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When Mark Lee from Mark Lee Photography set up this shoot at Cheshire's Park Manor, he wanted to seek out like minded suppliers to collaborate on creating stunning inclusive images; and what better time to showcase this gorgeous shoot than Pride Month!
Mark says, "For months I've been coming across posts on Facebook on issues from the LGBTQ+ community over double standards within the wedding industry. Some finding that they were being charged more or that some suppliers just wouldn't work with a same sex couple. Then a supplier wanted to know how to create a logo for same sex supplier so not to offend. And another supplier unsure how to word his contract... this got me thinking. Why is this so difficult? Why does there need to be an issue regardless of who you are and who you want to marry? The law has changed so why are people still living in the dark ages? It's time to accept everyone."
Leanne Gateley, The Manchester Celebrant has conducted a lot of research into the subject, and shares her findings with us here...
"I noticed that there are still parts of the wedding industry that are outdated and hetro-normative as a general rule. The wedding industry considers and refers to heterosexual couples first and foremost, by default, and that needs to change. I noticed that most online forms that required details of the happy couple still had sections specific to a ‘bride and groom’ and pronouns were generally limited to Mr/Miss/Ms.
"But there was a general theme that wedding industry suppliers are overtly trying to be inclusive at least in their social media and online presence. As wedding suppliers, no matter what, we all still have some have unconscious biases, and sometimes that shows itself in our language and materials. I do believe this to be a matter of clumsiness rather than an overt intention to deter custom from the LGBTQ+ community. Although, this non-inclusive language doesn’t always convey an equality and diversity message despite the best of intentions."
Leanne continues, "While a fair representation of the LGBTQ+ community is what's needed, it seems to me that most LGBTQ+ couples just want the same treatment as everybody else. After all, why should anybody have to look for badges or content to find out that the supplier they're dealing with will treat them with respect? Love is love, and as far as the suppliers who worked on this shoot is concerned, the experience of any couple using their services should be exactly the same.
"In general, I believe that the wedding industry has come a long way, especially since 2014 legal marriage was first allowed in Great Britain. Meaning that discriminatory stories and fearful posts on social media are seen less and less.
"It’s encouraging to hear that seemingly most couples experiences are in the main positive but as an industry it’s important that we all support each other and point out where we can be more inclusive."
THE DREAM TEAM
Venue, Park Manor Weddings, www.parkmanorweddings.co.uk
Photographer and shoot coordinator, Mark Lee Photography, www.markleephoto.uk
Suits, Groom Hire, www.groomhire.co.uk
Dresses, Dreamcatcher Bridal, www.dreamcatcherbridal.co.uk
Accessories, 1940 Bridal, www.instagram.com/1940bridal
Hair stylist, Colette Sudlow, www.haircreationsbycolette.com
Cake, Margaret Levy, www.rosehillcakestudio.co.uk
Venue styliing and flowers, The One Stop Wedding Shop, www.theonestopweddingshop.co.uk
Transport, 999 Wedding Cars, www.facebook.com/999wed
Stationery, Prim and Glad, www.facebook.com/primandglad
Make-up artist, Laura Nazir, www.instgram.com/laura_nazir_makeup_studio
Make-up artist, Nicola Davies Makeup Artist, www.instagram.com/nicola_davies_makeup_artist
Celebrant, Laura Hurley - Celebrant, www.coloursandpromises.com
Celebrant, Leanne Gately - Celebrant, www.themanchestercelebrant.com
Video, CW Film Productions, www.cwfilmproductions.co.uk
Under Pressure Eventz, www.instagram.com/underpreasureeventz
Giang Ryder, www.instagram.com/janesnailspreston