An inclusive publication is making waves in the wedding industry. According to Forbes, the U.S. wedding industry is still largely heteronormative despite the legalization is marriage equality four years ago. Brittny Drye, the founder of Love Inc, is one of the only inclusive content creators in the industry.
Love Inc, an equality-minded wedding site and publication, was founded in 2013 by writer and editor Brittny Drye. Since its creation, Love Inc has quickly become a go-to destination for couples looking for wedding products that are more representative of a modern, inclusive world.
“I started Love Inc. in 2013 when I realized that no one was being truly inclusive with their content,” said Drye. “The wedding publications were either talking to the bride marrying the groom, or it was strictly for LGBTQ couples.”
Approximately 2.4 million weddings take place in the U.S. every year. Since marriage equality was legalized in 2015, a growing number of those couples have been LGBTQ. But many wedding publications have remained heteronormative despite these rising numbers.
“I saw a niche that needed to be filled — a resource where all couples can find wedding ideas and inspiration that is applicable to them,” said Drye.
Drye says that although Love Inc has been well-received by the wedding industry as a whole, the industry itself has been marketing to the bride for so long that many companies don’t realize their documents, marketing materials, and contact forms are heteronormative.
Drye has been traveling and speaking on the topic to different companies within the wedding industry to advocate for more inclusive content. “[It’s] like a lightbulb goes off when they realize it,” she said. “It’s not that they purposely are excluding LGBTQ couples — they’re just not educated.”
One of the ways LGBTQ couples have changed the wedding industry is that, in making their own rules in the midst of heteronormative traditions, they’ve opened the gates for all couples to put a personal stamp on their own ceremonies.
According to the Brides 2018 American Wedding Study, only 32% of couples did or planned to do the throwing of the garter. Only 50% of couples married in 2018 took part in throwing the bouquet. 11% fewer couples bought into the idea that it’s bad luck to see your partner before the wedding ceremony.
“We’re seeing hetero couples walk down the aisle together, writing their own vows and binary traditions like the garter toss being nixed,” said Drye, “and that started with LGBTQ couples.”
The biggest concern LGBTQ couples have when planning their wedding is having to come out to each vendor they speak to. To prevent any discomfort and discrimination, Drye screens every wedding pro and company featured in Love Inc.
Although companies can decrease operating costs with remote work, they still lose money by missing out on potential LGBTQ customers by using non-inclusive content. Up to 86% of LGBTQ adults are more likely to purchase a company’s product or services when an ad is tailored to them, according to a CMI Marketing survey.
What’s more, heteronormative wedding companies could miss out on the next generation of customers entirely if they don’t update their digital presence and business policies. A 2016 survey by the consumer insight agency J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group found that just 48% of Generation Z identifies as completely straight.
“The next generation is extremely fluid,” said Drye, “and they want to spend their dollars with companies that reflect their values.”