More wedding and event pros are opening their hearts and business doors to the LGBTQ+ community. As this welcoming happens, it’s important to take note of the level at which businesses are saying yes to equality.
While running our LGBTQ+ wedding magazine, Equally Wed, for the past 12 years, we’ve found that inclusivity and acceptance is happening on multiple levels, from “willing to take money from gay people” all the way to celebrating the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community. Being LGBTQ+ inclusive doesn’t just mean being kind to everyone. It requires more work on your part to be intentionally and consistently welcoming and affirming with your thoughts, words and actions.
For a wedding business to be authentically LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming means that you continually take the following measures to embrace all couples and marriers:
1. Use gender-neutral language throughout your website and social media posts, i.e., couples or marriers instead...
By Kirsten Palladino
Historically, people who are getting married have had to choose between two wedding titles: bride or groom. However, not everyone feels comfortable with those options. As an LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming wedding professional, it's important to educate your clients on all the options as well as not limit their choices to just bride or groom.
Below is a nonexhaustive list of wedding title choices for anyone getting married, whether they're gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, heterosexual, male, female, nonbinary or any other identity. Incorporate the option to select all of these in your contracts, information contact boxes on your website, client onboarding processes or other info-gathering procedures, in addition to asking them their pronouns. Knowing how your clients want to be addressed throughout the wedding-planning process will equip you with the knowledge to treat them with the respect they deserve and showcase your LGBTQ+ inclusive and...
One of the reasons working with LGBTQ+ couples is so much fun is because it often calls for tons of creativity. Couples must morph heteronormative traditions into ones that work for them, and as such, LGBTQ+ couples don’t often feel tied to doing things in any specific way. There are so many creative ways LGBTQ+ people can get married. Here are a few suggestions you can give to couples who are looking to get both creative and inclusive.
If a couple doesn’t want to walk down the aisle together but is having trouble deciding who will walk first, a double aisle is an increasingly popular choice for LGBTQ+ marriers. That way, they can walk at the same time, but still separately. Typically, the aisles begin in opposite corners of the room and angle toward one another, but of course, it is up to each couple how they want to design the room.
Offering pronoun pins to guests is a fantastic way to throw an inclusive...
Switzerland will officially legalize marriage equality and LGBTQ+ adoption after almost two-thirds of Swiss voters chose love in a Sunday referendum.
This will make Switzerland the 30th country to legalize marriage equality. Amnesty International called the moment a "milestone for equality."
Jan Muller, who was part of the national committee to vote "yes" for equality, told the AFP News Agency that Sunday was "a historic day for Switzerland, a historic day when it comes to equality for same-sex couples, and [was] also an important day for the whole LGBT community."
Olga Baranova, a spokesperson for the vote "yes" committee, added that the vote reflected the massive acceptance LGBTQ+ people have gained in the country over the past twenty years. The journey to this moment was a challenging one, though. In December 2020, both houses of the Swiss legislature approved a...
Adventurous couple Christy and CaSandra got engaged in Maui and then eloped on a private beach in Moorea, French Polynesia. (See more from their wedding feature on equallywed.com.)
In an idyllic way start to the wedding day, the couple was picked up by a boat from their beachside villa and driven to the private island. The only guest was CaSandra’s 25-year-old-daughter. Later, they enjoyed a reception with family and friends in Atlanta, Georgia.
Their marriers shared some advice for vendors working with LGBTQ+ couples: “Don’t be weird.
“We spoke to a couple of vendors in the Atlanta area when planning our reception and they just seemed awkward or maybe they were hesitant to accommodate us. Gay and lesbian couples are no different than your straight couples and there is no need to be weird or awkward if you truly want our business. The only thing that perhaps makes us a tad bit different is whether or not we are out to our families and wedding planning...
After getting engaged on the Mississippi River in New Orleans, Dawn and Candy decided to throw the perfect garden chic wedding.
Their main goal was “to let love permeate every nook and cranny of every space and heart.”
Their April celebration took place in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. The couple ensured the space was filled with trees and other greenery, like grasses and succulents. They also wanted to support women-owned businesses so they hired an all-female team of vendors.
“The day was perfect!” they said. “Guests enjoyed an intentional and organic exchange of vows and promises and then partied the night away!”
Their advice to vendors: “Please add that you are LGBTQIA+ friendly on your website so that we can forego that opening question in the preliminary discussions.”
It’s seems like such a simple addition, but it can make all the difference for LGBTQ+ couples. Remember that for these couples, it...
True allies make their support about the LGBTQ+ community, rather than about themselves. There is no one way to center LGBTQ+ voices, but here are a few ideas:
After an epic flash mob proposal, Samantha and Leah’s winter wedding took place on the historic riverfront of Wilmington, North Carolina. The couple, who had already been together for ten years, wrote that they “were going for a laid-back yet elegant vibe with a mix of the old with the new, including first look photos on a rooftop bar but a ceremony in an old warehouse.” Their advice to vendors working with LGBTQ+ couples: “Be open, accepting and willing to think outside of the box. It is 100 percent OK to ask what you are unsure of (like pronouns, future names, who wants to walk down the aisle first, etc.) but make sure to listen to what the couple is asking. Also, just think before you speak!
"Nothing frustrated us more than when someone would ask 'so who’s the groom' in your wedding … There is no groom. We are both brides!?”
One of the most fun parts about working with LGBTQ+ couples is the opportunity to shirk tradition...
On May 11, Instagram announced that there is now a dedicated section for users to add pronouns to their profiles. To prevent people from adding anything offensive or inappropriate, the app limits what pronouns can be used.
However, there are dozens of options, including she/her, him/his, co/cos, ze/zir, per/pers and they/them. Users can select up to four. According to Mashable, Instagram worked with organizations like PFLAG, GLAAD and the Trevor Project to create its list of pronouns. The company also plans to keep adding more.
Anyone who doesn't see a pronoun they use can submit a request to have it added. Users can also select whether everyone can view their pronouns or if they only want their followers to see them. For users under 18, the app will automatically restrict it to followers. Right now, the pronoun option is only available in a few countries, but Instagram said it plans to add more.
Add pronouns to your profile
The new field is available in a few countries, with plans...
Their advice to wedding vendors serving LGBTQ+ weddings and couples: Ask questions.
“If you’re unsure of something, then ask the question,” they say. “Be open with LGBTQ+ couples. It makes us feel like you care about getting it right.”
Many wedding and event pros mistakenly feel that asking questions means showing signs of ignorance. However, when, if asked in the right way, doing so can often be a sign of respect.
Asking questions means you are not making assumptions about how members of a couple identify or what wedding traditions they would like to follow. It means admitting when you don’t understand something about their identity or community and being open to learning about it. That way, you can be the best possible collaborator you can be. Some...
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