A Diversity Pledge From Brides

Dear Brides readers,

For too long, we have said that at Brides, “we’re committed to bringing you an inclusive look at the world of weddings, with every type of couple, and every type of celebration,” and, for too long, we have fallen short on that promise. Weddings are celebrations of love, and we need to make sure everyone has a voice in that celebration. It is our absolute commitment that everyone sees themselves represented on Brides.

We recognize that many couples and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color)-owned wedding businesses have not seen themselves represented on Brides over the years, both at first on the pages of our former print magazine, and more recently since we transitioned to a digital-only platform. Today, we vow to change that. Brides will diversify its own voice, but also be an ally to the established Black wedding community by collaborating with vendors, brands, and other bridal publications.

Our Commitment to Anti-Racism

Below you’ll find outlined our pledge—a list of actionable items to which we will hold ourselves accountable. We intend to 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.

We're also sharing the progress we’ve made on our action items as of March 31, 2021, 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 our associate editorial director, Anna Price Olson (anna@brides.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 recruit BIPOC voices for our site immediately. We pledge that by the end of the year, 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 SEPTEMBER 30, 2021: Currently, 14 percent of our in-house team and 26 percent of our regular contributors self-identify as BIPOC.

  • It is our priority to showcase diverse couples and love stories in the real weddings on Brides. In 2021, 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 have also launched a franchise called “Love Looks Like This,” with the goal of telling stories from the perspective of diverse voices.

UPDATE AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2021: So far in 2021, 28 percent of our newly published real weddings featured Black couples and 51 percent featured diverse couples. In Q3, we published four "Love Looks Like This" stories; three of which featured the perspective of diverse voices.

  • For feature articles featuring multiple sources or experts, we will actively strive to include BIPOC voices. Fashion, Makeup, and Hair roundups will always feature at least 50 percent BIPOC imagery and will prioritize diverse models and fashion brands that are size-inclusive.

UPDATE AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2021:  In Q3, 81 percent of our feature stories with multiple sources and experts featured BIPOC voices, while 100 percent of newly published Fashion, Makeup, and Hair roundups featured at least 50 percent BIPOC imagery.

  • 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 SEPTEMBER 30, 2021: In Q3, our Anti-Bias Review Board reviewed 49 articles and flagged 10 articles for remediation.

  • Moving forward, all 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 SEPTEMBER 30, 2021: In Q3 we published seven vendor roundups, all of which included 30 percent or more BIPOC-owned businesses.

  • 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 SEPTEMBER 30, 2021: In Q3, we updated or published 17 standalone designer features, 8 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 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.
  • Brides editors will never be on an industry panel or participate in an industry event where BIPOC are not represented.
  • 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 SEPTEMBER 30, 2021: 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 SEPTEMBER 30, 2021: In Q3, 41 percent of our Instagram posts displayed diversity.

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

UPDATE AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2021: In Q3, 55 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 will report on our progress on a quarterly basis. While long overdue, we have begun to face and address our own shortcomings. We now 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

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