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3 Tips to Buy a Suit for Your Queer AF Wedding

You know what I love? A good suit. Maybe that’s news. My business is, after all, called Curvy Custom Bride and, unfortunately, our gendered world assumes that if you’re a bride, you’re wearing a dress. But I’m here to tell you three things when it comes to wedding clothes:

  1. Not all brides wear dresses.
  2. Not all weddings have brides.
  3. Good suits are for everybody and every body.

Including me. Yes, that’s right. I’m wearing a suit at my own wedding in January 2021. Shhh — don’t tell anyone. But rather than wax poetic about this absolutely amazing floral jacquard fabric that I found for my wedding outfit, I want to tell you what you need to know before buying your wedding suit. 

I especially want to offer my professional advice to my queer fam. That includes all of my Trans and Enby  readers out there. Hello! I can’t wait to help you shine on your wedding day.

So let’s get started. These are my three pieces of advice when buying a suit for your wedding.

1. Don’t let anyone tell you that “You can’t wear a suit because…”

Curvy Custom Bride serves all bodies, genders, and expressions. As much as I wish that was the norm in my industry, I know it’s not. That means there’s a good chance that you may very well encounter a wedding clothes retailer who tells you that you can’t do X because of Y. You already know this, of course; unfortunately, you’ve probably had that very scenario already happen a lot in the course of your life.

Well, when it comes to wedding clothes, consider this your official stamp of approval from a professional fashion designer to tell that retailer, “You’re wrong.” (I want to say something much more R rated than that but I’m keeping it clean for the kids.)

Please know that you are not weird or strange or “unconventional” for choosing clothes that may not look like a magazine cover (unless we’re talking about Dancing with Her) but sure as hell feel more like you. You deserve nothing less, and I’m sorry that we live in a world where the go-to place for suits has the word “Men’s” in the name. Wearing a good suit isn’t just “a guy thing.” It’s for everyone and that includes you.

2. There’s no professional reason why designers need to say “bust.”

If you’ve ever measured yourself (or seen an episode of “Project Runway”), you know that the “standard” measurements for most basic women’s clothing are bust, waist, and hip. Well, guess what? Not every person who identifies as a womxn has a bust. That’s why I use chest, waist, and hip.

My wish is that whomever is making your suit does this, too, but if they don’t, I encourage you to tell them that they should. I realize this puts the work on you. I also want you to feel empowered to tell everyone you meet what makes YOU feel seen, even if that “everyone” is a professional fashion designer.

This same reasoning is why I never assume the gender of anyone’s partner. If you meet me and tell me that you’re in a relationship, you’ll notice that I say “they” in reference to your partner until I’m told otherwise. Honestly, I didn’t even know that I did this until a client of mine told me, “I realized that I never told you that my partner uses he/him pronouns and that you didn’t assume that he did. I love that.”

Long story short: You deserve to be fully seen by anyone whom you hire for your wedding. That’s especially true when that anyone is the person creating a piece of clothing for your unique and special body. 

3. A suit is going to sound more expensive than it is no matter who you are.

My pricing for two-piece suits usually starts in the $1,200 range. A lot of people see that number and do a double-take. I get it but there’s a reason why this custom piece of clothing is going to cost more than many options readily available on the internet. 

One of those reasons is that this is not fast fashion. I go into the term more here but, in a nutshell, that $250 suit online is a lot cheaper but it’s not necessarily for the reason you think. I promise you: Somebody is paying the difference, and knowing what we know about the fashion industry, that person is probably paying with their health, their sanity, or, heaven forbid, their life.

Does that mean you can now suddenly afford a custom suit? I wish the world worked that way but sadly, it doesn’t. I know many people who want to do one thing but capitalism keeps them from doing it. No shame! Instead, I ask you to consider why you’re buying this suit in the first place. 

My hunch is you’re buying it to wear both on your wedding day but also for a long time after that. Maybe the next 10, 20, or 30 years? While another suit may be cheaper upfront, I know from experience that it’s going to be made from less expensive material using less expensive methods and that, unfortunately, often means less time that it’ll hold up. I, however, make my work to last. That’s why my custom suits cost what they do.

Also consider alterations. Very often, a person will buy a $200 or $300 suit thinking they’ve done it. They have bought their clothes to wear at their wedding only to surprise! Find the darn thing doesn’t fit right. 

That leads to alterations that can easily cost as much as the suit. By that point, we’re talking $600 or $700 invested in something that’s going to last half as long as if we’d started from scratch. (By the way, this same scenario happens with wedding dresses, too.)

