The Importance of Celebrating Hispanic and Latinx Love

16 wedding and event pros share their thoughts on love, legacy and inclusivity in the industry.
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
Hannah Nowack
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
Hannah Nowack
Senior Editor, Weddings
  • Hannah writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on real wedding coverage.
  • Hannah has a passion for DE&I and plays an integral role in ensuring The Knot content highlights all voices and all love stories.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hannah was the Social Media Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings.
Updated Aug 27, 2021

Wedding vendors are often the unsung heroes of beautiful weddings. Stunning images float around social media and couples reminisce about their perfect wedding day, but it can be easy to overlook the dedicated teams that work together to bring wedding dreams to life.

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we're celebrating some of the many hardworking Hispanic and Latinx wedding vendors who are on the front lines of the wedding and event industry. Much like the diverse backgrounds and varied countries that Hispanic and Latinx vendors hail from, the weddings they create and the inspiration they bring to the industry is just as beautifully diverse.

As you're connecting with potential vendors, our best advice is to get to know the person you're interviewing and don't be afraid to ask questions. What motivates them? Why did they get into the industry? What kind of legacy do they want to leave behind? At the end of the day, no matter who you hire, the important thing is that you select vendors with intention and build a team you trust whose work and businesses you are excited to support financially. Pro-tip: The diversity filters on The Knot Marketplace were created to help you do just that. The Knot Marketplace diversity filters allow you to reach out to vendor businesses who've self-identified as Latinx- or Hispanic-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, Black-owned, Asian-owned, Pacific Islander-owned, Native American-owned and LGBTQ+-owned so you can curate a vendor team purposefully and intentionally. To help you get a jump start on vendor selection, below we chat with some of our favorite Hispanic-owned and Latinx-owned wedding businesses about love, legacy and the importance of inclusivity in the industry.

1. Lucy Munoz of Lucy Munoz Photography

Lucy Munoz is a Los Angeles-based fine art wedding photographer at the helm of Lucy Munoz Photography known for her ethereal images that elegantly capture meaningful moments and elevated details. Munoz shares that, as a Latina wedding photographer, her culture is at the core of who she is and informs every part of how she runs her business and photographs weddings. "For me, family is first and I always try to fit them into every trip whenever possible. I want them to experience first hand all the different places and cultures I come across while shooting weddings," says Munoz. "By celebrating Hispanic heritage we are giving a voice to groups that have typically been marginalized. It is important that we keep sharing the works of these groups so that we can see more of our Hispanic and Latinx couples represented in mainstream media, more Latinx/Hispanic vendors highlighted, and create a shift in the mindset of the wedding industry as a whole."

However, Munoz notes that there's still more work to be done and the industry still has a ways to go. "I am constantly trying to comprehend where I fit in this industry as a female Latina wedding photographer. The great news is that these conversations are starting to happen. As a result, they help create allies across the wedding industry while fostering relationships with Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses." Practically speaking, she encourages wedding planners to re-evaluate their referral lists to ensure they're inclusive as wedding planners often play a key role in shaping a couple's overall vendor team. "I love it when I hear that couples are searching for diversity in their vendor teams. There are so many incredible Hispanic and Latinx photographers, florists, wedding planners, etc. Often wedding planners send out referrals to their brides from their set vendor lists. A good thing would be for those planners to ask themselves if they have a good representation of Hispanic and Latinx vendors on those lists. For those non-Hispanic couples, I would also recommend that you bring that to the attention of your wedding planner as something that you are striving for when you are booking some of your vendors."

2. Marisa Suarez-Orozco of Tropic of Flowers

Marisa Suarez-Orozco is the floral, paper and event designer behind Tropic of Flowers, a boutique event design studio based in New England and California. Suarez-Orozco creates designs that seamlessly blend her couples' style with fresh, of-the-moment inspiration resulting in chic, eye-catching weddings. For Suarez-Orozco, the lack of diversity she saw in the industry when she first started her business is a motivating factor for her to make strides toward creating more inclusivity in the world of weddings. "As a queer, Latinx, child of immigrants, I was struck by how white and straight the representation was in wedding blogs and publications was when I started working in weddings in 2015," she recalls. "I knew I wanted to dedicate myself to working with underrepresented communities (people like me, and my friends!). When I started working in weddings and I didn't see many people that looked like me and my friends represented, I connected with friends who were of diverse backgrounds to help them plan their weddings. I also tapped into my own communities to find diverse couples (and vendors!) to feature when planning styled shoots. Once I had those couples represented in my portfolio, as well as a network of other diverse vendors, I think that helped to attract more diverse couples as I grew my clientele. I am very proud of my own hyphenated identity and am dedicated to continuing to serve my own communities as well as other under-represented communities."

