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Tips and tricks to help wedding professionals make their business more LGBTQ+ inclusive.

Research shows that only 17% of Wedding Venues are LGBTQ+ Friendly

With the legalisation of Marriage Equality in Australia in late 2017, there has been a substantial increase of LGBTQ+ couples looking to tie the knot. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, this is such wonderful news, and I am proud to live in a country where everyone has the opportunity to marry the love of their life, regardless of their gender identity. Yet, 5 years on, there is still a lot of work to do in making the wedding industry a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ couples.

I recently conducted a study that found that only a small percentage of wedding venues in NSW and ACT have identified themselves as LGBTQ+ friendly, according to their Google business profile. The research was conducted by manually checking each of the 100 randomly selected wedding venues across NSW to see if they had selected "LGBTQ+ Friendly" in their google profile. Out of the 100 venues, only 17 (17%) had identified themselves as LGBTQ+ friendly.

What does "LGBTQ+ Friendly" mean on Google?

The question we asked for this study is as follows:

"How many wedding venues in NSW/ACT identify as LGBTQ+ Friendly on the Google Business Profile?"

Google was chosen as the platform to determine if a wedding venue is LGBTQ+ Friendly because it is a voluntary, self-labelled status that each individual business owner can assign to their wedding venue. It is also a ubiquitous search platform that engaged couples use on a daily basis to gather information and make decisions about where to spend money for their wedding.

While this is by no means a comprehensive look at each individual wedding venue's LGBTQ+ Inclusion strategies, it gives us a picture of how many venues have proactively chosen to self-identify as LGBTQ+ Friendly and want to be held accountable for that fact.

The method:

The research was conducted by manually checking each of the 100 randomly selected wedding venues across NSW and ACT to see if they had selected "LGBTQ+ Friendly" in their google profile. This was done by accessing each venue's google business profile and checking for the rainbow heart badge.

What was discovered:

The results of the study found that 17% of wedding venues are LGBTQ+ Friendly. This means that out of the 100 randomly selected wedding venues, only 17 had identified themselves as being LGBTQ+ Friendly on their google profile. While this is not a comprehensive look at each individual wedding venue's LGBTQ+ Inclusion strategies, it does give us a picture of how many venues have proactively chosen to self-identify as LGBTQ+ Friendly.

There are a few observations that can be made from this study. Firstly, it is clear that there is a lack of awareness among wedding venues about the importance of being LGBTQ+ friendly. This is worrying, as it means that many LGBTQ+ couples may not feel welcome or safe when planning their wedding.

Secondly, the fact that only 17% of venues have identified themselves as LGBTQ+ friendly shows that there is still a lot of work to be done in making the wedding industry more inclusive for LGBTQ+ couples. This is reflected in the high number (90%) of LGBTQ+ people who say that they expect to experience discrimination when planning their wedding.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, it is evident that there is much work to be done in order to make the wedding industry more inclusive for LGBTQ+ couples. Venues need to be more aware of the importance of being LGBTQ+ friendly and need to take steps to ensure that all couples feel welcome and safe when planning their wedding.

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