Is it a lot of money? Yes, it can be. It can also be a very wise investment.
Ready to suit up? Let’s talk.

Fast Fashion and Weddings: You Deserve Better

I was afraid to write this article because I don’t want to come off like someone who doesn’t understand that not everyone wants or has the means to buy a wedding dress that costs more than $100. I know that I’m the person who loves making clothes so much that she’s made it her whole career.

But I’m also an experienced professional who wants, more than anything, for people to feel like themselves on their wedding day. And, unfortunately, the most popular option for a wedding dress is also the one that I most regularly see move a person further away from that feeling of bliss.

I am, of course, talking about fast fashion.

What is fast fashion?

This two-word term covers a lot of ground. In the broadest sense, fast fashion refers to clothing designs that hit the market quickly to make the most of popular fashion trends. These are clothes that are designed to not last. They’re expendable, consumable, and, often, extremely cheap both to make and to sell.

Much has been written about the negative impacts of fast fashion. It’s destroying the planet. It’s morally questionable. It’s not even good for the economy. All of this is depressingly true when we’re talking about fast fashion in the wedding industry but there’s another upsetting cost that doesn’t get a lot of attention: Fast fashion cheapens love.

3 reasons why fast fashion isn’t your friend for your wedding day

There is already so much pressure put on a person to find the perfect outfit to wear on their wedding day. In fact, “When should I buy my wedding dress?” is one of the most common questions I get from my clients. There’s an hourglass glued to the table that makes the whole search for The Perfect Dress feel that much more urgent.

This bums me out on many levels. Financially, it’s a horrible situation. So often the dress that a bride buys doesn’t fit properly but the price tag is so low that she understandably assumes, “Well, alterations can’t be that much.” Bad news, my friend. Hundreds of dollars of alterations is one of the many hidden costs of fast fashion: What seems cheap on the rack, often doesn’t stay cheap.

More than money, though, fast wedding fashion kills my vibe because these dresses are mass produced. That on its own isn’t that horrible — people got to wear clothes — but when it comes to the outfit you wear on your wedding day, it should at least fit you! That’s not asking too much, right? 

When a bride brings me her off-the-rack dress, I often spend hours figuring out how to make her unique and special body fit what she’s bought. This is totally backwards! What I should be doing — what I love to do — is start with what makes my client unique and design from there. The dress should work for her. She shouldn’t work for the dress.

Which brings me to the third and biggest reason why fast fashion isn’t your friend on your wedding day: It boxes you in.

Let’s think outside the box

I’ve already written about why it’s so important to see yourself in wedding media but long story short: If you don’t see yourself celebrated, it’s easy to think that you’re not worth celebrating. And fast fashion offers a never-ending stream of cookie-cutter options that not only ignore what’s so great about you but often make you feel bad about it. 

Screw that! You are worthy of celebrating and I’m here to make sure your clothes help, not hinder, that party. 

Fast fashion may have its place in the world but when it comes to your wedding, it’s not as expensive, hard, or time-consuming to go custom as the world would have us believe. In fact, from what I’ve seen working with hundreds of clients, designing your own wedding outfit is often one of the best ways to slow down and enjoy the journey of planning your wedding and, more importantly, starting your marriage.


Want to slow down? Let’s talk.

Rent, Buy, or Make – Wedding Dress Options

So, you need a wedding dress. Should you buy, rent, or make it?

For most people, the first answer that comes to mind is, “Well, I’ll buy my wedding dress. That’s what people do, right?” This line of thinking leads to a quick trip over to Google and… well, so many options that it makes my eyes cross just to think of them.

Other folks aren’t interested in buying a wedding dress. They’d much prefer to rent. They have too many vivid childhood memories of decades-old dresses moldering at the back of closets. They too turn to Google only to realize that renting a wedding dress is, unfortunately, not really an option. 

And as for making your wedding dress? If only this was the first thing that came to mind for more people! You know I’d love it, wedding dress fashion designer that I am.

More confused than ever on how to find your dress? I get it. Based on what I know as a designer, I’ve listed the pros and cons of each option, and, of course, if you ever want to chat more, please let me know!

Buying a wedding dress: pros and cons

The biggest pro is that the process of buying clothes is likely a familiar one. You may never have bought a wedding dress before but I imagine you’re well-versed in the process of going to a store, trying something on, and buying it. 

