Diversity, Inclusive and Body Positivity; could I pack a publication with anymore 'realness' in the very first sentence than this? It's something some people may feel uncomfortable about, however, it is something that I am extremely passionate about as an editor. This issue has been on my mind to write about for some time and this incredible session that I am about to show you by a team of truly extraordinary Perth based wedding industry ambassadors gave me the nudge and spectacular images that I needed to write this article.
Being diverse and inclusive in the wedding industry is not something that has sprung up overnight and its not something that is a 'new' issue. Bizarrely enough, in a world that is meant to be in a 'modern era' that offers us so many options, quite often you just don't see the range of diversity and inclusivity in mainstream wedding media that there should be when you consider the diversity of our population. Sheer disappointment is felt when I pick up a publication, or see an advertising campaign or a well known brands lookbook and find yet again another; skinny, white, young female on the cover. I think I can safely speak for the majority of couples when I say this does not identify with them.
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, and a report complied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in April 2013. Australia is one of the most diverse societies in the world today. One in four of Australia’s 22 million people being born overseas; 46 per cent having at least one parent who was born overseas; and nearly 20 per cent of Australians speaking a language other than English at home.
I can only imagine how the numbers have changed since then. The increase in these numbers together with cultural diversity shows a need to increase the diversity and broaden the minds of the publications and media which inspire and represents us. Being a platform for Love, is something that I cherish as an editor and strongly believe that Love is Love no matter what the; shape, size, gender, personal preference, ethnic background, religion or dietary preference, that you are or may have.
As a previous bride myself, who is currently in the process of planning a vow renewal, I look at inspiration and campaigns that come through my inbox now and reminisce about what it was like when I was planning my first wedding. I remember searching high and low for inspiration but not being able to feel a connection to anything I saw. I was so excited when we were engaged and rushed out and brought every magazine I could find, to sit down and flip through the pages and write off brand after brand, thinking 'ha yeah right that will cover my left leg but what do I do about my other leg and arms?' Needless to say I was disappointed by what I saw, and more notably by what I didn't see, in those magazines. When it came time to publish my own online magazine, I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to have a voice within it's pages.
Just the other day, I was scrolling through one of many Facebook forums and a photographer asked where they could submit a plus sized bride's wedding and it saddened me to my core that they had to ask this. Having a wedding submitted to me is an honor, an act of trust that is placed in me by couples and photographers to showcase their captured love stories and celebrate with them. Accepting a wedding for me, isn't governed by parameters of size, race, gender or religion, it's governed by the range of images, our publication availability, seasons and the quality of the images supplied.
So you can imagine our sheer excitement when we came across this incredible body positivity collaboration from an epic team of like minded vendors in Perth, WA. Captured by the talented and lovely, Hayley and Kyle of Taylor and Co. Photography, this stunning session champions the need for change in the wedding industry and challenges what is considered to be typically beautiful.
Displaying cards held high and held proudly, these six incredible women touched on some of the issues at the heart of this lack of inclusivity with messages reading; 'Punk can be Pretty!", "Babies like dress-ups too!", "Big boobs matter too!", "I feel bloody sexy!", "My worth is not measured by the size of my waist." and "We are not all supposed to look the same!
The team were hosted by the incredible venue, Feld and Co., a new and unique space located close to the City of Perth and the vibrant City of Melville. Their vision is to create a creative communal space for like minded individuals who encourage and nurture each other in their respective creative fields. Offering the perfect location for workshops and open nights for the arts, this stunning venue with its abundance of natural light is the perfect industrial chic setting, offering a unique botanical backdrop for photo sessions whilst being large enough to be the ideal space to celebrate any event. This raw and organic backdrop was the perfect setting for this concept shoot highlighting and framing the natural beauty of the teams lovely models. The stunning shots in the dense greenery, were captured at the teams secondary location, Little Leaf Co. A botanical warehouse next door to Feld and Co. brimming with pots big and small and full of lush greenery to fill any space.
Working together to bring this concept to life were; Denae of Nina and Nae who created stunning floral designs that accented the raw natural styling and stunning Macrame Arbour created and provided by the team at Poppy & Posy. The stunning, moody tablescape complete with one epicly delectable spread was designed and provided by the team at Style + Graze and has my mouth watering just uploading the images.
The team didn't have brides in our opinion, they had a team of absolute Queens; Jamie, Erin, Hayley, Emily, Naomi and Laura absolutely rocked their unique bridal looks in breathtaking gowns by Perth designer Qnique Bridal. Their bridal looks were created with spectacular hair styles by Jessica Avery, tans by Kirsty Mulcahy and Spray Nation flawlessly completed with gorgeous makeup by the talented Claire Louise Creative.
I cannot show enough love for this amazing team of vendors and encourage you to sit back and relax as you scroll through the images from this session. I highly recommend that you head to the links below and check out their work for yourselves and discover some serious talent and inspiration for your own big day!
MEET THE TEAM:
Photography: Taylor and Co. Photography
Venue: Feld and Co.
Secondary Photo Location: Little Leaf Co.
Floral Design: Nina and Nae
Macrame Arbour & Styling: Poppy & Posy
Grazing & Tableware Hire: Style + Graze
Hair Styling: Jessica Avery
Makeup Artist: Claire Louise Creative
Bridal Couture & Styling: Qnique Bridal