Suarez-Orozco encourages all vendors in the industry to remember that "representation is everything! Do you feature diverse couples in your portfolio, on your website, and on your social media? If not, it may be a good time to start planning a styled shoot to diversify your portfolio. Ideally, find a real couple to feature, and be sure to be respectful and not tokenize them. Also, think about the other vendors you are referring to your couples, are they of diverse backgrounds? Create a diverse preferred vendor list. For couples, I think it's great to think about who you are supporting when you are selecting vendors to work with. Are your vendors all straight and white? Seek out vendors of marginalized identities and support them by hiring them!"

3. Amy Anaiz of Amy Anaiz Photography

Amy Anaiz is a New York City-based wedding photographer expertly capturing celebrations with an editorial vibe through her eponymous brand. Anaiz emphasizes the importance of National Hispanic Heritage Month as a conduit to celebrate "how beautiful and diverse our culture is. The Latinx community comprises over 18% of the population of the United States and that's huge. This month gives people outside our communities a call to action to learn more about our heritage and how it has influenced and benefitted the United States." Anaiz goes on to share how important her cultural identity is and how significantly it influences her as a small business owner. "I am proud of my Afro-Latina decent and make it clear on all my social platforms. As a wedding photographer, I am hyper aware of the cultural and family dynamics that play a huge role durning a wedding day. It has helped me be more mindful of moments that I know will hold weight for my couples that they didn't even mention. The language barrier can sometimes be frustrating especially for the older generation so when I notice this happening I quickly comfort them by exclusively speaking Spanish to ensure that this family member feels seen, heard and appreciated. The legacy I'm building is that I truly care about not just the couple during the day but the family members who paved the way for them. In our heritage, marriage is not only the celebration of the couple's love but the merger of two families becoming one."

Anaiz goes on to emphasize that "the industry can make more strides to improve by truly understanding that we are not a 'One Size Fits All' people. There are distinct cultural differences between someone who is from South America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain—etc. Just like these geo locations are spread out globally we as a people have incorporated unique traditions from the regions we are from. Truly taking the time to learn about each individual that you meet and understanding that some of us are the first generation to live in the US while others are the fourth or fifth. The experiences of each look very different. Knowing that we are not what the media portrays us to be—here trying to steal jobs from Americans. Many of us are born Americans too who work just as hard and usually 10x harder to try to get the same opportunity as our white counterparts."

4. Eve R. Avila of Eve Rox Photography

Eve R. Avila is a SoCal-based wedding photographer and owner of Eve Rox Photography. Avila is known for capturing dramatic wedding portraits that feature a bit of a moody vibe and evoke plenty of emotion. For Avila, National Hispanic Heritage Month means a myriad of things. "Celebration, food, music, good stories, sad stories—a bit of everything. I am proud to be Hispanic and to come from a background of hard-working people. This culture gives the word family a totally new meaning. We are in each other's lives no matter what. I love that strong bond that we have." Avila goes on to emphasize that the month is also a time to remember "all that our ancestors have been through to make it here and give us this life. It makes me appreciate my parents even more knowing that they came here as immigrants and never gave up so we could have better lives than they did. I can speak for myself that I have to work extra hard for something that others with a more privileged background might have an easier time achieving. But that will never stop me and I will never feel sorry for that. I will work hard and get up there no matter what. Anything to represent my community in the wedding industry."

Avila goes on to emphasize the importance of recognizing that diversity isn't a catch-all phrase, and encourages couples and industry pros alike to have an honest conversation about the myriad of different cultures and races that exist within the wedding world. "I would like to see the wedding industry talk more about all the different cultures and races that we have. Just in my group of wedding photographer friends I have Cambodian, Mexican, Cuban, Filipino, Black, white, Salvadorian, Guatemalan—the list goes on." One practical way that Avila highlights true diversity is by frequently changing the imagery on her company's website. "I love changing the main photo of my website to try and give every couple a chance to be on the front page. I want everyone to feel special no matter what their background is or what they identify as. I just want the world to feel loved." On that note, Avila reminds people to how important it is that you "don't ever assume that we are all from one place; we all come from different backgrounds."

