In June 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry. Surprisingly, a remarkable amount of ﬂorists continue to market themselves solely to brides. Not only does this practice of using only the word “bride” in our verbiage and marketing materials completely leave out the groom in heterosexual couples, it also excludes the LGBTQ community and it’s allies.
More than 1 million LGBTQ weddings have happened in the United States alone. That’s one million couples who searched for ﬂorists who used inclusionary language on their websites and in their emails and marketing materials. Planning a wedding is stressful. Let’s try and make everyone comfortable and feel included when they are contacting us.
I want to challenge us to update our websites, contracts and, most important, mind-set, to include the LGBTQ community in our work.
Here’s how we can do that.
Stop using only the word bride. Unless you are talking about a specific person or to someone whom you know his/her gender, replace all the pronouns on your website, contracts and marketing materials with gender-neutral ones. When replying to an inquiry, this rule of gender-neutral pronouns also applies.
Replace “bride” and “groom” with “partner,” “couple” or “fiancé.” On your contract, write “Partner 1 and Partner 2” instead of “bride and groom,” and replace “bridesmaids and groomsmen” with “wedding party.”
Prominently Feature LGBTQ Weddings
Feature LGBTQ couples on your website. If you haven’t had the chance to design the florals for an LGBTQ couple, produce a shoot with local vendors. A simple shot of a couple with your beautiful floral designs is all you need to show that you are a florist that they will be comfortable hiring.
Throw Conventionality out the Window
Consider all weddings to be unique in their use of family and friends as participants. A couple could have both female and male loved ones in either of their wedding parties. By updating your questionnaire and verbiage during in-person consultations, you are able to include everyone involved.
By Michelle Edgemont