had some great articles this quarter that represented and featured disabled and interabled couples. Planned and styled by many of our Recommended suppliers with us in mind. The underlying message for all weddings and shoots was that every love story is beautiful, and everyone should see themselves represented within the wedding industry. Plus, they featured some incredible inspiration and advice to enhance your wedding, including accessible venues, wheelchair covers and braille stationery to name but a few.

Our aim is to feature lots of diverse voices in the future, but in the interim, we simply don't have the budget to compensate contributors for their hard work and time. We don't ever want any contributor to feel taken advantage of and therefore we rely on our suppliers to approach us to discuss contributions on their terms. If you are a Recommended supplier of Rock My Wedding and from the ethnically diverse, LGBTQI+ or disabled people community and want to contribute to our website and speak to our audience, please do let us know at membership@rockmywedding.co.uk.

5. Increasing antiracism within our team.

We hold a regular diversity meeting each month where anti-racism is always a point on the agenda. This past month we have shared many articles with each other including the BBC article to stop using the BAME acronym. We too have previously used this term, but will ensure we use more specific terms to describe peoples ethnicities.

A NOTE ON HOW WE PLAN AND SHARE DIVERSE CONTENT

Again, this past quarter we have received some questions and comments about the way in which we represent the couples that feature on Rock My Wedding. So we thought it might be a good idea to remind or introduce you to the processes we use.

Couples complete questionnaires for us all about their weddings. That's how we're able to gather all the details about their days. There is a section in the questionnaire for diversity. We ask couples to let us know how they identify, should they wish to share that with us. And then however they choose to identify is the language we use when putting together their articles and associated social posts. We would never refer to someone with an identifier that they themselves don't use. We will continue to review these and take direction from couples who are kind enough to share their views.

Representation is everything. So we try and make our diverse content as easy to find as possible. This will include us using these identifiers in page titles, in social captions and in hashtags. We want everyone who comes across Rock My Wedding's multiple platforms to be able to easily find themselves.

Your feedback is always welcomed and we appreciate the open dialogue we're able to have with our incredible community on the topic of diversity and inclusivity. We will continue to strive for underrepresented communities to feel seen and heard in the wedding industry and make it as easy as we can for them to find themselves on our channels.

Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

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