5. Maria Azcona of Maria Azcona Photography

Maria Azcona is a wedding and family photographer based in New Jersey, and the person behind the lens of her eponymous small business, Maria Azcona Photography LLC. For Maria, photographing weddings is about more than just the pictures, rather it is about creating a joyful, genuine and authentic experience her clients will cherish for years to come, and that ethos greatly informs how she runs her business. "I'm proud of my culture, my traditions and my heritage. I'm big on informing my audience, clients and followers about my values, my cultures where I come from. I'm proud to be fluent in Spanish and will write in Spanish on my Instagram feed. I love dancing "Merengue" and will post stories on the social media of people dancing or my kids' dancing lessons because those are things that are part of who I'm. When I show who I'm and I'm true to myself, people can truly relate to you as a person and it makes the connection with your client more authentic. The same goes with vendors—when vendors can build true and authentic relationships with you, it changes the way you serve your clients because it's not just a client relationship, you truly care for them. When you have a team of people that work well together, that understand and respect each other, magic happens."

When reflecting on the value of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Azcona emphasizes focusing on "taking the time to educate others about our culture and who we are, what makes us different and what are our values and traditions. I have seen a lot of growth in the wedding industry in regard to Hispanic couples. I'm proud when I see other fellow photographers that are supporting Hispanic couples, moreover, I love seeing other Hispanic vendors supporting Hispanic couples. However, we can all continue to improve by building cultural competence and awareness about the different cultures celebrated within the term Hispanic Heritage. A lot of times we can believe that we are all from the same because we speak the same language, but that cannot be further from the truth. When we take an extra step to learn more about someone's culture or background, we show that we care and we are not just making our own assumptions."

6. Fausto Pifferrer of Blue Elephant Events and Catering

Fausto Pifferrer is the Vice-President of Maine-based Blue Elephant Catering and Events, a boutique catering company serving delicious food while also offering event rentals to more fully serve their clients. For Pifferrer, National Hispanic Heritage Month prompts him to be introspective and look back on his family roots. "Hispanic Heritage Month makes me remember to try every day to make my mother and father proud. Even though I came from a rough neighborhood in Philadelphia, I have achieved some great things. This Cuban boy made it out. It also helps me not feel ashamed of my culture anymore, which I struggled with as a young person. One thing we can do to improve is to remember that passionate Hispanics are not aggressive. It's cultural. We are loud, with big emotional responses to things." In addition to encouraging the industry to remember that robust emotions shouldn't automatically be assumed to be aggressive, Pifferrer also encourages pros to remember just how truly diverse Latinx and Hispanic people are. "There are 27 Spanish-speaking countries in the world. Americans tend to only think of Mexico and Puerto Rico when they think of the Latino experience. But there is a lot more going on than that and we all do things a little differently."

In business, one step Pifferrer has taken to further embrace his heritage, that he hopes others will mirror, is that he "stopped hiding my Spanish culture when I realized that it opened doors and invited positive reactions from people. I stopped using a 'white' nickname (Tony) instead of my real name. Additionally, I hire Latin staff to broaden the community within our workplace. I incorporate Latin ideas and menu items into my proposals and meetings. It all adds to a more vibrant community in our workplace and a richer experience for our clients."

7. Jacqueline Vizcaíno of Tinted Event Design Production and Planning

Jacqueline Vizcaíno is the founder and lead designer of Tinted Event Design Production and Planning, an Atlanta-based event design company known for creating personalized celebrations packed with meaningful details that evoke emotion. For Vizcaíno, National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time "to celebrate and recognize the contributions of Hispanic Americans. It's also an opportunity for us to reflect on our heritage and where our ancestry. For me, it means celebrating my family's Afro-Latino roots in the Dominican Republic, filled with a rich history, traditions, and creativity."

Vizcaíno admires the innovation she sees from Hispanic wedding pros and encourages allies to follow suit. "I am proud of how more creative and innovative the wedding industry has become with Hispanic and Latinx couples—celebrating the ethnicity of the couples and their families. From bilingual ceremonies and staffing to infusing traditional menus and the fiery rhythms of Latin beats to create an endless vibration throughout the night, which is only possible when we, as industry professionals, genuinely educate ourselves about the wide ethnic variety of the Hispanic and Latino community. On that note, allyship and advocacy begin with embracing all colors, bilingual services and valuing each as a heart-centered creative."

