At Aisle Less Traveled, a core value of our company has always been to specifically include and serve the communities that the wedding industry routinely ignores (and sometimes actively despises): LGBTQ+ and BIPOC folks, atheists and members of religions that aren’t Christianity, fat and plus-sized people, immigrants, and people with disabilities.
We accept as fact – not opinion up for debate – that everyone has the right to a life and a wedding free from discrimination, hatred, bigotry, exclusion, and oppression. All are welcome here.
(Except bigots, homophobes, racists, xenophobes, transphobes, fascists, etc. and those who weaponize religion as a tool and excuse for behaving that way. Y’all can show yourselves the fuck out.)
But we also recognize that true inclusion goes far beyond simply inviting folks of all kinds to work with us; it requires intention and concrete action. Our words mean nothing without those, so here are our commitments to our clients, our colleagues, and our industry.
We acknowledge that, as a business run by a white person, we have and will continue to benefit from systemic and structural racism.
We recognize the harm we have caused to our BIPOC colleagues because we have not ensured that our referral lists contain BIPOC-owned businesses nor explicitly sought them out to add to our network – something we have done for our LGBTQ+ colleagues and clients. And we know that, in turn, this has hurt our BIPOC clients when we didn’t have the best referrals at the ready to serve them.
We accept responsibility for this and seek reconciliation through the actions below.
As a queer-owned business, LGBTQ+ equality has always been a pillar of our company values. We are committed to continuing to model and advocate for full inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community within the wedding industry. We also acknowledge that as a cisgender, woman-owned business, we are not experts on every facet of LGBTQ+ life and so we also commit to keep learning so that we can fully support the entire spectrum of LGBTQ+ people.
Many of these actions have been in place since Aisle Less Traveled was created; new initiatives are noted with deadlines/effective dates.
We will continue educating our colleagues and the wedding industry at large on inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community.
We will continue using non-gendered language throughout our website, social media, planning process, internal and external documents, including asking for pronouns and chosen names as part of our client and vendor onboarding processes.
We will continue to use our cisgender privilege to advocate for transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, and other trans-expansive members of our community.
As part of our wedding day logistics planning, we will discuss LGBTQ+ inclusion with all of our clients, regardless of their sexual orientation, to create welcoming events for LGBTQ+ clients, wedding party members, guests, and vendors.
(incorporated into our process as of February 2020)
We will implement a new vendor vetting and onboarding process which includes gathering diversity and inclusion policies; investigating owner and staff diversity; and evaluating representation and equality in websites, social media accounts, and event documents. Creative partners who we already work with regularly will go through this process before working with us again.
(completed on December 1, 2020)
We will offer LGBTQ+ inclusivity training to our wedding industry colleagues.
(added in July 2020; ongoing)
As we have staffing needs of our own, we will actively recruit LGBTQ+ candidates and will not consider the hiring process complete until we have a representative and diverse pool of qualified applicants.
(effective immediately, as of September 1, 2020)
Whatever additional resources we need in our own LGBTQ+ inclusivity journey will be purchased exclusively from LGBTQ+ educators and speakers.
(effective immediately, as of September 1, 2020)
Our view has always been that we are helping you plan your wedding – infused with your personality, your desires, and your choices. We renew our commitment to fully celebrating the love and cultural traditions of every client who trusts us with their wedding, regardless of race, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, or country of origin. And we have some ideas about how we can do that even better going forward, so here they are.
We invite and encourage you to hold us accountable for the actions above at any time. Please ask questions or share feedback by emailing email@example.com.
In support of our core values and commitment to anti-racism, LGBTQ+ equality, and a more just world for all people, Aisle Less Traveled donates a portion of our sales to progressive organizations for each wedding planning package booked. Read more about our giving back program and see a list of recipients here.