I think they're finally starting to listen to us. Maybe some of the wedding vendors and blogs are starting to understand that their images and blogs subtly exclude us from the definition of "bride" because we don't fit their "marketable" physical description. And maybe, just maybe, if we start to discuss it more openly, vendors and mainstream image-heavy blogs will start to treat all their clients with respect for their unique beauty.
Splendid Communications is a wedding and hospitality industry social media consulting firm, run by Leine Stevens of Blue Orchid Events. Her Think Splendid blog is one of the few wedding industry blogs I read, primarily for its insight into general business principles (really, it's that good.) Stevens is a major wedding industry player, which is why I nearly jumped out of my chair upon reading her post today: "Online Marketing and the Plus Sized Bride." If you haven't read it yet, go NOW. She makes a real case - the first I've seen from such an influential position - that photographers and blogs are complicit in creating the unattainable beauty ideals many of us are railing against. She calls out the hush-hush practice of photographers who won't blog their "less attractive" couples and points out that it doesn't make good business sense (not to mention good people sense.)
I've already made the decision to not hire a photographer who doesn't respect all their clients by featuring a variety of looks, weight, races and ages. The local photographers I hope to highlight in future posts will have to meet that criteria as well. Money talks, and our dollars and feedback matter. So please, if this issue matters to you at all, go read the Think Spendid blog today and comment. Or go comment on the Offbeatbride Facebook Fan page, where a similar conversation is taking place. I promise, for today at least, the wedding industry is listening.