8. Maricela Ehmann of Ehmann Events

Maricela Ehmann is the creative director of Ehmann Events, a Vermont-based event service company. She is also the President of Wedding and Event Vendor Alliance, a non-profit organization working to increase diversity and inclusion in the wedding and event industry. When it comes to honoring Hispanic culture and building genuine inclusivity, Ehmann underscores the importance of looking beyond National Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrating all year round. "Hispanic Heritage Month is a reminder to celebrate our cultura and roots throughout the year. In recent times, the wedding industry has taken great steps to recognize and amplify couples of all backgrounds, although we still have much work to do. As an industry, we still lack representation of Latinx and other event professionals of color. The more couples see themselves in marketing initiatives, social media outlets, and the professionals they seek out to hire, the more comfortable those communities feel venturing into new platforms and sharing their stories."

Ehmann goes on to underline the importance of celebrating love and community within the very industry whose business is focused on such topics. "When we celebrate and honor our cultura, we are embracing who we are at a personal level, and we can begin to align personal beliefs with our business practices. We are able to find more joy in our work serving others. As event professionals, we pride ourselves on making a day or event perfect and awe-inspiring. We need to take that desire to inspire and share our knowledge of the positive and negative aspects of creating success in our industry and mold a new generation of vendors. I feel our top event professionals need to embrace one another more and teach success—leaving behind a legacy of support, love, and unity for the future."

9. Rev. Mercedes Ibarra of Rev. Mercy Ceremonies

Rev. Mercedes Ibarra is a bilingual wedding officiant creating and officiant custom wedding ceremonies through Rev. Mercy Ceremonies, a Los Angeles-based small business. Rev. Ibarra shares that "for me, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for the country to reflect on the immense impact we Americans of Hispanic or Latinx descent have made on this country—from our food to art, music, clothes, and even the English language has been impacted by Latinx people. I believe this reminder is especially meaningful when we consider some of the major political debates in the past decade, including the issues of DACA recipients and the thousands of people held in detention centers at the border, particularly the children separated from their parents. As for the wedding industry, I am really proud and grateful that WeddingPro created the Fellowship for Change, which I am a part of. It has been so amazingly helpful to be directly connected with experts and resources to help grow my business. In addition, I think the Fellowship has been an important step in helping promote underrepresented vendors in the industry."

As a pro whose job relies heavily on speaking, Rev. Ibarra underscores the importance of "the wedding industry to think about promoting native Spanish-speaking vendors vs. learned Spanish-speaking vendors. Don't get me wrong; I do think it is fantastic when non-Latinx vendors make an effort to learn and speak Spanish. Still, there is something absolutely to be said about promoting and hiring actual Latinx and Hispanic speakers of Spanish. The most obvious reason is for the natural pronunciation and fluidity of the language, but there are more important cultural reasons. For example, a native speaker of the language is more likely to know that different Latinx countries use different pronoun tenses. Therefore, using one tense that is considered appropriate in one culture could be considered outright rude in another." She goes on to share how she "proudly promote myself as a bilingual Latina wedding officiant. I do this because, for my clients, both the language and the culture are important. The language is important because, like me, many of my clients' parents are immigrants to the United States who speak and understand a limited amount of English. Many of us have grown up translating for our parents when dealing with vendors, commercial establishments, teachers, customer service, etc. We understand how lost and often powerless our parents feel when dealing with situations where the main language is English. Their child's wedding shouldn't be a place where they feel left out. This is a moment where they should feel included, considered, and welcomed."

10. Claudia G. de Velasco of A Day To Remember

Claudia G. de Velasco is the owner and creative director of A Day To Remember, a luxury destination wedding planning and design company based in Houston, Texas, also offering bespoke stationery services. She shares that "hard work, a positive work ethic and passion are how I have built my legacy and mentor other young creatives to do the same. Latinx people are rich in culture, food, fashion and music. I would love to see more of those influences within our industry, outside of the cliché and stereotypes often seen. Latin America is so diverse, and building a better future for our industry starts with education and exposure to the beauty we have to offer."

For allies looking to further educate themselves, de Velasco points out that pros need to take steps to "get educated, get informed. Ask questions and stop making stereotypes and assumptions. There is more to us than burritos and donkeys! I would love to see our industry summits and conferences highlight our leaders and Latin-owned businesses." She goes on to note that "I'm so honored and proud to be a Latina, blessed to be in a country that has allowed me to fulfill my dreams of owning a business and doing something I love and am passionate about. However, I would love to see more inclusion, not just during Hispanic Heritage Month but year-round!"

