Nova Reid is a favourite friend of the Bridechilla Podcast and someone that I always enjoy catching up with. In 2012 Nova launched her blog nubride.com with the goal of making a conscious effort to provide positive images of couples of all ethnicities. 'To begin to realign and introduce a diverse mainstream wedding industry, by helping to reduce that gap in the market…even a teeny tiny bit'
Over the past 18 months, Nova has continued to grow her brand and educate the wedding industry as her work as a diversity consultant. Now, Nova is taking on a new challenge, launching her very own wedding show!
Like many vendors and bloggers, you started your blog Nubride.com after your own wedding, what made you take the blogging leap?
I started blogging 2 months after my engagement and carried on with the wedding chat ever since (my poor husband). Nu Bride was born on the 1st January 2012. Feeling despondent and completely invisible as a modern British woman, who also happens to be black planning a wedding. Struggling to find visual inspiration, inclusive beauty and hairstyles, nude wedding underwear for "my nude" and what dresses might look like against my skin colour. With little to no representation for people like me in the wedding industry, I originally used my blog to rant about the wedding industry and document my own wedding planning. My rant resonated with many others. Never did I imagine it would form the key component for a career change and be the foundation of my business and a leading platform for diversity in the wedding industry and beyond.
How do couples find and support equality and diversity minded wedding vendors?
It's actually REALLY REALLY difficult for couples to find equality-minded suppliers. I get emails on a regular basis asking for recommendations from people in the black and brown community and people in the LGBTQ community seeking out safe and inclusive business owners. It's such a shame and also at times, demoralising to have to ask. I've been there.
"The industry is not regulated. So not only do couples battle with narrowing down and finding quality suppliers at times, but they really struggle to find inclusive ones."
There is not regulatory body or service that ties equality-minded wedding pros under one roof. You need to seek them out. So generally word of mouth, looking out for progressive social profiles and publications like Catalyst Wed Co, A Practical Wedding, or simply by looking for visual cues and inclusive language in business owners marketing. The reality is we can be doing so much better with diversity and inclusion in the wedding industry. In an ideal world we should be able to easily see the majority of the wedding industry as an inclusive one and not a minority. Business owners often feel that by thinking they are inclusive that is enough, they need to consistently demonstrate that they are.
Putting on a wedding show is a huge deal- what inspired you to take it on?
LOL! In all seriousness, I have been approached over the past 2-3 years by blog sponsors and Nu Bride supporters saying they would love to take part in a Nu Bride Show. I shrugged the idea off because, well. It's a HUGE undertaking. But it was the results from a Nu bride survey that I published in February last year that really inspired me to take action. It revealed 64% of couples attended wedding shows during their planning and of that 64% a whopping 94% of them found wedding shows to be outdated, lacking in inspiration for modern couples, lacking in choice, segregated and definitely lacking in inspiration for couples having multicultural marriages.
"Nu Bride The Wedding Show provides a solution to this and also a gift to my readers and an opportunity to not only connect couples with equality minded suppliers, but provide immersive inspiration, from wellbeing to vow writing workshops and advice to help them plan for their wedding day and also their ever after."
If you were to re-plan your own wedding again tomorrow, what would you change, add or improve knowing what you know now?
You know how I feel about chair covers.
Chair covers were "in" when I got married in 2012. There would be NO chair covers! They are so unnecessary, I would simply just have some nice chairs. lol!
The guest list would change slightly, I would also have that live band I sacrificed for people who didn't turn up. I would also invest in a wedding planner, because you know, who needs to be worrying about the wrong chair covers being used on chairs, moments before you walk down the aisle. lol!
Other than those tiny details it would be the same. We had a gorgeous day with the people in our lives who mattered most. That's what it is all about.
The wedding industry and media has seem some big challenges over the past few years, what are your hopes for the coming years for the industry?
Yes indeed. To see an industry that is more representative of the society we live in. One that moves forward, one that isn't defensive and instead says "you know what, we can do better and we want to be part of the solution" Couples and indeed all consumers now have the beauty and power of choice and they are spending their money with brands and publications that are representative of them, or that authentically engage with them now more than ever. If they aren't they'll simply scroll on by and spend their money elsewhere. Businesses are losing money, wedding publications are closing. Diversity has been proved time and time again to be good for business and of course society in so many publications, including Forbes. Consumer need and expectation is changing. It's time to diversify or businesses absolutely will (and are) get left behind.
Listen to Episode 039 of Bridechilla with Nova
If you weren't doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I'd be doing even more diversity advocacy work. We have some real issues with equality and inclusion at the moment thanks to certain B and T word.
I'd be a talk show host and then I would retire early living in the Caribbean, running quarterly wellbeing retreats. We all need more wellness in our lives - without our health we have nothing. I think many of us forget that sometimes in the "busyness" myself included.
Best tip for maintaining your chill?
Digital detoxes, more self care, more self compassion. Shutting out the white noise - we have limited energy. You decide who is worthy of your energy or not. If they are not, let it go. In the words of Michael Neill:
"You are just one thought away from having a completely different experience" imagine that.
Life is too short - spend it being unapologetically you, with those who deserve your energy and those who lift your higher.
Everyone is a VIP at Nubride The Wedding Show
Nu Bride The Wedding Show is the UK’s first wedding show dedicated to wedding diversity and the modern millennial couple – Featuring everything you need to plan your wedding day and ever after.
Everyone is a VIP at Nu Bride the wedding show. Tickets cost £20 which includes entrance to the show, access to all workshops, catwalk and entertainment show, talks and expert panels (based on a first-come first-served basis). A glass of bubbly and a rather swanky goody bag.
Header Image Photo by Edward Cisneros