a woman wearing a black shirt and red pants standing on a stage and speaking into a microphone

Launching LGBTQ Inclusive Website Audits

Today I am officially launching the education side of my business with LGBTQ inclusive website audits and business audits! There have been many details and countless hours that went into preparing for this launch, and I am so thrilled to finally be able to announce it.

Why Education?

I have been working in education as a support worker with the Vancouver School Board since before I started shooting weddings. Prior to working with the school board, I spent several years working in a non-profit supporting youth and adults with disabilities in active living programs. Advocacy has been one of my core values for as long as I can remember.

In 2018, I spoke at ARC The Experience about LGBTQ+ inclusive language in the wedding industry. It had been a lot of years since I made a presentation in front of several hundred people, so the experience was terrifying and soul-filling in equal measures. The response I received after my presentation was incredible and I realized there was so much more work to be done.

Between working full-time, running a photography business, and attempting to maintain a personal life, I pushed the thoughts of branching into education aside. When COVID hit, schools closed and the wedding industry shifted, which gave me the time I have been needing to develop this side of my business. I watched countless hours of YouTube videos about consulting businesses and e-mail marketing, I wrote blog posts every week, I learned an entirely new client management software to automate the booking process, I started a Facebook community, and I prepared everything I possibly could for today.

Why LGBTQ Inclusive Website Audits?

Something I am asked all the time is “How can I book more LGBTQ+ weddings?” One of the biggest factors is always the website. It typically doesn’t take me long to browse through a website and determine that the wedding professional is catering their business to heterosexual couples. Wedding industry websites are often full of gendered and heteronormative language that may be affirmative for heterosexual couples but actively exclude LGBTQ+ identifying couples. This prompts couples to feel underrepresented and unsafe interacting with the business.

My goal in offering LGBTQ inclusive website audits and business audits is to do my part in changing the wedding industry. I want to encourage wedding professionals to be more inclusive, to change their language and their thinking, and to better elevate the stories and voices of their LGBTQ+ couples. I want LGBTQ+ couples to feel celebrated and to approach wedding planning with excitement rather than with fear and uncertainty.

Why Should You Work With Me?

Are you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of revamping your entire business to be more inclusive? Are you scared of saying the wrong thing or asking dumb questions? I can help! Here are 5 reasons we should probably work together…

1. Accountability

If this is something you’ve been meaning to do in your business for awhile, consider me your accountability partner. We will dig into your business together and do the thing. No more excuses, no more procrastinating.

2. A Critical Set of Eyes

It’s sometimes hard to see the error in our ways unless we are personally impacted ourselves. As a queer-identified person, I am very conscious of language that isn’t inclusive.

3. A Safe Space

It’s easy to feel apprehensive asking potentially controversial questions in public forums. Working one-on-one creates a safe space for sharing experiences and asking questions. There are no dumb questions!

4. I Work in the Industry

I have experience with the nuances of an LGBTQ+ wedding both personally and professionally. I have been in business since 2012 and understand what it means to build a successful wedding business.

5. Support LGBTQ+ Business

If you are wanting to be inclusive, using your business to support LGBTQ+ business is a good place to start!

Homework

Check out my education page here to read more of my educational blog posts, to get your free gender-neutral language cheat sheet, and for more information about my LGBTQ inclusive website audits and business audits.

Thank you to Pardeep Singh for the featured image in this post.