The Sexist Undertones of Wedding Marketing


Traditions have been gradually changing. A 2015 New York Times survey found that 20 percent of married women had kept their last names. Ms. Nickel also noted that in the last five years, “grooms in male-female weddings, particularly millennial grooms, are more involved with wedding planning.”

At the same time, Ms. Grech said, “companies, publications and apps are making significant strides to be all-inclusive, couple-centric, and an accepting place where all types of couples are welcome.” She said the Knot and the registry site Zola have become more L.G.B.T.Q. inclusive. For example, rather than searching registries by “bride’s name” and “groom’s name,” these sites now simply ask you to type a first name and last name. They also allow users to select items that say “Mr. and Mr.” or Mrs. and Mrs.” instead of just “Mr. and Mrs.”

Lindsey Nickel, a business coach for wedding planners, believes people working in the wedding industry can help combat sexism.

“I think it’s really important for wedding vendors to not assume anything,” said Ms. Nickel, who also runs the Lovely Day Events wedding planning company, which serves Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Napa and Sonoma, Calif.

“For example,” she said, “don’t assume that the bride is going to take the groom’s last name; don’t assume that the bride’s parents are paying for everything; don’t assume that the groom is only going to help with the D.J. planning; don’t assume there will be a father-daughter dance or a mother-son dance.”

Friends and family can be less stereotypical, too, Ms. Nickel said. Rather than write “she’s so beautiful” and “our gorgeous bride” on social media, they can praise other qualities, she said.

“Very rarely do I see social media posts that mention how friendly, smart, good at planning, or kind a bride is,” Ms. Nickel said. “It would be so easy for people to include personal characteristics not just about looks.”



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