Flashback to the First {un}convention

Before liz and carly were liz+carly, they were just two lone islands in a sea of chevron paper goods. Both otherwise practical people, their soft spot for photographing (carly) and coordinating (liz) lovely events brought them somewhat reluctantly into the dreaded Wedding Industrial Complex. They were surrounded by couples chasing the dragon of The Perfect Wedding (TM) and a vendor culture invested in keeping that carrot dangling. When they found each other, it was love at first sight. Together, they vowed to build a community for like-minded professionals straddling the line between participating in and critiquing weddings: {un}convention was born.

Expecting literally nothing, liz+carly were surprised and delighted when {un}convention: Richmond sold out in the first week of registration. Folks schlepped themselves from Philadelphia and Virginia Beach all the way to the capital of Virginia, home of Edgar Allan Poe and your old roommate’s band. They jumped at the invitation to participate in a changing wedding industry and to push back against Pinterest-perfect expectations.

Using some snazzy feminist tactics learned in their respective gender studies programs, liz+carly set the stage for a safe space where participants could bring their whole selves: business mistakes, business success, questions, challenges, differences in race, gender, class, and sexual identity. Together they drank so many mimosas, gave each other critical feedback, collaboratively styled and shot a faux wedding, ate delicious food, and enjoyed an after-party at a local craft brewery.

You there, repurposing found materials into sexy bridal lingerie, you’re not alone. You, with feelings about how patriarchy influences wedding traditions as you arrange bridal bouquets, you’re not alone. And you, who is heavily burdened by your awareness of consumerism and homogeny in major wedding media, you’re not alone. There are other badass progressives navigating the Wedding Industrial Complex. At {un}convention we learned that we need each other. We need each other for support and referrals, for community and collaboration. We need each other to push the boundaries in the wedding industry and to make space for diversity, creativity, and progressive politics.