Our Commitment To Black Lives MatterWords by Jennifer Stein
Our Commitment Then and Now
When we started this magazine 15 years ago it was to fill a gap in the wedding industry. One that would show REAL couples around the world celebrating their destination weddings. Our love of the beautiful cultures and colors around the world would be central in everything we printed and shared. We believed then and we believe now, that the diversity of our world is what is beautiful – that includes not just the landscapes of the destinations but the people who make them up. Our goal has been to bring our readers the helpful information to plan their wedding wherever it is in the world with whomever it is with – regardless of race or gender.
The very first issue of our magazine featured a bi-racial bride on the cover, as well as 35% of our covers since that day. We’ve sought out Black brides in several internal photo shoots because we recognized, years ago, that there is not enough representation. But over the eye-opening past few weeks and reflecting on what is systemically happening to Black people and People of Color across this country, we had a major epiphany. Through this time of silence and listening we’ve checked our hearts, prayed diligently and have realized our massive mistake. Black, Indigenous and People of Color shouldn’t be relegated to percentages or a box to be checked. Our magazine isn’t a census. We genuinely have always wanted our readers and vendor partners to look at our content, no matter where it is, online or in print, and see THEMSELVES reflected in it. And we’ve been going about it the wrong way. For that, we sincerely apologize. From real weddings in our print pages and photo shoots to our Instagram feed and social content, we need to do better. To be better. To step up our efforts and not just “take what wedding and photo shoot submissions are sent to us,” but actively seek out couples who are as diverse as the country and world we live in.
We have spent the last few weeks listening and reading, watching and waiting. In this incredibly fast-paced world it’s tempting to just react by placing a few photos on Instagram with some hollow words about equality, but in the long run, what will that accomplish? We want to be an advocate for change. Not just to be anti-racist but to come to the table with actionable items that we can commit to. And our commitment looks like this: to become a PARTNER in snuffing out racism and specifically micro-aggressions that have become commonplace in our industry and beyond.
Our Action Items:
- We commit to SEEK OUT more destination wedding couples who are BIPOC to showcase their events instead of just selecting what is sent to us both in print and online.
- We will REQUIRE that external photo shoots showcase BIPOC models and vendors.
- We vow to REACH OUT to BIPOC small business owners to showcase their work online and in print and to feature them and their expertise.
- We will continue WRITING POLITICIANS and elected officials to affect change at our state, local and federal levels.
- We commit to SEEK OUT writers, freelancers, interns and employees who are BIPOC.
- We vow to continue to EVALUATE our social media platforms, editorial schedule and advertising lineup to ensure BIPOC are genuinely represented so that this change is not fleeting but permanent.
And we’d like to extend an open invitation to communicate with us, to submit your destination weddings (and there is ONE caveat – the weddings MUST be destination) and your photo shoots. Our doors are open WIDE and our sincerest hope is that diversity comes pouring in.
DM us. Email us (info (at) destinationido (dot) com. And be ready to hear from us too. For full submission guidelines, click HERE
God bless and be well. ~ The Destination I Do Team
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