Founder of Love Inc Brittny Drye on how to adapt your wedding during uncertain times
BY CHARLIE VOGELSANG. IMAGE PHIL VAN NOSTRAND
A fierce cheerleader for marriage equality, Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc., the leading equality wedding magazine where all couples are equally represented.
Launched in 2013, Love Inc. provides original content on all things wedding-related and aims to break the labels so that everyone can celebrate love. Brittny’s inclusive efforts have made her a leading expert in equality-minded weddings and she has been featured in the New York Times, OUT Magazine and The Advocate to name just a few…
DIVA: Where did the idea for Love Inc come from?
BRITTNY DRYE: I launched Love Inc. when I realised just how heteronormative the wedding industry is. Wedding media creates content targeting a bride marrying a groom – while throwing the occasional, token gay wedding into the mix. Or, the flip side where resources for LGBTQI+ couples are just for LGBTQI+ couples. No one was being truly inclusive with their content. To us, it’s not a gay wedding, it’s a wedding. That’s the foundation on which Love Inc. was formed.
How open has the wedding industry been to more inclusive content?
It’s been very receptive. I’ve expanded my business to educate wedding pros on how to be more inclusive and, while there’s still a lot of room to grow, I’m seeing more businesses make the effort to be equality-minded. It’s rewarding to see how much this industry has shifted in the last seven years.
What should companies do to make sure their content is more inclusive?
Be mindful of the people you’re marketing to. For example, are you using gendered terms? A lot of brands market to brides instead of using the more inclusive term “couple”. You should also showcase diverse imagery. People want to see themselves in marketing, advertising and editorial content. Crucially, be open to feedback from those within the community. Ideally, hire someone who specialises in diversity.
What are some of your favourite lez/bi friendly friendly honeymoon destinations (for, after lockdown)?
The Caribbean is by far one of the most popular destinations for honeymoons in general, but LGBTQI+ couples have to be more mindful when travelling in the region. Curacao is a great option as it’s extremely LGBTQI+ friendly – as well as Puerto Rico. Key West, Florida, is another popular destination. Particularly if you’d like a fun nightlife scene.
What’s one of the biggest trends for couples getting married nowadays?
Weddings are no longer cookie-cutter. Couples want to give their guests a memorable, customised experience that tells their love story. This can be implemented in all aspects of the wedding – from stationery to ceremony script to refreshments.
How do you think the wedding industry will recover from COVID-19?
The wedding industry has been hit particularly hard – both wedding vendors and couples alike. Right now, summer weddings are being postponed, and truthfully? We’ll be lucky if we see fall weddings take place, fully. These are the busiest months for wedding pros and, not having that income will unfortunately put a lot of small business owners out of business. Still, things will certainly evolve from this – we’ll see a shift to smaller “micro weddings,” which were already on the rise pre-COVID. Couples will need to be smarter with their budgets. People will still be getting married post-COVID, maybe it’ll just be on a much smaller scale for the next year or so.
What should couples do if their wedding has been affected?
It depends on how close to the event you are. If your event is supposed to take place within the next month or so, reach out to your guests as soon as possible to let them know you’re changing the date. If it’s more than a month or two out but you’re still needing to postpone, discuss with your partner what vendors you want to prioritise and then connect with your team to figure out a new date. Read the contracts closely – some may allow you to receive your deposit back, some may not. For example, if your venue doesn’t allow refunds, then you’ll likely want your new date to be on a day that the space has available. Once a new date is set, you can send out formal “Change The Date” card to your guests.
What alternatives do couples have if they’re stuck in isolation? Getting married-wise?
Depending on where you live, you could go ahead and get married! New York just announced that they’re allowing Zoom weddings to be legal and some officiants are offering social distancing packages that are bare minimum, two-to-three-minute ceremonies that make things legal.
Instead of just binge-watching Tiger King on what would have been your wedding day, you can have your DJ play your first dance song over Zoom and have a romantic moment in your living room! Alternatively, you could put together a scrapbook of your relationship (this helps keep what’s important in perspective) or go on a romantic picnic in your backyard and toast to your love!
Great ideas! For those who do Zoom-tie-the-knot, what wedding outfit alternatives would you suggest?
Unfortunately, the manufacturing timeline for wedding outfits has been greatly affected. If you bought your outfit from a salon, shop or tailor, you should speak directly with their staff about your options. Alternatively, you can purchase wedding dresses off-the-rack via online shops such as Azazie, BHLDN and Cocomelody. Or – get married in your PJs?
To find out more about Love Inc. visit loveincmag.com
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