It feels very poignant to be posting this beautiful shoot. Each and every single day, across the world, people are struggling to live their lives in peace and harmony. There is a struggle occurring in every corner of this beautiful earth. Whether it be amongst people of colour or within the LGBTQ community, with those suffering with disabilities or those who don’t fit our outdated beauty standards; every day, people are fighting for the simplest of rights. The struggles are prevalent, real and strong.
Indeed, within the wedding industry, there is a huge disconnect. A disconnect between the typical bridal beauty standard which is quite literally everywhere in wedding media, and what actual, real live couples look like.
Here at Wed in The Wild, we show no prejudice. We want to show real people that they are catered for. We want to showcase diverse and inclusive weddings. Not just to tick a box to say, “yep, that’s covered’ but because real people need to feel inspired by people and models who don’t just appeal to one kind of bride.
When Amber from our beloved Rock & Stone Weddings got in touch this week, following the UK Bride fiasco, we knew we had to showcase this amazing display which celebrates diversity and showcases inclusivity. Amber explains the premise of the shoot:
“It all started back in April when I discovered that a local registry we’d paid to join, who claimed to help link people looking for a unique, modern and creative wedding, with vendors who match that aesthetic, had some dubious views about working with the LGBTQ+ community. In their words ‘we have members who choose not to and we completely respect that’. Not wanting to associate with a group who felt it was ok to respect that, I immediately left the directory and speaking about the experience on Instagram opened up a valuable discussion. Not just about the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community in the wedding industry, but also anyone who isn’t white and a size 0 with long flowing locks! It seemed that actually, there were a whole lot of people feeling frustrated about a lack of representation. So many photographers said that they wanted to be able to show more diversity in their portfolios but they just didn’t have a very diverse client base contacting them.” Amber
Amber knew a lot of photographers and vendors who wanted to showcase diversity in their portfolios and so she began planning a mass shootout. She wanted to bring together an epic and beautiful shoot which would allow photographers to come and capture tonnes of great content in order to diversify their portfolio and help them attract more of their ideal clients.
When Amber got in touch, we squealed. We had seen a couple of the images from the shootout floating around on social media, but hadn’t connected that it was a large-scale project with the four sets of beautiful couples. It was perfect timing, as we had been speaking out a lot on out Instagram about diversity and inclusivity in the wedding industry.
Ambers’ concept for the shoot was based on the Mediterranean; four distinct areas that all played homage to different areas of the Med, which were all cohesive enough to work together…each area and palette feeling like an evolution of the one before.
The shootout was attended by multiple photographers but the images you see here were captured by one of our absolute faves, Kendra K. Kendra has an amazing eye and creates beautiful, flowing magic with her style of shooting. The perfect choice for this romantic and multi-faceted project.
All that was missing, in Amber’s eyes, was a male/male couple…”we really wanted to find a male couple too but just no volunteers“. So if you’re reading this and either are, or know someone that might be interested in the future, then feel free to contact Amber if you are based in the states!
We’re absolutely bowled over by the creativity and romantic elegance of this beautiful shootout. From the styling of the couples, all paying homage to their personalities, to the abundance of gorgeous florals, decor and venue styling. We love the transition from the beginning of the shoot…the step up in colour and vibrancy as the shoot takes shape, and the sheer magic in the photography.
What an amazing concept and with a heartfelt, authentic meaning behind it. We hope that the incredible work of Amber, Kendra and the rest of the team gives every day people who are planning their weddings the courage and the assurance that there is change afoot and there are vendors out there who respect and want to work with all couples regardless of their gender, size, age, sexuality, race or religion.