Moving Beyond Racial Bias in the Wedding Industry

Revisiting: Moving Beyond Racial Bias in the Wedding Industry
A Recap from Bron Hansboro “Moving the Race Needle Forward”

With the recent events taking place across our nation, it’s a critical time for all of us to look inwards and educate ourselves. In 2020, we had the pleasure of welcoming Bron Hansboro, owner of The Flower Guy Bron, to further expand on how to move the race needle forward.

Below, he shared a recap of his own thoughts, as well as guidance for event professionals moving forward.  With Black History Month upon us, we felt it was the perfect time to revisit his words.

The Background

As Bron shared, we are an industry built on love. We produce beautiful weddings for couples who are in love, regardless of race, sexuality, gender, or religion. In order to become a truly inclusive community, we need to start by facing our own biases. 

If you’re thinking this doesn’t apply to you, please keep reading. Racial bias goes beyond blatant or deliberate displays of racism; instead, our unconscious biases can be triggered even when we have every intention of being fair. Lack of diversity means POC have less chances to contribute their work. They are often left off vendor lists, looked over for speaking engagements, and face greater challenges to become an educator in the industry.

It’s a vicious cycle: When POC don’t have opportunities on the ground, they cannot carve out their role as a thought leader in the industry. On the other hand, in an industry predominantly led by White educators, POC feel unheard and underrepresented by those they look up to.

This conversation is long overdue; the Black community has already faced a lot of damage, but starting now is better than never. Here’s how you can start your journey to a more inclusive mindset.

First Steps: Look within yourself

First and foremost, you need to start with your own narrative. Do some soul searching and ask yourself: What stories have I been told? What has happened in my life that influenced me to think this way? These are some of the hardest questions because you will have to face that you have been wrong and, in some cases, hurtful to others.

You will have missteps along the way and, as a non-POC, you will likely offend some people. Accept it. That’s part of the healing process as we strive for a fully inclusive society. Lean into the discomfort and learn from your mistakes. Keep educating yourself; there is so much history that explains why we are where we are today — read, absorb, and understand.

Racism isn’t a matter of mind, but one of heart — make sure your heart is in a good place, then express what’s there and let the love flow out naturally. Let people give you advice and hold you accountable. This isn’t about your reputation, but the difference you can make in the lives of others.

Next – Evaluate your team

Start putting your own vendor team under scrutiny: What does the racial makeup look like? How inclusive is it? If a room of your creative partners is looking monochromatic, there’s a good chance that racial bias is at play. It’s time to grow our mindsets to embrace all people and that starts with hiring and collaborating with people of other races and ethnicities. 

Start the hard conversations with your creative partners and venues; if you’ve learned and evolved in your way of thinking, spread the love by helping others to understand and address their own racial biases. We must hold others accountable for their lack of diversity.

Internally, look into staff training on diversity, inclusion, and bias training. There are plenty of online resources and universities that offer continuing education courses. We have the internet at our disposal — there are no excuses for ignorance.

Finally – Speak up

The last several months have shown that White and non-Black POC voices are what lift up the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s time to use our privilege on behalf of others. This doesn’t mean adding a black square to your feed and moving on with your life. A hashtag is not going to fix the systemic inequalities that exist not just in our industry or even our county, but on a global scale. 

In order to move forward authentically, you need to tie a story to your stance — even if that means admitting your own conscious or unconscious mistreatment of Black event pros. Own up to it, tell your story, and commit to change. Vulnerability is key. Anything else feels hollow and performative. No matter your political views or what your news channel is saying, you have a duty to make your clients feel welcome in your business.

It’s not enough to be non-racist. We have to be anti-racist, calling out those who are hurting others and causing your community to feel unsafe. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never said anything before; you can always start right now, in this moment. Just don’t let it become a one-time thing because of a “trend.” Human rights are not a trend. Keep speaking up. Intentionality is everything and, if your heart is in the right place, you can make a difference.


In our continued work with our D+I Consultant, the following resources were strongly recommended for those interested in further exploring diversity and inclusion:

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