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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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The importance of privacy for your LGBTQ+ wedding clients

contracts privacy Oct 25, 2019

Working with weddings places you in a special circle of trust with your clients—one that should not be violated. There are certain parameters that you know not to cross with your clients, and privacy is one of them.

Even though you’re being hired to create a magnificent work of art for your client (whether it’s visual, tangible or experiential), never forget that though you retain the rights to the art, you do not have the right to violate your clients’ privacy.

Over the past 10 years in publishing Equally Wed, we have dealt with a not-infrequent amount of couples asking us to remove images that contained their faces or entire Real Wedding features that their photographer or other wedding vendor had submitted to us, never asking the couple for permission.

It’s important to remember that though we have full marriage equality in the United States and in many countries around the globe, we—the LGBTQ+ community—can still be fired from our jobs...

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Radical Wed Retreat offers rest and relaxation to wedding pros

Wedding industry pros are some of the hardest working folks around, especially when they're also doing double duty fighting for social justice and equity in the wedding industry. Enter the Radical Wed Retreat, a workshop for wedding pros happening November 12-15, 2019, in Austin, Texas.  

Led by planner and stylist Justine Broughal of Together Events and photographer Jamie Carle, Radical Wed Retreat is geared toward creatives and wedding professionals who seek to or are conquering the social justice space and integrating parts of that into their businesses.

  Karla Villar and Mary Sommer, styled shoot from 2018 Radical Wed Retreat, photo by Lauryn Kay
"It's the end of summer and the end of wedding season," states the Radical Wed Retreat site. "You are burned out, in need of creative rejuvenation, and to find your people. We got you. Spend 3 nights, 4 days in Austin Texas with us."

Nourishment from 2018 Radical Wed Retreat, photo...

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Book more LGBTQ+ weddings by making your wedding directory listing more LGBTQ+ inclusive

You’ve taken the leap and invested in a wedding directory listing on Equally Wed, the No. 1 LGBTQ+ wedding website where LGBTQ+ couples come from all over the world to find inspiration for their weddings, engagements and honeymoons and are looking to connect with equality enthusiasts like you. Congratulations! You’ve made a critical decision to get involved with the LGBTQ+ wedding community, to show them you support marriage equality, and to invite LGBTQ+ couples to do business with you. You’re probably thinking “If I build it, they will come,” which is halfway true. You can make the most of your presence on by utilizing the tools we offer to make your wedding directory listing stand out. Let’s talk about the building blocks of an outstanding listing.

Once you’re an approved preferred vendor on Equally Wed, you have full editing abilities of your listing at your directory dashboard to edit it any time of day or night, all on...

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A glossary for LGBTQ+ weddings

As the author of Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding, the cofounder and editorial director of the Equally Wed website and the course creator at Equally Wed Pro, I recognize perhaps more than some how important words, names, labels and boxes are—whether it’s a matter of usage or avoidance.

Gender is a complex and fluid continuum. One of the reasons there was a need for a book like Equally Wed was to finally break the mold of the heteronormative terms “bride” and “groom” used in wedding books. Even other books that mention same-sex weddings often call two female-identified people getting married two “brides,” even though that term isn’t universally appropriate in the LGBTQ+ wedding community.

By the same token, not all male-identified marriers want to be referred to as a “groom.” Social constructs are just that: a worldview built by society. People are complex, no matter what our...

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The problem when wedding pros say they don't care if the client's gay

communication Jun 28, 2019

By Kirsten Palladino

We’ve seen it over and over. We tell someone we’re gay, trans, queer, bi, nonbinary, etc. and the response is blasé. The person acts like they couldn’t care less … for a few seconds. And then they start talking again. And that’s where the problems start.

They say things like, “Just don’t expect me to go to any rallies.” Or “I don’t judge that lifestyle.” Or “What do I care who you like to have sex with? You’re still my friend/sister/brother/coworker.” And at this point you’re feeling a mix of acceptance and eyes bugging out of your head in complete bewilderment. Is this what being loved feels like? Maybe.

Sometimes the jokes set in at this level or perhaps we’re going to get lucky and not hear those this round.

When I talk to wedding pros around the world, I hear a variety of responses when I tell them who I am and where I work. Here are some of the...

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What trans people want wedding vendors to know

trans May 02, 2019

By Cassandra Zetta

In celebrating and educating for the LGBTQ+ community, we must also discuss the struggles and needs trans people have when wedding planning. Through tips shared in this article, we hope to begin to create a more open and safe space for the trans community within the wedding industry. The thoughts and experiences shared below are the reflections of contributing trans community members. Please keep in mind no two people or experiences are the same.

A foundational step in being an inclusive vendor is to only use gender-neutral language on your website, contracts and social media. Click here to learn more about creating inclusive wedding contracts. Gender-inclusive language sends the clear message to your clients that your business is a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ people—including transgender people.


“In general, I think the best way to be inclusive of trans folk is to be conscious and respectful about language,” says JB Fuoco. “Not...

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Who is the LGBTQ+ community?

lgbtq Apr 26, 2019

Let's go over the basics of the LGBTQ+ community, starting with who we are:

L = lesbian  

G = gay  

B = bisexual  

T = transgender  

Q = queer  

+ = everyone else in our community who feels more aligned with another identity, such as pansexual (sexual attraction not based on gender identity), genderqueer, agender, gender fluid or nonbinary (gender identity that goes beyond or between male or female), and more.

Queer was once a derogatory term but the LGBTQ+ community has reclaimed it as something we’re quite proud of. Not every LGBTQ+ person uses the word. It is more often used by people younger than 40. Queer can pertain to sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s an umbrella term for our community that’s much more accurate than the term gay or lesbian, since those words have much more narrow definitions. Transgender is the word used for people who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. The correct...

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Always remember you're in the business of love

Love is the reason you got into this business in the first place. Love fuels the wedding industry. While the wedding industry is booming at $72 billion, it grew to that insane number because of love. Your work should support your living expenses and beyond, no doubt. Just because you love love doesn't mean you give yourself or your work away. You deserve to be paid justly for your work. But at the end of the day, your work should showcase your belief that you're in the business of love. Love is love is love is love. And your clients are in love. That's why they're hiring you. Of course, they're interested in your artisan wares, your modern aesthetic, your equality-mindedness, your incredible venue, your connections and your value of privacy. But the impetus of even having the need to hire you in the first place all goes back to love.


When you're in the business of love, how should you alter (altar!) your thinking? What does that even mean?

1 / Remember that your clients'...

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