Unfortunately, this familiarity is also the biggest con of buying a wedding dress. Some of my clients find me because they’ve purchased a pre-made dress but need to have it altered. I’ve already shared what it can take to alter a wedding dress but long story short: It’s often more time and money than the person originally bargained on.

Renting a wedding dress: pros and cons

Renting a wedding dress has one huge benefit: more closet space. After your wedding, you give the dress back, which means you don’t have to worry about storing it or preserving it (if you’re into that kind of thing). 

The downside to renting is that your options are limited. While more companies are offering wedding dress rentals — Rent the Runway being the best-known — it remains a newer option with less inventory. This reality is limiting in a lot of ways especially if you don’t fit the very particular (and, I would argue, narrow) view that the wedding fashion industry has about what a wedding dress is “supposed” to look like.

Making a wedding dress: pros and cons

I know, I know. I design wedding dresses for a living. Of course I think making your own dress is the best option! I won’t deny this is true but I also like to be upfront about why I believe what I believe. 

For one thing, designing your own wedding dress isn’t as expensive as people think. It also doesn’t require as much knowledge of clothes as it might seem; I’m right there with you the whole time to guide and share my years of experience. Most importantly, though, making your own wedding dress allows you to celebrate what makes you you.

And that’s why no matter what option you pick — buy, rent, make — I just want you to enjoy the process of finding your wedding dress. It’s so easy to feel boxed in when planning a wedding. As a big believer in fashion as a means of expression, I don’t want you to feel forced into wearing one particular thing because you “have to.” I want you to feel amazing! I want you to feel bold. I want you to feel like yourself.

Still curious about your options? Let’s talk.

Wedding Dress Alterations: What You Need to Know

Let me tell you a story about wedding dress alterations. 

Recently, a bride brought me her dress. She’d bought it at a boutique and parts of the dress were several sizes too big. To make it fit, I took in the bodice which made the front straps move really far to the side which made the back become wide which meant I needed to cut down where the strap came out of the fabric so that it didn’t cut the bride off at the armpit.

I call this type of course correcting the domino effect of wedding dress alterations, and it’s not an usual situation for a bride who buys a pre-made dress (so, you know, most brides). Unfortunately, the domino effect happens a lot even though ? we don’t talk about it.

Why don’t we talk about this?

We don’t talk about how much labor wedding dress alterations take for two reasons. 

The first reason is that often, the people at the boutique or online store where a bride buys her dress sincerely don’t know how much or how little will be needed to alter the dress. That’s understandable. The person who sells you a wedding dress isn’t often a trained seamstress or designer. 

The second reason is a lot more gross: We don’t talk about how much labor alterations take because if we did, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t buy the dress to begin with. What seems like a good deal off the rack looks much less attractive after you tack on the $800, $1,200, $2,000 worth of alterations the dress will need to fit. 

These numbers aren’t bloated, by the way. Those are actual figures and the reason they’re so high is because they capture the hours of labor that go into altering a dress. 

What’s a bride to do?

The most important thing is to be informed. If possible, get an estimate for alterations before you buy your wedding dress or, if that’s not an option, get an estimate within the timeframe you may have on returning the dress. 

Another option is to make a dress from scratch. It’s easy to assume that ordering a custom dress will naturally be more expensive but, in my experience, it often isn’t. 

This is because there are no hidden fees or last-minute expenses. You and I work together to design your dress from the ground up. This dress is created for your one unique body and, as such, we don’t have to worry about alterations (and how much they cost). We spend more time working on the design and having fun with that instead of worrying about the fit.

It’s about risk

It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking that buying a wedding dress off the rack is “less risky” than designing a dress ourselves. That makes sense. For many of my clients, our interaction is the very first time that they’ve ever designed a piece of clothing. 

But when you factor in the cost of altering someone else’s work, the time it takes to do so, and the labor (mental, emotional, and physical) to get it all done on a tight any deadline, it’s worth considering another option. Nobody wants to deal with dominos, particularly when planning a wedding.


Want to talk more? Great! Contact me.

Image by Abbey Elaine

Sam & Steph’s Brown County Indiana Wedding

Samantha knew she wanted a custom wedding dress from the moment we met. She didn’t want to spend a ton of time trying to find the look she wanted, and the fit that would make her feel amazing!

Steph came in after Sam- they both had separate fittings so they could surprise each other at the wedding.

They wanted very different looks, and I was there to make them work well together! I’m so absolutely thrilled by the images from Amanda Goodin Photography!!

Datura Dress with overlay

When Should I Buy a Wedding Dress?

