When I started APW back in 2008, the US (and a large part of the world) was entering a frightening recession that affected most people at a deeply personal level. But yet the mainstream wedding industry was somehow oblivious, continuing to insist that everyone empty out their savings (or even go into debt) for one “special day”.
At the same time, we were in the thick of the fight for marriage equality, and not only was gay marriage still illegal in every state but Massachusetts, and almost no wedding publications and blogs would even include LGBTQ+ couples.
In the midst of this, I set out to create a corner of the internet that would be welcoming to both folx who didn’t want to deplete their savings or go into debt over their wedding, and for folx who didn’t feel represented by the solely cis-white-hetero-Ken-and-Barbie couples being shown by the vast majority of wedding media.
A corner of the internet that was a tiny bit… saner.
A Decade With APW’s Sanity Pledge
APW’s Sanity Pledge was born out of that mission in 2010 and every wedding vendor who has advertised with APW since—in our vendor directory, a sponsored post, on social media, or a banner ad—agrees to the pledge before we agree to work with them.
The Sanity pledge was—and is—about vendors promising to treat clients like people and not walking dollar signs, and it’s about vendors respecting your wedding for exactly what it is, not what anyone else thinks it should be. It is also about being happy to work with LGBTQ+ couples, and refraining from making gendered assumptions in communications and marketing materials. This has resulted in both encouraging conversations with well-meaning but uneducated vendors, and parting ways with talented people whose values didn’t align with ours. (If your website or intake forms say “Bride” and “Groom”, we won’t take your advertising dollars till you change it… and that’s been unchanged for the past decade.)
Where We’re Going Next: The Inclusivity Pledge
Wedding media, the wedding industry, and the world, has made a ton of progress in the last eleven years. It is no longer the taboo to publish LGBTQ+ couples, and other vendor directories now have similar inclusivity policies, and quite frankly, we’re thrilled that this is the direction the industry is taking.
We have also learned from our time in the trenches with vendors doing this work, that being inclusive and a true ally for your couples is about far more than just checking a box on an application on a directory.
So this year, to celebrate a decade of doing this work with advertisers, we’ve renamed the Sanity Pledge the Inclusivity Pledge, to focus on what we really want out of the wedding industry in 2019. Real inclusion. Real action. Not just words with no ally-ship. In short, it’s the same promise, with a new name that brings front and center what it truly stands for.
Our Vendor Directory: Now With (Free) Community And Business Building
To celebrate a decade working with small businesses, we also revamped our vendor directory membership to bring even more community and coaching to our advertiser experience. We’re adding free perks like monthly group calls with our team and a brand new vendor community forum for sharing advice and referrals. This will help our vendors continue upping the game of doing right by their clients, and help them meet other vendors who share the same values… so that the tiny revolution started by the Sanity Pledge ten years ago keeps spreading.
A Thank You To Everyone Who’s Ever Advertised With Us
And speaking of that revolution, I want to take a moment to thank all the APW vendors past and present who have supported our mission of standing up for the egalitarian, fair, kind treatment of all couples—whether LGBTQ, straight, transgender, cisgender, POC, white, or any other identity—both in their wedding planning journey, and in their representation in wedding media over the last decade.
In short, APW readers and sponsors have never backed away from living their values, and maybe that’s why the wedding magic they make together is so darn, well, magical.
Vendor Directory Sale!
So! in the spirit of connecting our awesome vendors with our awesome readers to make more of that magic, we’re currently hosting a pretty-much-never-happens sale on all vendor directory listings, which has now been extended until June 15th. That means a whole year of advertising for just $350.
WHO IT’S FOR: Did you love your vendors, but didn’t find them through APW? Should they be working with APW couples? Or do you know someone who is just getting their business off the ground and in need of advertising? Send them our way! Are you a badass wedding professional who deserves the best clients in the universe, if we do say so ourselves? (You know you do.) Then this is for you too.
HOW: Send them our way right now. The sale is good through June 15th.
Again, we’re so grateful for all the awesome folx who come knocking on APW’s door. Working with our advertisers pays APW’s bills, supports (often female-owned) small businesses, and keeps us online producing feminist wedding and marriage content for you year-round. Not to mention, it keeps you feeling supported and empowered during your wedding planning. Which is the most important point of all.
CLICK HERE TO APPLY TO THE APW VENDOR DIRECTORY (OR COPY THAT LINK AND SEND IT TO YOUR FAVORITE VENDORS SO THAT THEY CAN FILL IT OUT).