11. Cristy Fernandez of Lucky Onion Stationery & Design

Cristy Fernandez is the owner and creative director of Lucky Onion Stationery & Design, a bespoke wedding stationery company based in Denver, Colorado, known for its innovative, refined and memorable designs. "For me, Hispanic Heritage Month is a month to be able to commemorate my upbringing, celebrate my culture, and pay homage to my ancestry, which has all made me who I am today. (It is also what will shape my daughter's life.) Frankly, though, I find that this is not something that is done in a month, but rather as a lifestyle. The fact Hispanic Heritage Month exists is to be able to publicly share our experiences with the rest of the nation, to celebrate our roots proudly, and to be able to put a more concerted focus on eliminating the racial discriminations that do exist." Fernandez goes on to share that she has "been fortunate my wedding industry experience has been one where molds have been broken and also where traditions have been honored for different cultures. I accredit this to the fact that I surrounded myself with people who are willing to support different cultures and have a genuine curiosity to learn about our differences and similarities. Much like any other area of diversity, however, is the need to understand each other further, stop making assumptions, and start using inclusive language and imagery."

Given the importance of words and articulation in the stationery world, Fernandez understands deeply just how crucial it is to clearly communicate what couples value and the traditions that are going to be part of their big day. "Celebrating and honoring my heritage has shown me how we all have a way of life, a way of thinking about how things need to be done, and how they translate into traditions and religious practices. In other words, I understand that oftentimes, weddings are heavily rooted in deeply meaningful traditions and beliefs. It is important to make a home for these things in how we communicate with our couples, especially in how we communicate this in the stationery we create for the client. For example, having a section explaining some of the traditions and their meaning in the wedding programs can help guests understand what they are experiencing."

12. Roberta Noronha of The Bridal Finery

Roberta Noronha is a co-owner and stylist with The Bridal Finery, a wedding dress shop in Orlando, Florida offering both off-the-rack and made-to-order gowns for discerning to-be-weds. For Noronha, both learning about and teaching future generations about culture and heritage is paramount. "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is a big deal to me since I am originally from Brazil, and my husband's family is Venezuelan. We take this month to celebrate and learn more about our cultures and share it with our teenage daughters. Both my husband and I love to cook and bake, and so we share our favorite family recipes and teach them how to make them, so hopefully, they will pass it onto their kids one day. This is something I learned as a kid. I would watch my grandma, mom, and aunt cook family receipts on Sundays, and now it is my turn to share them with my daughters."

Noronha underlines the need for language accessibility within the wedding world so that all clients can have an enjoyable and memorable experience that transpires with ease. "Our brides are from all over the world, with all different backgrounds and races. We understand the importance of being open to learning about the wants and needs of our couples, especially when their cultures and traditions are a part of the planning process. It is such a relief when a bride comes into the store and knows that she won't have trouble communicating what she wants because I am fluent in Spanish and Portuguese; sometimes, it is even a relief for their families. I encourage pros to share with clients that the company has someone that can relate, speaks their language, and can better communicate with them and their families on the wedding day and throughout the engagement process. Along with that, the way the wedding industry can better service the Hispanic community is by having more Hispanic/Latinx employees as part of your team and letting your couples know that someone on your team speaks Spanish."

13. Cassie Morales of Heavenly Day Events

Cassie Morales is the owner and planner behind Heavenly Day Events, a full-service wedding planning company based in Austin, Texas, and known for celebrations filled with festive details and pops of personality. Morales shares that "being from a small border town in south Texas, I am blessed to have grown up in a place where the Hispanic culture is the norm and prevalent across the state. Now living in Austin, I am proud of the way the wedding community here supports Hispanic and Latinx couples in incorporating the Hispanic culture into their wedding—through the food, decor, music, and dancing. For example, it's not uncommon for couples to include a mariachi band as part of their wedding entertainment, whether it's because having a mariachi band is a family tradition or because guests are traveling from all over the world and couples want to share that part of our area culture with their friends and family. As with all things, there's always room for improvement. Ways to continue supporting are to educate, create connections and amplify voices of Hispanic and Latinx individuals who bring their own unique talents, perspectives, and experiences into the wedding industry."

The hard work and dedication Morales saw in her grandparents inform much of how she lives her life now to create a lasting legacy for generations to come. "Growing up, I'd listen to stories of my grandparents immigrating to Texas from Mexico and spending summers as migrant workers. They worked hard to establish a better life and home for the future generations of our family. My family is now made up of educators, lawyers, law enforcement and business owners. It's an honor to follow in their footsteps and be led by their example when running my business to be passionate, creative, dedicated and determined to give my all into the business and into serving couples."

