Body Inclusivity at Weddings

Practicing Body Inclusivity at Your Wedding

Brittny Drye Founder + Editor-in-Chief of Love Inc. Magazine | On-Air Wedding Expert | LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in the Wedding Industry

To ensure everyone feels welcome on your big day, here are three ways to practice body positivity with love and acceptance when planning your wedding.

Weddings are a time to celebrate love — not just between you and your partner, but with the friends and family joining you to mark such a significant milestone. Loved ones offer support and acceptance when welcoming your new chapter, so it’s natural to want a wedding experience that is comfortable and inclusive for all in attendance.

Unfortunately, not all wedding venues and vendors consider diverse body sizes when designing floorplans, selecting rentals, or posing guests for photographs. For some guests, such oversight can create feelings of shame, embarrassment, and discomfort.

Create a size-inclusive vendor team

Designing an inclusive wedding experience starts with creating a team of body-positive professionals who value diversity and know how to adapt plans to ensure guest comfort.

Nora Sheils of Rock Paper Coin and Bridal Bliss shares a few examples of what to look for in an inclusive vendor: “Your photographer will likely be mindful of taking flattering angles of you, your guests, and your family, and your caterer will be mindful of seating arrangements and making tables comfortable.”

Sheils encourages couples to “look at vendors' galleries” during the research and booking process. “Do you see your friends and family in their past work? If so, you know that the vendor is more likely to be size-inclusive.”

So before signing any contracts, make sure you’ve perused a vendor’s website and social media presence to confirm representation of all body sizes in their work.

Be mindful of your venue’s layout

Spatial planning is critical when planning a body-positive wedding, as it’s hard to feel your best when squeezing between aisles or feeling squished in one’s seat. Creating a floor plan that flows will allow everyone to move and navigate the space comfortably.

“It can be difficult to navigate tighter spaces and chairs if they are laid out close together in some of the setups,” explains Jen Sulak of Weirdo Weddings. She recommends working with “a team of designers and knowledgeable planners that have an idea about setup, furniture options, and spatial awareness.”

In addition to open floor plans, Sheils notes the importance of selecting rental furniture that can accommodate guests of all sizes.

“Consider your guest's comfort when choosing seating arrangements and even the style of chairs,” Sheils urges. “It may cost you a little more in the budget, but space your guests out and spring for the nicer chairs (and chair pads!).”

Sure, you might expect most guests to be on their feet celebrating on the dance floor. But providing everyone with a comfortable space to sit down, eat, and take breaks between songs is essential! A team of experienced professionals can design an adequately spaced layout and fill it with size-inclusive rentals to guarantee guest comfort.

Forgo a strict dress code

While guests typically aren’t beholden to a firm dress code, couples should consider the expectations set for their wedding party members. While it’s traditional to adhere to certain colors, letting your VIPs pick their attire will allow them to enjoy the day with ease.

“Keeping it simpler is so much better than being overly choosy about styles and colors,” Sulak assures. “Encourage your party to stay within a color scheme and pick something that works for their body both in style and comfort!”

The same goes for parents, Sheils adds. “While most couples don't have a strict dress code for their parents, be mindful of what you are asking or requesting them to wear so they can feel their best on such an important day,” she says.

You might love the idea of everyone wearing matching heels or sporting identical necklines. But if it comes at the expense of your loved ones’ comfort, loosen up your expectations and put their well-being first. Your guests will be happier for it!

There’s no question that you want everyone to feel relaxed and full of joy on your big day. While great music, delicious food, and meaningful conversations are vital elements of a successful wedding, putting a bit of forethought into accessibility and size inclusivity goes a long way in creating a safe, comfortable space for every guest.

Written by Meghan Ely | Photo credits: Caroline's Collective; Julia Wade
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.


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