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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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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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