Do you ever have an idea that simultaneously excites you and scares the shit out of you? Well, this was that for me.
Sometime in late 2020 I started brainstorming how I could contribute to changing the face of the wedding industry. For as long as I’ve been in this industry, it has often praised and paraded beautiful caucasian heterosexual couples, and left little room for anything else. On the cover of every magazine you’d see a cisgender bride who fit the textbook definition of beauty. Now, I’m not here to shit on that bride, because I’m sure she was in fact beautiful, and I’m sure the team behind her cover-worthy look are insanely talented, but, I thought it was about time to break that mold. So I did.
Although I identify as a cisgender woman and am married to a cisgender man, I have always been passionate about the LGBTQ+ community. From the time I started my business in Charleston, SC in 2012 to now being in Dallas, TX, I have known that being open about my love for the LGBTQ+ community was a risky business move (because *cough cough* the South has it’s issues), but it was a risk I was more than willing to take.
Over the past decade, I have seen a recurring pattern. From the conversations I’ve had with prospective couples who identify as LGBTQ+, and even with those who don’t identify as part of that community but who have LGBTQ+ people in their wedding party, I’ve seen that there is an underlying level of fear in choosing the right vendors that will celebrate everyone equally. They don’t know if they will be rejected by a venue or vendor solely based on who they are and who they love. They often don’t see themselves represented on prospective vendors websites or social media. I saw this problem with our industry, and began brainstorming how I could help.
Out of that brainstorm, Allied Editorials was born. I wanted to create an opportunity for LGBTQ+ people to be celebrated, and for inclusive vendors to add LGBTQ+ content to their portfolio. I realized that it can be really difficult for LGBTQ+ couples to hire someone who doesn’t already have LGBTQ+ representation in their work — but, how do those vendors get that representation without someone hiring them first? You see the dilemma? Representation matters, so I put my thinking cap on to create wedding editorials to solve this industry issue.
After months and months of planning, I found a team of likeminded vendors who were willing to put their brand behind this idea. And yes, I did get rejected or ghosted by many vendors who did not want to partake in this shoot, simply because of who the shoot was representing. After I had my vendor team, I found my beautiful LGBTQ+ models who were ecstatic to represent their community. And finally, once all the planning was done, I opened up the shoot to a select number of talented photographers who yearned to increase LGBTQ+ representation in their work.
The editorial you see below was a complete labor of love. The vendors and models absolutely nailed the vision, and I cannot wait to see where we go from here! If you’d like to be a part of the next Allied Editorials shoot or just want to be surrounded by likeminded people, join the Facebook Group.
The biggest heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed:
Planning & Concept – Sara Boyd Photography
Photography in this post – Sara Boyd Photography
Hair & Makeup – A. Marie Makeup Artistry
Gowns – Anna Be Texas
Other Attire – Banana Republic, Express, ASOS, ZARA
Invitations – Bethany’s Letter Shop
Paper Plants & Leaves – Vim & Venture
Florals – The Floral Eclectic
Rentals – Posh Couture Rentals
Cake – Sweet Things
Venue – Bella Cavalli