We here at Catalyst have long been fans of the U.K. wedding blog, Nu Bride, and its owner and editor Nova Reid. Nova is always working to educate others — both inside and outside the wedding industry — about diversity and inclusivity. She is also dedicated to connecting couples with wedding suppliers who are focused on equality, and so we are thrilled to share that she is hosting the first ever Nu Bride The Wedding Show to help bring resources to couples from all communities. We held a Q&A with Nova, and here’s what she had to say about this one of a kind event!
What motivated you to create Nu Bride The Wedding Show?
I had been approached over the past 2-3 years by Nu Bride supporters and sponsors who had asked for a Nu Bride Show. I dismissed it for years, because it is an enormous undertaking, but the idea kept being brought up time and time again. It was a Nu Bride reader survey that revealed that of the 64% who attended mainstream and local wedding shows a whopping 94% felt that the shows they attended didn't adequately serve their needs. They felt they were segregated and not representative of modern couples. They found them to be out-dated, not current, and not relevant for couples planning a modern wedding and definitely lacking in diversity and culture.
I was frustrated with the results, as it mirrored my own experience when I was planning my own wedding nine years ago. At the time I found them uninspiring, often showcasing different variations of the same things, and would see the same suppliers at each show and little to no diversity on the catwalk. I also started to become irritated at continuously being given goody bags with copious amounts of tanning products in them. It was like they were not even expecting black women or women of colour to be coming through the door. I felt invisible. So, I wanted to do something about it and created Nu Bride and now it's absolutely time for a wedding show in response to these concerns.
How do you think Nu Bride The Wedding Show will help your readers connect with equality-minded wedding suppliers?
One of the barriers for a lot of my readers is finding inclusive and equality-minded wedding professionals. The wedding industry is not regulated so anyone can carve out a business, but not every business is of quality and not every business is inclusive. The wedding industry is also very homogenous and aligns itself with quintessential white blonde women and heterosexual couples. If you are not that, you can find yourself regularly asking if suppliers work with "couples like you," if they are LGBTQ+ friendly, if they do make up for your skin tone, or if they know how to shoot couples with black or darker skin. I am a firm believer that couples in underrepresented groups shouldn't have to ask business owners "if they do weddings like theirs" — it should be clearly demonstrated in language, imagery, and brand aesthetic. Even throughout the shortlisting process I was having to ask suppliers to demonstrate visible diversity in their portfolios. Nu Bride The Wedding Show will only feature suppliers who already demonstrate diversity or are actively working to improve this.
For suppliers included in the show who are also black business owners, it will provide a place where they can be themselves and feel welcomed and celebrated for their skill-set and not simply being tokenised to make up the numbers.
How will Nu Bride The Wedding Show help couples who are looking for a better wedding planning experience?
The show is not limited to, but will have an intentional bias towards modern millennial couples and especially those planning multicultural weddings. It will feature tips from the experts on how to fuse western and other cultures together, something missing from mainstream shows. There will also be a huge bias on beauty and will provide inclusive beauty inspiration for ALL skin tones.
The show will also feature immersive entertainment and fashion, plus immersive inspiration to help couples with their wedding day styling. Perhaps more unique to this show is that it will include practical advice, such as advice for budgeting and planning, wedding well-being, managing conflict, pressure and guest list politics. There will also be interactive workshops on topics from vow writing to how to be creative with food menus, and panel discussions on planning an equal marriage and how to make your marriage work! There is something for couples not just planning the details of their day and wanting to be connected to equality minded suppliers, but actually sourcing help, inspiration, and practical advice for planning their happily ever after. You know, helping you to carve out a foundation for a happy, healthy marriage!
Essentially the show will be bringing all of the most popular aspects of the blog to life.
Where does Nu Bride The Wedding Show fit into your overall work as a diversity educator?
Diversity weaves into every facet of our lives, even weddings. It is the perfect time to celebrate who you are, unapologetically, and to work with businesses who give a damn about diversity. Couples have the power of choice now, and that is a great thing. The show provides something different and something current. People are demanding equality and advocating for diversity in a way we haven't seen before in the UK. It not only influences how people purchase, but also influences relationships and how people want to parent. Now is the time for a show like this. Couples and consumers are more likely to spend their money on brands who take a stance on social issues. They are also willing to spend money, even more money, on brands that are representative of them.
How will Nu Bride The Wedding Show be different from other wedding expos currently held in the U.K.?
Nu Bride The Wedding Show, much like the blog, is about quality and not quantity. The boutique show will take place at a contemporary luxury venue, Camden House, host to world class events for the likes of brands, including MTV. The number of guests will intentionally be capped each day so couples have bespoke access to each service provider and can take part in various talks and workshops without feeling overcrowded or overwhelmed with choice. The show will feature approximately 30 hand-picked suppliers chosen by Nu Bride, and will only feature those committed to diversity and who want to provide inclusive services and excellent customer service for couples.
As part of the advance ticket buying process, couples also have the opportunity to express exactly what is it that they are looking for. This gives us a chance to provide it for them as best we can.
Finally, something I am REALLY excited about is our interactive panel discussions and workshops that will support and help couples not just with their wedding day details but also with planning for a happy, healthy life together beyond their wedding day.
2019 is most definitely the year of change and we can't wait to be part of it.
Don’t Miss Out! Register Now
PRESS & SHOW PREVIEW
Friday, 5 April 2019
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Open to the press and a limited amount of tickets are available for couples and their guests
Saturday, 6 April
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Open to all couples and their guests. Nu Bride will be hosting two talks, introducing guests to suppliers, and walking them through the show so they can get the most out of the experience.
Nova Reid is Founder of multi award-winning wedding blog; Nu Bride, dedicated to adding a splash of diversity into the mainstream wedding industry. Nova is also an established wedding expert, frequent mentor at Women of the World Festival and NLP Life Coach.
Passionate about encouraging the industry to be more inclusive; Nova is a leader for change and proudly works with progressive brands, business owners, leading publications that are keen to showcase diversity in an inclusive and authentic way, to attract a wider demographic of clients and to change the discourse of the way the UK wedding industry markets beauty.