NEW MINI COURSE How to produce an authentically inclusive LGBTQ+ styled shoot

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Don't be weird: LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding insights from Christy and CaSandra's private beach wedding in Moorea, French Polynesia

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...

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Be openly LGBTQ+ inclusive: insights from Dawn and Candy’s garden chic wedding

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...

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How to celebrate Pride as an ally

ally lgbtq+ inclusive pride Jun 01, 2021
Pride month is finally here! While any time is the right time to support the LGBTQ+ community, Pride month is a special opportunity for allies in the wedding industry to examine how they show that support for LGBTQ+ couples they work with. There are endless ways to show your pride as an ally, but these six are a great place to start.

Center LGBTQ+ Voices

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:

  1. Ask LGBTQ+ couples you've worked with to share their love stories on your website or social media.
  2. For any LGBTQ+ styled shoots you take part in, make sure the models are actually part of the LGBTQ+ community (and ideally a real couple).
  3. Directly ask LGBTQ+ couples what they most need from vendors to feel affirmed and then work on living up to that.
  4. Use photos of real LGBTQ+ couples on your website.
  5. If you're not LGBTQ+, don't speak on our behalf and our experiences. Elevate...
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Think outside the box: advice from Samantha and Leah's dazzling winter wedding

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...

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Instagram now allows users to add pronouns to their bios. Here's why that matters.

ally instagram pronouns May 20, 2021

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.

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Ask questions: insights from Megan and Allyson's groovy and eclectic Indianapolis wedding

Megan and Allyson wanted a wedding filled with fun and color with a groove and eclectic vibe. The couple married at the The Nest Event Center in Indianapolis, with Megan's aunt officiating.

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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Build community with the Wedding Summit Series {free}

education events Feb 09, 2021

2020 was a doozy for the wedding industry. It hit us all hard in different ways, but one thing it certainly zapped was energy. You might even be feeling apprehensive about the upcoming wedding season, and that's understandable and more than OK. It's common.

That's why I'm so excited to tell you about the first ever Wedding Summit Series event

Taking place Feb. 22-26, this five-day virtual event is packed with more than 40 industry experts focused on giving you new skills, knowledge and inspiration surrounding just one topic: COMMUNITY. 

For example, I'm going to be talking all about how to connect with LGBTQ+ wedding professionals, a topic I've never brought to a conference before so get ready if you want to learn how to connect with wedding pros who identify as LGBTQ+!

We're featuring some pretty big names, including

Renee Dalo

Aleya Harris

Amber Anderson

Bron Hansboro

and more!

The best part? It’s totally free! 

 

Get your free ticket for the...

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How to be authentically LGBTQ+ inclusive in your wedding business

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 11 years, I’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 welcoming with your words and actions.

For a wedding business to be authentically LGBTQ+ inclusive means that you have taken at least these measures to embrace all couples:

  1. Use gender-neutral language throughout your website and social media posts, i.e., couples or marriers instead of bride and groom. Keep in mind that not all LGBTQ+ marriers identify...
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Inclusive event planning for hearing-impaired and deaf people

Being an inclusive wedding professional does not only mean inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. There are many ways to be inclusive, and today I want to talk to you about being inclusive of disabled people. Specifically, hard-of-hearing and deaf folks.

To look at me, you might not think anything is wrong. But I'm hearing-impaired. I wear hearing aids in both ears. I hear 9 percent of sounds in one ear and 25 percent of sounds in the other. When I can't hear what people are saying, I feel isolated and alone. It's tiring to continue to ask people to repeat themselves so often I just smile and nod because I'm exhausted.

When people like me attend events, there are ways you can be accomodating. And since you might not know if a hearing-impaired person is attending your event, I recommend you just do these things anyway. Here are five tips to make your event more inclusive of hard-of-hearing or deaf guests.

1 / Mic up your couple for their vows and have a mic for toasts and speeches....

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What does LGBTQ+ inclusive mean?

Uncategorized Feb 03, 2020

By Kirsten Palladino

With the advent of marriage equality, more wedding pros are opening their 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.

 I’ve found that it’s happening on a gradient level, from “willing to take money from gay people” all the way to celebrating the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community.

To be fully LGBTQ+ inclusive means that the business has taken at least these measures to embrace all couples:

  1. Uses gender-neutral language throughout its website, i.e., couples instead of bride and groom.
  2. Uses gender-neutral language in its social media posts and bio, i.e., couples instead of bride and groom.
  3. Uses gender-neutral language in its contracts, i.e., couples instead of bride and groom.
  4. Demonstrates inclusivity in communicating about the wedding day, such as calling the attendants the wedding party instead of the bridal party...
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