I never planned to be a wedding planner. In 2016, two friends asked me to help with their wedding and accidentally introduced me to a whole new career. (At the time, I was a journalist.)
Very early on, I realized something: I loved this job but I hated this industry.
More specifically, I hated the way the wedding industry made me feel. In many ways, weddings are marketed exclusively to people like me: a cis, straight, white woman who doesn’t live with a disability. If even I felt alienated and misunderstood, what must the wedding industry be like for someone with a different lived experience?
That revelation (among a few other things) led to the creation of Altared.
Altared has been a lot of different things since it started in February 2020. These days, I describe it as a space for wedding vendors who want to change the wedding industry.
This work manifests in many different ways. Beyond two in-person events, we’ve hosted a virtual gathering to make wedding vendors less sad, sent care packages to vendors across the U.S. and Canada, and hired a professional trauma support specialist to help vendors process past and ongoing trauma.
Currently, Altared is showing up for wedding vendors in two main ways:
- We’re hosting a series of free, virtual, one-hour Q&As with experts on the topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability in the wedding industry for wedding vendors.
- We send a monthly newsletter dedicated to resources for and by wedding vendors committed to social change. It’s free to submit news; simply email email@example.com. Read an example of this newsletter and subscribe for yourself.
Altared isn’t a membership group. Vendors participate in whatever way serves them best. The goal isn’t to make money; it’s to provide a dedicated space for vendors who have had the same revelation I did seven years ago: I love this job, I hate this industry, and I want to work to make it better for my clients, my coworkers, and myself.
Learn more about Altared at altaredpdx.com and @altaredpdx on Instagram. The best way to know what Altared is up to is to subscribe to the newsletter.
Author Bio: Elisabeth “Beth” Kramer (she/her) is a wedding planner in Portland, Oregon, who is fighting the Wedding Industrial Complex. Learn more about her work at elisabethkramer.com.
Featured image photo credits: Altared co-founder Elisabeth Kramer places her item on the “joy altar” created at the in-person Altared hosted in Portland, Oregon, on December 5, 2022. Photo credit: Venture Ever After