VOW Launches #LoveIsOurBusiness Initiative To Rally The Global Wedding Industry To End Child Marriage

Feb 14, 2022

New York, NY (February 14, 2022) — Today, VOW for Girls launches #LoveIsOurBusiness, a new initiative that unites the global wedding industry to end child marriage. Wedding-aligned businesses, media, and wedding professionals around the world are taking a public pledge to support girls:

“As a company that celebrates love, we support VOW for Girls. Because “LoveIsOurBusiness, we believe every girl should be able to choose love on her own terms and no child should ever be a bride.”

Like the wedding industry itself, the initiative is inspired by love, so it is kicking off on Valentine’s Day – a day where love is celebrated far and wide. Brands and media outlets that have taken the pledge so far include wedding payments platform Maroo; wedding dress designer Justin Alexander; leading African lifestyle, fashion, and wedding outlet Bella Naija; wedding industry leader The Knot; womenswear designer Natori; event professional software Aisle Planner; online name-changing service NameSwitch; direct-to-consumer wedding party apparel company Birdy Grey; and personalized bracelet company Names For Good. Notable wedding industry professionals participating in the initiative include VOW’s Global Ambassador Sarah Haywood; VOW Regional Ambassadors and leading wedding planners Mwai Yeboah, Lotte Groosman, and Estelle Bogaert; as well as VOW Advisory Council members, luxury planner Emily Campbell and luxury photographer Rebecca Yale. The initiative also has the support of the Wedding International Professionals Association (WIPA).

“Weddings are a series of choices,” says Clay Dunn, CEO of VOW for Girls. “From the moment couples say ‘yes,’ a multitude of other choices begin to unfold. Each of these choices, from cakes and dresses, to venues, photographers, and honeymoons, can have a big impact.”

Every year, 12 million girls, some as young as 8, become child brides, which is equivalent to one girl every 3 seconds. It’s estimated that an additional 10 million child marriages may occur over the next 10 years due to the impacts of COVID-19.

“Child marriage removes a girl’s ability to choose and own her future,” adds Dunn. “The primary aim of #LoveIsOurBusiness is to ensure girls have the support they need to create a life they want and choose love on their own terms.”

“I have built a career celebrating marriage with couples who have a choice, but that choice is not extended to millions of girls across the world,” says VOW Global Ambassador and internationally recognized wedding planner Sarah Haywood. “Given the scale of this issue, I invite other wedding professionals to join me in my support of VOW by taking the pledge and letting their clients know, #LoveIsOurBusiness.”

As part of their #LoveIsOurBusiness pledge to help end child marriage, fintech company Maroo released the first-ever wedding payments add-on donation feature in partnership with VOW for Girls. Wedding vendors can now opt-in to this functionality, allowing couples to round up their invoices with direct donations to benefit VOW. 

Anja Winikka, Co-Founder and CMO at Maroo says, “Up until now, the practice of wedding philanthropy involved a couple registering for their charity of choice and then passively donating a small percent off of guest gift purchases. At Maroo, we believe that one of the biggest values we can offer our couples and businesses is simplicity around payments. Our new Maroo donation feature allows couples to instantly contribute directly to VOW for Girls at the tap of a button. We’re not only streamlining the technology around donations, we’re allowing couples to decide when and how much to donate – empowering them to feel far more connected to the cause.”

To learn more about the initiative visit LoveIsOurBusiness.org and follow along at @vowforgirls.  

About VOW for Girls

VOW for Girls is a growing global movement that partners with the wedding industry, engaged couples, brands, and individuals to end the international child marriage crisis. Count to three. A child just became a bride. By raising funds and awareness, VOW is ending child marriage by building a connected groundswell of love and support for every girl whose right to own her future is at risk.

100% of the funds raised by VOW for Girls are invested in underfunded yet effective local efforts that advance girls’ rights by providing education, job training, and vital life skills, so girls can own their futures. VOW for Girls is a vow for the future.

Of the 175+ organizations supported to date, 85% are led by women. An estimated 260,000 girls have been directly impacted by this work to date and 1.6 million individuals have indirectly benefited. Please visit vowforgirls.org and follow along @vowforgirls to learn more about VOW.