A few months ago, I was at an event
targeted towards newly engaged couples, and I met a young woman who was seemingly pretty overwhelmed about the idea of planning her wedding. For the sake of this story, we will call her Maggie.
The more I chatted with Maggie, the more I got the sense that she had been burned by a few, if not several, wedding vendors before this conversation. I could tell she was anxious to ask me something, and when I finally just called her on it, she said “Is it a problem for you that I am Indian and my fiance is black? Because I know that makes a lot of people uncomfortable.”
Y'all. Hold my purse while I climb up on this soapbox, would you?
It is 2020. If two consenting adults want to get married-- we want to help them. I don’t care if they’re black, white, gay, straight, Hindu, Jewish, or experts in the art of krav maga.
Planning a wedding is stressful. Blending two cultures and two families is stressful. We should not be adding to that stress by making people feel unwelcome at the table!
If you are a wedding industry professional, it is completely within your right to refuse service to a couple if you feel as though you will not be able to provide them a fair level of service. However… that does NOT mean that at any point it is okay or justifiable for you to treat another human being as if they are less than you. Ever. Ever. Ever.
I remember asking my friend Nina once if she offered hair and makeup services for Indian weddings-- not because I thought there would be a conflict in morals, but more so because it’s a much earlier morning for the HMU team than a typical wedding day, and often requires at least one artist to stay through the day in case a second look is happening at the reception.
My girl Nina looked my straight in the eyes and said, “Do they have a head? Then I’ll help them.”
Can I get a slow clap for Nina?
If I’ve said it once I have said it a million times but y'all. We are called to SERVE OTHERS. If you are an industry professional reading this, we are in the service industry. If you don’t feel comfortable being surrounded by people who are different than you, don’t you think that maybe it’s not THEM who has the issue?
The thing that upset me the most about the questions that Maggie asked me that day, were that I know it’s not the first time she had to ask them. She and her fiance have been together for six years, and I’m fairly confident that they have had to forge their own way in uncharted territories at every turn of their relationship. Her questions were based in fear of the inevitable ‘no’, and rooted in a truth that is very much their reality-- and I hate that for them.
So if you are here reading this, welcome. If you are ISO a wedding planner or another vendor and don’t know where to begin-- just ask. If we can’t help you, we will try to find someone who can.
Planning a wedding should be a joy filled experience, and even if I’m not the right planner for you-- I would love the opportunity to help you find that person.
And if you’re not planning a wedding, and just in need of a friend-- I hope you stick around. Because you’re always welcome here at our table.