14. Martin Ramirez of Historic Mankin Mansion

Martin Ramirez is the owner of the Historic Mankin Mansion, a Georgian-Revival wedding venue nestled in Richmond, Virginia. The property, which dates back to the early 20th century is filled with manicured grounds, exposed brick and eye-catching architectural moments. Ramirez points out that an understanding of differences needs to be the foundation to wedding planning. "It is always nice to see fellow vendors listen to Hispanic and Latinx couples and honor their wishes to incorporate certain aspects of their culture into their big day. The Hispanic community is a large minority group, and when these couples get engaged, it is important to identify their particular background and traditions so that each generation feels welcome. Just like how California is different from Virginia, so is Mexico from Argentina or Guatemala. While we all share similarities, there are many differences between Latin countries and their respective traditions. It will be great for our industry when more wedding professionals understand and acknowledge those differences. For example, where is their family from? Are they first-generation, or have they been living in the United States for a while? It would be helpful for vendors to ask these questions of Hispanic clients who are looking to them for guidance on how to implement their wishes and traditions best. Additionally, caterers who offer authentic food to represent the clients' country specifically, Latin DJs, bands, or mariachis, will all help to reassure clients that their big day will be authentic to their culture."

Raminrez also underscores the importance of respect and compassion when it comes to running a business. "As a Hispanic business owner, I do my best to show compassion, open-mindedness, and respect for different cultures and ethnicities at every turn. My success in this industry has opened doors that were previously closed to me; now that I am respected within these spaces, I can speak on behalf of my community and lift up others who struggle to enter these spaces themselves. Leading by example, whether in my profession or with my family, is my legacy." He goes on to advise that "non-Hispanic couples and vendors to seek out minority-owned businesses to explore their culture and promote and welcome their business to the local community. I believe it all begins with acknowledging, respecting, and honoring our differences as well as our similarities. Only then can we work together to connect and care for one another as people and professionals."

15. Lupe Juarez of Lupe Juarez Photography

Lupe Juarez is the photographer at the helm of Lupe Juarez Photography who specializes in capturing romantic, airy and modern wedding photographs. For Juarez, working to create a more inclusive wedding industry is part of what drives her as a wedding photographer. "I run my business with a framework of inclusivity and diversity. My photography portfolio represents couples of all backgrounds and I know my clients appreciate that. It was around my teen years when I began considering the wedding industry as a potential career field. I remember looking through dozens of publications and wedding photographer portfolios online and in print, yet I rarely saw women with darker complexions who looked like me. That lack of representation is one of the reasons why I became a wedding photographer. I wanted to take space within the industry and build a photography business where all women including women who look like me could see themselves represented within my work. "

Juarez indicates the importance of recognizing the beautiful diversity that exists under the Hispanic and Latinx umbrella. "I would definitely say that sharing more couples of color stories and wedding photos and not just Latinx couples is a great way to be more diverse and inclusive. Highlighting more Afro-Latinx vendors and couples who often get erased from the Latinx conversation. What unites Hispanic and Latinx people is not race but rather the Spanish language. Being aware of that is a great start." A tangible action that Juarez suggests non-Hispanic couples and vendors can take to "be better allies and advocates for Latinx communities can be to support Latinx vendors by referring and hiring them. Just because a vendor is Latinx or bilingual, it does not mean that they can't be a part of your wedding day. The collective goal all wedding vendors share is to come together and collaborate, all to make a couple's day come to life."

16. Yasmin Gomez of Always & Always Events

Yasmin Gomez is the owner and planner behind Always & Always Events, a Florida-based full-service wedding planning company. For Gomez, "Hispanic Heritage Month provides me an opportunity to show the pride I have in my culture. It is a time to reflect on the influence the Hispanic & Latix culture has had in our society and around the world. Our culture is so diverse and this month is a chance to show others the vibrance of our people, music, food & history. It is such an exciting time for the Hispanic & Latinx culture because it feels like we are being seen more. This month is to rev up that exposure and keep showing the world that we are here. We exist. We are beautiful."

Gomez stresses that as a wedding vendor, it's crucial to "understand, respect and appreciate different cultures, starting with your own. By taking the time to honor my culture, I demonstrate to others that I respect the uniqueness in every person. I understand every culture is different and should be celebrated for its uniqueness because I honor my own in the same way. I want to leave this industry knowing that I shared my most authentic self with the many couples i have worked with and hope that inspires the same from them. Our heritage is intertwined in who we grow to become and what we ultimately give of ourselves to those we meet. I want others to feel like embracing that heritage is what brings out their best self and I can only do that by showing up as the proud Hispanic woman that I am."

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