So, you’re planning a wedding. First, take a moment to enjoy all of those post-engagement feels. Sit in that moment longer than you might want to. 

I offer this advice as a wedding dress designer who has worked with dozens of people planning weddings; I’m here to tell you that once you strap into the wedding planning roller coaster, you’re on it — for better or worse.

So take your moment! Take more than one! Then, whenever you’re ready, let’s talk about what you’re wearing.

When is the right time to buy a wedding dress?

The internet will tell you to have your wedding dress ordered at least a year before your wedding day. That number — a year  — often surprises people. “So, that’s… now? Before I even send invitations?!”

A year is the recommendation because of a little thing called alterations. Buying the dress is often just the first step. Because so many wedding dresses are bought made-to-measure or off the rack, they’ve got to be altered to fit the unique body of the person wearing the dress. 

I’ve already talked at length about what alterations can cost (and why, surprisingly, going custom can actually be the more affordable choice). Here’s another pro in the column for why it’s worth considering custom: It’ll also save you time.

How long does it take to make a custom wedding dress?

No, I can’t do it in two weeks. It’s not because I don’t work quickly and efficiently. It’s not even because I’d like to get up from my sewing machine every once and awhile and, you know, maybe see my family and go to the restroom. Making a wedding dress in two weeks just won’t give you and I the time and space that we need to really savor this process.

Most of my clients contact me a year before their wedding. The sweet spot is nine months. The goal, of course, being that we have room to play, to go back and forth on design elements, fit, and fabric. These decisions deserve time. I try to create a feeling, not just a dress because this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience we’re talking about.

When you hire a custom wedding dress designer, you’re hiring a guide. Every question you’d have to Google, you can ask me. Chances are good that I might even know more than an algorithm.

What if I’m not wearing a dress?

Great! Let’s talk. I’ve made any number of non-dress outfits in my day (most memorably, a pair of matching biking uniforms for a couple who loved to ride their tandem bicycle together).

I’ll be able to tell you how long and how much the project will cost after we talk a little bit more about what you want, what you need, and what you want to feel like wearing these clothes.


Let’s start brainstorming together! Contact me here.

Lens: Amanda DeBusk

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Wedding Dress Made?

Fun fact: When I’m not making custom wedding dresses, I do alterations. It’s not something I do a lot of these days but I mention it here because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tailoring a wedding dress and thought, “It would have been cheaper if they’d just bought a custom dress.”

Yes, you read that correctly: I used one of my dreaded fashion “c” words — “cheaper” — because it’s true! Often, a dress off the rack or ordered online takes so much labor to tailor that it would have been less money, less time, and, most importantly, less heartache for the person if they’d started out custom from the get-go.

Lens: Amanda DeBusk

“Um, you’re a fashion designer — why should I believe you?”

Fair question. It’s good news for me if you want to buy a custom wedding dress but you know what’s also good news for me? More people wearing what they want on their wedding day. It’s why I got into this business in the first place and, the more I work with people getting married, the more I realize what a difference having one less item on the to-do list can mean for their brainpower. 

When you work with a designer, you have an experienced guide to take you through each step of the process rather than the oh-so-popular alternative: You buy a dress and then scramble to find where to get it altered only to spend nearly as much money on tailoring as you did on the actual dress. 

Of course, we haven’t even talked about the wide range of options there are when we use the word “tailoring.” For my work, I do such involved and detailed tailoring because I actually want things to fit the unique person who will be wearing the clothes. This is different than just taking in the seams or moving up a hem but the results are, in my experience, always worth it.

There’s one other reason that I claim it would have been cheaper if they’d just bought a custom dress: I hate waste. Speaking as a designer, it is much more efficient to build from the ground up rather than to go back and try and make something out of what’s available. 

Of course, a lot is possible even with a pre-made dress but even more is possible when we work from a blank slate. By creating a dress that’s made for your unique body, we make your dress work for you — not the other way around!

Lens: Heather Sherrill

“Interesting but how much is this going to cost me?”

Again, very fair question. The custom wedding dresses I design start at $1,500, which can feel like a lot of money. In this article, I explain why, nationally speaking, that’s actually below the average cost. More importantly, though, I want to offer context on what you’re paying for when you buy a custom dress.

You’re buying my brain. I’m the type of person who looks at fabric swatches on her break. I’ve been wearing nothing but my own handmade clothes since 2014 — that includes my underwear! I started making clothes for other people because I wanted to make big dresses and awesome suits and other glorious clothes but I didn’t want to have a lot in my closet. 

