Pinterest and the Knot Worldwide, two of the largest online wedding planning sites, have announced that they will cease promoting wedding venues and content that romanticizes former slave plantations, according to BuzzFeed News, which broke the story.
"Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things," a Pinterest representative explained to BuzzFeed News.
Dhanusha Sivajee, chief marketing officer of The Knot, told BuzzFeed News that The Knot Worldwide is drawing up new guidelines for wedding vendors to ensure that language that glorifies, celebrates or romanticizes Southern plantation history is not used. Sivajee explained that the new guidelines are meant to ensure that wedding vendors and venues do not refer to a history that includes slavery using language such as “elegant" or “charming." However plantations will still be able to list themselves as wedding venues.
Pinterest added that they will also be working towards de-indexing Google searches for plantations as wedding venues so that they will not come up if someone searches for “plantation wedding venues.”
These changes are a result of pressure from Color of Change, a civil rights advocacy group, urging the companies to stop promoting plantations that formerly had slaves as wedding venues altogether.
Plantation weddings are not new but have recently been successfully rebranded as romantic venues evoking the “nostalgia” of the antebellum South. For example, actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds held their wedding at Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina, where hundreds had been enslaved.