Selling products starts with speaking to your customers. Does the language your business uses promote diversity and inclusion?
Pride month may be over, but love is still love. The wedding industry is rife with gendered language that hasn’t been questioned or widely modified in ages. But we’re not wedded to these terms! Divorce yourself from antiquated terminology and lead from the front with these alternatives:
The Power of Words in The Wedding Industry
Words matter. They can hurt or heal, empower or destroy. This is especially true for groups and individuals who’ve experienced discrimination and marginalization due to their race, religion, gender identity, sexuality, culture, and/or abilities. As we work to make our society a more unconditionally inclusive one, retail businesses should be especially aware of how they’re speaking to their consumers—particularly within the wedding industry.
Gender-Neutral Terms to Promote Inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ Clients
Wedding retailers can promote inclusivity and make their business a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ clients by swapping these outdated gendered terms for their gender-neutral equivalents (complements of Shannon Collins):
|Bride||Marrier or celebrant or their name|
|Groom||Marrier or celebrant or their name|
|Couple||Partners or Marriers|
|Bridal Suite||Wedding Suite|
|Bridal Party||Wedding Party, crew|
|Maid/Matron of Honor||Person of Honor, Attendant, Honor Attendant|
|Best Man||Person of Honor, Attendant, Honor Attendant|
|Flower Girl||Flower Child|
|Ring Bearer||Junior Attendant|
|Fiancé/Fiancée||Nearlywed, Intended, Spouse-to-be|
|Husband||Spouse or Partner|
|Wife||Spouse or Partner|
|Mother/Father||Parent or Caregiver|
|Ladies/guys/girls (When greeting a group)||Hey Everyone, folks, y’all, friends, or people|
|Ma’am/sir/gentlemen (When addressing guests)||Simply say ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’|
|Bridal Shower||Wedding shower or couple’s shower|
|Bachelor Party||Bach party|
|Bachelorette Party||Bach party|
|Bridal show/expo||Wedding show/expo|
|Father-daughter dance/ Mother-son dance||Special Dances|
|Groom’s cake||Second cake|
|Menswear||Suit style, formalwear|
|“I now pronounce you husband and wife”||“I now pronounce you married”|
|“Your may kiss the bride.”||“You may kiss your partner”|
|“Please Welcome for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Smith!”||“Please welcome the happy newlyweds!”|
Remember, removing gendered terminology from your retail marketing and communication efforts (i.e., website, social media, brochures, contracts, intake forms, and more) opens your business to everyone and allows you to help make individuals and entire groups of people feel heard, respected, and welcomed.
Include Thoughtful Marketing in Your Holiday Sales Push
Navigate the holiday sales season with expert advice and data-driven tips for selling more sparkle this year! With more information on demographics and inclusion, plus shopping trends and suggestions for advertising organically, our Engagement Ring Marketing Guide is the perfect launchpad for your holiday sales planning.
Learn More Ways to Be Inclusive for Your Customers
Talk through your brand identity and find opportunities for growth and change with a TTG Mentor!