More and more couples are using their celebrations as an opportunity to highlight and support causes or interests important to them. One way to do this is seeking out and supporting businesses that align with your shared values. With women accounting for the vast majority of job losses in 2020, you may want to seek out women-owned businesses to support. Maybe look at whether they are LGBTQIA-friendly? Is the business minority, locally, veteran or “fill in the blank”-owned? Do they offer organic, vegan, locally-sourced, Kosher or Halal-options? Other criteria may be more nuanced: do they support political candidates, organizations or causes that align with your values (or at the very least, don’t offend you?). It may seem harsh, but if a business owner chooses to display signs or symbols you find offensive, they are sending a clear message–and so are you by taking your business elsewhere. Here are three things to consider when seeking vendors that are aligned with causes you believe in:

1. Silence Speaks

Paige Griffith, JD from The Legal Paige proclaims that business is intertwined with our personal lives and it is not a faux pas to post what you stand for as a business owner. In many ways, the wedding industry has become the litmus test for conscious business practices. Therefore, clients have come to expect businesses to speak out on issues of human and civil rights. Often times vendors use their Twitter accounts and their stories to speak out on current events–this practice not only allows them the flexibility to deliver a timely message, it clears the space for certain voices to be amplified and organizers to communicate. So, if you are interested in knowing how a vendor really feels about something that’s important to you, ask.

2. An apparent and conscious effort to learn…on their own time

Here in Colorado, especially in our smaller towns, a vendor could easily find a lack of diversity among their clients. If you have questions about whether or not a vendor is prepared to meet your needs, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask. With all of the resources available to each and every one of us, there is no reason why a respectable vendor should not be able to accommodate your needs.  Simply put: wedding planning is stressful enough and Google is free–you don’t have to spend your time educating a vendor.

3. What are you willing to compromise?

Taking action with your money is a great way to be an ally.  However, it is okay to leave some things out of your event, if you choose.