image of jessica elliot on her wedding day

Where is the diversity in bridal magazines? | Jessica Elliot

Last year my partner Kevin and I got married. Soon after we announced our engagement, I excitedly rushed out and bought a selection of wedding magazines that I hoped would give me some inspiration for my big day.

Sadly, I was pretty disappointed that in this day and age the magazines that I bought didn’t feature any brides of colour!  Does this matter? Well yes, it does. black and mixed race people get married too and we want tips on makeup, hairstyles, dresses to suit our shape, just as much as any other bride does.

I found myself taking inspiration from Asian bridal magazines because I knew I wanted a bespoke dress and I knew I would see makeup looks to suit my skin tone. Plus it was really the only place I could go to see a bride that remotely resembled myself. Why aren’t black and mixed race women represented in so-called mainstream magazines. In modern Britain, I find it insane!

So what did I do? I contacted all of the major bridal magazines and asked them why there was a distinct lack of brides of colour in their features.Those that responded said that they just print the content that advertisers give them and published photographers images that fit the ‘style of their magazine’.

Jessica and Kevin on their wedding day at the House of Commons

I asked these publications if brides of colour don’t fit the ‘style of their magazine’ to which I received a very swift response stating that they recognise there is a distinct lack of diversity in their publications and it’s something they continually work on.

Following on from our discussions and after seeing initial images of our wedding, Wedding Ideas magazine decided they wanted to feature our wedding. My partner and I both thought long and hard about it because we are both very private people (we had a strict no social media policy at our wedding)  In the end, we decided to ‘go for it’ because it’s important that every bride sees a representation of themselves in bridal magazines and not taking part defeats my whole argument!

Thank you to everyone that helped make the day amazing! And thank you Wedding Ideas for the feature. I hope to see more bridal magazines featuring brides of colour. A change really has got to come.
Jessica Elliot is the founder of J’s Dance Factory and talent agency,  Jessica Elliott Management. @jsdancefactory

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