Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds‘ wedding day might be a source of inspiration for many brides and grooms, but don’t expect to see any pictures of it.
This is because wedding sites like The Knot and Pinterest are no longer featuring weddings that took place at plantations. It’s a move that is drawing both controversy and praise, because, understandably, plantations are a divisive place.
For people who are unaware, plantations in the south are largely known for using slave labor to cultivate coffee, cotton, sugar, etc. Sure, they’re a beautiful backdrop for weddings and parties, but as the civil rights group Color of Change points out, according to Buzzfeed News, “Plantations are physical reminders of one of the most horrific human rights abuses the world has ever seen.”
“The decision to glorify plantations as nostalgic sites of celebration is not an empowering one for the Black women and justice-minded people who use your site,” the organization wrote in a letter to the Knot Worldwide executives, as well as Pinterest. “The wedding industry routinely denies the violent conditions Black people faced under chattel slavery by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry.”
So how does this relate to Blake and Ryan, you may ask? Well, the A-list pair were wed at the Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, a site where hundreds of African American slaves were forced to produce bricks and harvest pecans, as well as peaches.
Eventually, the plantation was turned into an events site and even drew production companies who wished to take advantage of the breathtaking landscapes and mansion. This is likely how Blake and Ryan came across the venue, where they said, “I Do,” at in 2012. According to photos, the actors decided on a rustic theme that included pink and rose golds accents.
Now that The Knot and Pinterest are adopting more appropriate guidelines for venues like this, wedding planners will likely see less venues like the Boone Hall Plantation. According to The Knot, they intend on prohibiting “use language that glorifies, celebrates, or romanticizes Southern plantation history.”
Pinterest, however, is taking things one step further. They are going through the process of removing photos of plantations and issuing warnings that content like such violates their brand policies. A Pinterest spokesperson stated, “Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things. We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them.”
E! News has reached out to Blake and Ryan’s reps for comment.
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