Long story short: I live and breathe making fashion that works for all people. That — more than the fabric, more than the labor, more than the time — is what you’re buying and that can save you hours of heartache. Rather than order an outfit only to have it arrive and not be quite what you hoped, we can start from the beginning to make sure you get what you want without all the (expensive) back-and-forth.

“What about made-to-measure or fast fashion ? Those prices are so low!”

Hiring a custom designer is a lot like hiring an architect. You are picking someone to be in charge of making decisions. We’re not talking about hiring some random person, either; you’re hiring a qualified, experienced, proven expert for the very important job of taking what’s in your head and bringing it to life. 

That’s part of the reason why an architect is paid more than those who build the building: The architect is being compensated for her decision-making expertise and all of the education and experience that makes her qualified to make those decisions in the first place.

The same principle applies to my work, too. While ordering a dress made-to-measure or picking a fast fashion dress costs less upfront, it actually costs much more in aggregate. It costs more in terms of money (alterations in addition to the original cost of the dress!), time (it’s on you to do the legwork), satisfaction (settling for something that isn’t made for your body), and, of course, brainpower (no resident expert to help).

So, how much does it cost to have a wedding dress made?

Less than you’d think, particularly when you factor in what you’re actually buying. 

When you hire a designer, you’re picking someone to ask the right questions and offer meaningful solutions. You’re also hiring their talent and time to draft the design, select the fabric, cut the pattern (six hours at least!), and then, finally, create. 

Sound good? Let’s talk more. Email me!

Lens: Megan Renee Thompson

3 Tips for Wedding Attire Shopping

My last post was all about how to decide what is flattering- and, yes, I probably left you with more questions than answers, but questions are good! And questioning the wedding industry is what we need right now.

So, how do you decide what to wear, when I’m over here telling you to wear whatever you want?

This is where working with a designer comes in handy. Especially someone who can really hear what you’re saying. 

Let’s keep this nice and straightforward. 

Pinterest is your friend

You might want a place to brain dump every single idea you have along the way, and a populated board is your friend when you reach out to me. Even if you don’t know why you like something, pin it! Like the color of the underskirt on this one dress (and it isn’t even a wedding dress) pin it! Like some piece of architecture or furniture for whatever reason and are wondering if you can incorporate the design lines into your look? Pin it!

Decide on a dress budget range

Yeah, I didn’t say pick a number for your budget, because a range is more reasonable. The truth is that we’re so conditioned by fast, cheap fashion, that compared to a custom made wedding dress, it’ll seem like a lot. That said, my prices are really reasonable once you see what all goes into your dress. You also might walk in thinking you want one thing, but once you realize what’s actually possible…you’ll want to be flexible. 

Focus on what you want

Honestly, there’s a way to make your every day style wedding day ready with the right laces, fabrics, and lengths. So, if you come in and you want the cut of the shirt you’re wearing, and the flow of the dresses you actually wear, we can do that!

If you’re into the trains and the crowns and the drama, we can do that, too! Add a couple of yards or the flowiest silk, and you’ll get the fanfare you know you love, and want to walk down the aisle wearing!

If you want to wear a family heirloom, but you want some changes here or there, we can definitely do that, as well! And custom re-designs are so much fun, because you can pretty much change anything, add anything, replace anything, and still keep the original design in mind.

(The pictures above are John & Katy when they got married in the 80s- Katy, in her mom’s wedding dress from the 60’s, to 2018 when they renewed their vows, and we made her dress into something more modern, that fit her style now.)

Where to start?

Find a shop, designer, seamstress, or tailor who you connect with, send them your ideas, and see what they come up with! (Always read reviews before you reach out!)

If you’d like to work with me, reach out through my contact page and let’s hop on the phone and see what we can dream up!

I just want it to be flattering

Before I start, take a second and ask yourself, what does “flattering” mean? People usually say that something flattering is something that makes you look good, but that’s subjective.What does that even mean? Some like more fitted clothes, while others like something flowier that doesn’t define their shape. Both are right. 

Definition of flattering

Let’s take a step back and think about what flattering means, according to the dictionary. 

flattering: adjective /ˈflæt̬·ər·ɪŋ/

making someone look or feel better or more attractive than usual:

That suit is flattering on you.

(Definition of flattering from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press) 

So, according to the dictionary, something flattering means that it makes you look better (subjective), and I’m gonna just say what you’re thinking. It makes people think you look thinner, prettier, more mainstream. 

