Black Lives Matter. It has to start there. Though we never believed anything else here at Capitol Romance, I certainly have plenty of room to do more, be more, and support more. When I started this brand/blog/business, I set out to take on the wedding industrial complex in DC. I wanted to bring down the rich, capitalistic, white, heteronormative industry and rage against that machine, by showing Washington, DC that ALL kids of people & couples got married in this city, and they just weren’t being put on the marketing materials and magazines of 2011. I was here for all things authentic and sharing a diverse set of not only couples, but vendors as well. I made conscious choices on the blog to not post heterosexual white couple, after heterosexual white couple and sometimes I’d even turn down submissions because “I have too many heterosexual white couples in my queue!”. I believe that stance opened me up to some of the most amazing vendors in the DC wedding industry and couples too.
But reflecting now (as most White people seem to be doing these days), I could have done more. I should have done more. I could always do more with the privilege and platform my white skin gives me.
So this is my blog post, to admit that I am an imperfect ally and I will continue to LISTEN and LEARN and try to do and be better. I will educate myself. I will educate my children. I will educate my team and I will keep trying even after I get it wrong.
This past week I shared a few thoughts on how those of us in the wedding industry could do more than just post a black square on our IG accounts. I asked wedding vendors to take a hard look at:
- Their portfolios / websites / blogs / social media feeds – how diverse are they?
- Their vendor recommendations & referrals lists – how many of the vendors on that list are businesses owned by BIPOC vendors?
- The panels they sit on or workshops they attend – are they diverse?
You can do this work internally and this is EASY work. The next time you are asked to participate in a panel, and there are no BIPOC, use your platform and ask the panel creators why / if you can, suggest someone to include too, or better yet, suggest that they can have your spot!
I am by no means an expert but what I am is an imperfect ally that is trying to do better, EVERY day. And what I can offer is an open inbox or DM if you have no idea how to start or want to have a discussion – no judgement (well, within reason).
And now I am going to wrap this up, because nobody needs to spend much more time listening (or reading) to the words of a White woman – we need to be elevating Black voices and learning from Black leaders. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some of my favorites in the Wedding Industry:
- Jasmine Smith, Founder of DC Wedding Week and Smith&Co Live Events
- Tim Riddick, Incredible Photographer, Speaker, & Dad
- Get Plated (Owners Alex & Kenyan) Amazing & Delicious Boutique Catering Company
- Kawania Wooten, Founder Howerton Wooten Events, The Enlightened Creative
- Bria Taylor, Owner of Killa Cakes (follow on Instagram, you will NOT be sorry!)
- Tiffany & Jamanda with Beautiful Blessings Bakery
- Lana, Founder & Owner of Sal Terrae Wax
- Carletta, Carletta G Photography
- Sugar, Owner & Founder of Sugar Taylor Co, Events, Marketing & Branding
- Tabitha, Owner & Photographer at Lumen Lotus Photography
- Ky Washington, Founder of Modern Green Goddess & MUA Extraordinaire
^ this list will continue to be updated, but White people, start doing the work to update your business contacts, your platforms, and your privilege to elevate Black voices & vendors in the industry. We will be working here at Capitol Romance, to do the same.