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Getting Woke with Weddings

Getting Woke with Weddings

How your business can be socially conscious when planning and working with couples on their weddings.

Becoming a more socially conscious business can not only help make the world a better place but also help your business thrive. From the way you work with couples and their families regarding cultural and religious traditions to vocal support of timely social issues, the way you “show up” for your customers says a lot about your business.

Socially conscious businesses develop a business strategy in which they not only turn a profit but also understand and serve the needs of their communities. The movement toward a more socially conscious business encompasses a “values-based” approach where customers can relate to your brand on a deeper level and choose to work with your business based on its values.

Whether it’s a commitment to Black Lives Matter, support for LGBTQIAPK+ couples and individuals, dedication to protecting the environment, or some other cause you’re passionate about, both customers and employees alike want to support organizations that speak to their personal values.

Customers will even pay extra for products and services from companies that are committed to having a positive social and/or environmental impact. So how can you become more socially conscious? Here are five suggestions.

1. Create a mission around social responsibility.

When social responsibility is one of the building blocks for your business, the actions you take to express that social responsibility will become a part of the foundation of your business. Those core values shape the everyday choices that are made by owners, managers and employees.

2. Curate cultural competence.

Learn about the wedding traditions of different ethnicities, races, cultures and religions in your community so that you can interact effectively with people of various backgrounds and serve them well. Be curious and dedicated in your efforts to learn more about the communities you care about and wish to serve.

3. Share your aspirations. (In other words, tell the world.)

Once you implement your social responsibility program (or develop your core values), make sure to communicate this in your online brand messaging and in one-on-one conversations with clients. Is inclusion and diversity as part of your mission and core values? If so, do you have your equality and inclusion statement on your website?

4. Be welcoming.

Be clear and welcoming with your language. It’s still quite common to see florists use the terms “bride” and “groom” on their websites. Instead of using those terms on your wedding inquiry form, simply say “couple” or “your name(s).” Check and double-check your website and social media feeds for racial or gender bias. (You want to match the outside of your business to the inside.)

5. Collaborate with like-minded businesses and organizations.

By partnering with other small businesses or charitable organizations, you can discover inventive ways to become more socially conscious. You can magnify your efforts by including others in your aspirations.

To those of you who are worried about seeming “trendy” or being perceived as just jumping on a bandwagon if you embrace a social mission in your business, do not be afraid. When you believe in a social issue, want to serve more diverse local communities or want to throw your financial support behind a certain nonprofit organization, there’s no such thing as a bad time to think about your participation and take action to do what feels right.

See Alison Ellis’ wedding work at floralartvt.com, and find her courses for florists at realflowerbusiness.com.

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