Safe Gender-Neutral Terms for Wedding Retailers | Technology Therapy

Bye, Bye, “Bridal”!

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.

“When you approach the wedding industry with gendered terms (such as ‘bride’ and ‘groom’), you’re already projecting you have a narrower point of view in terms of what a wedding should or shouldn’t look like and who it does or doesn’t include.”

– Equally Wed

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can promote inclusivity and make their business a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ clients by swapping these outdated gendered terms for their gender-neutral equivalents (complements of Shannon Collins):

GenderedGender-Neutral
BrideMarrier or celebrant or their name
GroomMarrier or celebrant or their name
CouplePartners or Marriers
BridalWedding
Bridal SuiteWedding Suite
Bridal PartyWedding Party, crew
BridesmaidsAttendants
GroomsmenAttendants
Maid/Matron of HonorPerson of Honor, Attendant, Honor Attendant
Best ManPerson of Honor, Attendant, Honor Attendant
Flower GirlFlower Child
Ring BearerJunior Attendant
Fiancé/FiancéeNearlywed, Intended, Spouse-to-be
HusbandSpouse or Partner
WifeSpouse or Partner
Mother/FatherParent or Caregiver
Brother/SisterSibling
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 ShowerWedding shower or couple’s shower
Bachelor PartyBach party
Bachelorette PartyBach party
Bridal show/expoWedding show/expo
Father-daughter dance/ Mother-son danceSpecial Dances
Groom’s cakeSecond cake
MenswearSuit style, formalwear
Bridal PortraitsPortraits
“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!”

Source: https://www.shannoncollins.com/inclusivity/lgbtq-inclusive-language-guide-for-wedding-vendors/

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!


Sources:
https://www.shannoncollins.com/inclusivity/lgbtq-inclusive-language-guide-for-wedding-vendors/

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