Those things don’t matter to so many people, which is why flattering wedding attire will get different comments from different people. 

It’s our own life, experiences, and let’s face it, trauma, that make us comment the way we do. 

Wedding dress shopping

Lens: Amanda DeBusk

Imagine going wedding dress shopping. Maybe you prep by reading this Brides article about the best wedding dress for each body type. You go in with your mom and your best friends. You try on a number of dresses. Everyone has an opinion. But that’s why you brought them along, right?! You trust them to be honest.

Things to consider:

  1. Are you listening to your own voice? I know a lot of people go dress shopping and buy the dress that got the most votes from their friends- the dress that people told them was the most flattering.
  2. Are you basing your opinion on the one or two dresses that fit closest to your body, not the one you really like (but doesn’t fit that well)? Imagine if all the dresses you tried on fit perfectly, and you could base your decision on style and taste?
  3. Are you making conclusions about a particular style or element based on the small handful of designers who design for your body? Imagine have all the elements you love in front of you to choose from!

Seeking validation

When something is made in proportion to your body, it will always fit, which is why I’m such a fan of custom wedding design. Even though I have an idea of how I would fit every body, what I remind my clients is that this is your wedding, your look. I’m not wearing the dress or suit I’m making for you. You’re the expert of how you like things to fit your body.

Once things fit the way that make you feel like yourself, you might find that outside validation means less to you. And then, when you’re walking down the aisle, and you hear whispers, your confidence makes you smile because you know how good you look, and more important, how you feel!

Here’s a really great (raw, real, no holds barred) dialogue about the word flattering over on the Fat Sewing Club insta and another one on the Sewcialists insta that might be of interest to you, no matter your size.

And don’t forget, flattering is subjective. Wear what you want to wear- how you want to wear it.

Why It’s So Important to See Yourself in Wedding Media

One day, a bride walked into my studio to talk about her wedding dress. She brought her mom. Everything was going smoothly until I asked the bride, whom I’ll call Kayla, if she was thinking about any kind of accessory. Specifically, did she want to wear something in her hair?

She said she didn’t know what a veil would look like with her natural textured hair. I looked at her and said, “right, because if you go on Pinterest and do a search for bridal veil, all you get is white brides.”

Lens: Amanda DeBusk

Black brides are underrepresented and undervalued in the wedding industry

If you’re a Black woman getting married, and you search Pinterest for wedding veils and add on Black bride to specify, you’ll get black veils on white models. Is it any surprise that Kayla hadn’t seen anything that inspired her? She couldn’t see herself in any of the options. Veils weren’t “for her.”

There are exceptions to what we so often see — or, more accurately, don’t see — on Pinterest or from big-name wedding magazines and popular wedding blogs. Valuable resources like The B Collective, MunaLuchi Bride, Perfete, and Catalyst Wed Co. show us examples of Black joy and Black love but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know: Black brides are underrepresented and undervalued in my industry. It’s something I’m working to change.

Lens: Heather Sherrill

Finding Unity Through Community

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely seen me post in recent months about Black Lives Matter, my ongoing personal education, and vow of activism to be inclusive, equitable, and decent. These values aren’t new to me or my work but they’ve taken on a new dimension in 2020.

I also stand in solidarity with Unity Through Community, an initiative started by the wedding vendors Terrica Skaggs, Bron Hansboro, CeCe Todd, and Tammy Fleuch. The Unity Through Community badge is a visual commitment that I am, among other things, dedicated to ridding the wedding industry of racism, prejudice, and bias.

I keep circling back to the same question: “How can I be anti-racist as a wedding vendor?” There is no cookie-cutter answer, but we need to start with the dialogue. We need to start with being aware of the racist bias inherent within our industry, we need to connect with Black wedding vendors and Black owned venues so that we can give more inclusive recommendations, and we need to adjust our personal media consumption because it is our responsibility to make sure what happens to Kayla doesn’t happen to other clients.

Because I think about Kayla — a lot. I think about how her eyes lit up when I handed her a cathedral veil and said, “Try this.” I think of the joy on her face as she looked at herself in the mirror. I think of the way her mom teared up as she saw her daughter shine.

Lens: Bradley Michael Ferguson

Every person who decides to get married deserves a moment like the one Kayla had when she put on her veil. The wedding industry needs to change so couples can feel welcome, included, and seen as they plan what is meant to be a celebration of love. 

I want to change that status quo. I am changing that status quo. Won’t you join me?

Lens: Amanda DeBusk