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

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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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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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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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