A Diversity Pledge From Brides

Dear Brides readers,

The overwhelming wave of racial unrest in May 2020 was an awakening for Brides. We took a long hard look at ourselves and admitted that while we always said we stood on the side of equality and inclusivity, we weren’t being intentional to ensure that our actions and content spoke as loud as our words. So our editorial team dug into this together, researched, and brainstormed ways we could make our audience—our entire audience—feel safe, welcome, and seen.

Thus, our Diversity Pledge was born. We first published this pledge on June 12, 2020, admitting to our shortcomings and committing to improve on all fronts, from prioritizing coverage of Black and diverse couples in our Real Weddings to including multiple perspectives in feature stories. 

Since mid-2020, this pledge has served as the rulebook at Brides and is at the forefront of every editorial decision we make. We’ve made great progress on our promise to showcase diverse couples, talent, and perspectives, not only meeting but also exceeding our goals, as evidenced by our quarterly updates. Still, we acknowledge that our work is never over, and we have recently added more pledge points to further expand our mission, like developing a partnership with a brand or organization that promotes diversity and inclusivity within the wedding industry.

No matter the race, culture, gender identity, or sexual orientation of our readers, it has, and always will be, our absolute commitment that all couples see themselves represented on Brides.

Our Commitment to Anti-Racism

Below you’ll find outlined our pledge—a list of actionable items to which we hold ourselves accountable. We continually revisit and add to these guidelines. We recognize our responsibility as a leader in the weddings space, and we pledge to use the power of our 85+ year legacy to urge the industry to commit to change.

Below, “diverse” is defined to include representatives of different races, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, body types, and abilities. BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

We're also sharing the progress we’ve made on our action items as of March 31, 2022, and we will continue to share updates quarterly. For questions or concerns about this report (or updates in-between our quarterly reports), please reach out to Gabriella Rello, editorial director, at gabriella.rello@meredith.com. We would love to hear from you.

Editorial

  • The current Brides editorial staff could be more diverse. We commit to diversifying our in-house team and actively recruiting BIPOC voices for our site. We pledge that 25 percent of Brides’s regular contributors will be BIPOC. To learn more about working with us at Brides, please email write@brides.com.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 30, 2022: Currently, 22 percent of our in-house team self-identify as BIPOC.

  • It is our priority to showcase diverse couples and love stories in the real weddings seen on Brides. In 2022, 20 percent of our newly published real weddings will feature Black couples; overall, 50 percent of our newly published real weddings will feature diverse couples. We will continue to publish our franchise, “Love Looks Like This,” which highlights the unique love stories of real couples.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 30, 2022: In Q2 2022, 21 percent of our newly published real weddings featured Black couples and 47 percent featured diverse couples. In Q2, we published seven "Love Looks Like This" stories; five of which featured the perspective of diverse voices.

  • Fashion and beauty roundups will always feature at least 50 percent BIPOC imagery and will prioritize diverse models and fashion brands that are size-inclusive. In articles featuring multiple sources or experts, as well as celebrity-driven red carpet and event coverage, we will actively strive to include BIPOC voices.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 30, 2022:  In Q2, 100 percent of newly published fashion, makeup, and hair roundups featured at least 50 percent BIPOC imagery, while 30 of our newly published feature stories with multiple sources and experts featured BIPOC voices.

  • We are actively working on updating existing articles in our library with the above points in mind. This project includes reviews and remediations by the Anti-Bias Review Board. Our Anti-Bias Review Board is a group of individuals hired specifically to check for representation issues, bias, and problematic language relating to personal background, stereotypes, gender, and race.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 30, 2022: In Q2, our Anti-Bias Review Board reviewed 12 articles.

  • Moving forward, all editorially-curated vendor roundups and best-of lists will include 30 percent BIPOC-owned businesses. We commit to prioritizing including Black-owned businesses in shopping articles.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 30, 2022: In Q2, we did not publish any vendor roundups

  • In standalone designer features, we will be transparent in our coverage if a brand does not prominently feature BIPOC models. We will also actively reach out to brands and partners and ask them to commit to change.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 20, 2022: In Q2, we updated or published 48 standalone designer features, 19 of which did not prominently feature BIPOC models. We added a disclaimer to each article and reached out to the designers asking them to commit to change.

  • We no longer feature real weddings at plantations with histories of slavery inside or outside the U.S., ever refer to anything as “plantation-style,” or attend events on plantations. If and when we report on celebrity news associated with a property that has a history as a plantation, we will always disclose this fact to our readers.
  • Brides editors will never be on an industry panel or participate in an industry event where BIPOC are not represented.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 30, 2022: In Q2, Brides editors participated in one industry panel or event.

  • We pledge to explore and develop a partnership with a brand or organization that promotes diversity and inclusivity within the wedding industry.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 30, 2022: We have partnered with the Ethos West Collective since 2020. Founded by wedding professionals Lea Stafford, Chanda Daniels, and Erica Estrada, the Ethos West Collective is a group of esteemed Black wedding professionals formed to showcase their talents in the industry, provide support and resources, and promote collaboration. In this partnership, we turn to Ethos West members for expertise in feature articles, share their work via our Real Weddings, and stay in regular contact regarding the wedding industry. In addition to our work with the Ethos West Collective, we are actively pursuing further partnerships with more brands and organizations that promote diversity and inclusivity within the wedding industry.

Social

  • We pledge to have a diverse Instagram feed that represents all couples and highlights the work of Black wedding vendors. At a minimum, 30 percent of our Instagram posts will display diversity. We will promote content from BIPOC vendors and BIPOC-owned bridal brands and give them proper credit.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 30, 2022: In Q2, 45 percent of our Instagram posts displayed diversity.

  • We will always consider diverse voices when creating new website and social series. At least 30 percent of our Instagram takeovers will feature BIPOC influencers and vendors.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 30, 2022: In Q2, 48 percent of our Instagram takeovers featured BIPOC influencers and vendors.

Brides comprises a small team of editors who truly stand behind these commitments. We each plan to work hard to meet these promises, and we will report on our progress on a quarterly basis. We vow to make these changes long-term and to work tirelessly to ensure representation and inclusivity live at the forefront of the stories Brides tells.

Sincerely,

The Brides Team

Brides editors' signatures