Equally Wed
How to Get Legally Married in Vermont
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 22:19
How to Get Legally Married in Vermont

All you need to know about getting legally married in Vermont!

How to Get Legally Married in Rhode Island
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 21:44
How to Get Legally Married in Rhode Island

Same-sex couples can be legally married in Rhode Island. 

Patricia + Julissa: An Autumn Wedding Under the Texas Sun
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 20:49
Patricia + Julissa: An Autumn Wedding Under the Texas Sun

Patricia and Julissa were married under the hot desert sun of the Texas landscape!

Oklahoma Marriage Equality Case Appealing to 10th Circuit
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 18:15
Oklahoma Marriage Equality Case Appealing to 10th Circuit

The 10th Circuit is hearing arguments in the Oklahoma marriage equality case.

Under the Tux: Wedding Day Undergarments for Men
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 17:09
Under the Tux: Wedding Day Undergarments for Men

Guys, it's not all about the tux. Wow your man with some fun unmentionables!

Barbie + Alexa: An Intimate Garden Wedding in DC
Published: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 18:48
Barbie + Alexa: An Intimate Garden Wedding in DC

Barbie and Alexa decided to make their love legal on their 8-year anniversary!

Wednesday Wedding Song: All of Me by John Legend
Published: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:00
Wednesday Wedding Song: All of Me by John Legend

John Legend's song All of Me touches me to my core every time I hear it, and that's why I'm choosing it as this week's Wednesday Wedding Song.

Ohio Marriage Ruling May Be Stayed
Published: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 02:23
Ohio Marriage Ruling May Be Stayed

A federal judge is considering staying his recent ruling that same-sex marriage be recognized in the state.

Patrick + Arive: Celebrating 10 Years Together
Published: Tuesday, 15 April 2014 19:31
Patrick + Arive: Celebrating 10 Years Together

Patrick and Arive recently celebrated 10 years of love together.

Sarah + Kelly: A Rustic Outdoor Wedding in Denver
Published: Tuesday, 15 April 2014 18:43
Sarah + Kelly: A Rustic Outdoor Wedding in Denver

Kelly and Sarah had a lovely rustic wedding in Denver!

I'll never forget the day that I went for a cake tasting with a pair of my brides. We arrived to a bakery where I'd been plenty of times before and had great experiences. When she saw us, the assistant who greeted us that day said, "So, which one of you is the bride?"

I get it. Three women. Surely one of them must be the bride, another the Maid of Honor and the third a sister or the planner—or anyone but another bride. Right?

I was fairly horrified, even though I knew my clients would ultimately have a good experience if they did choose that cake (they didn't). I was horrified because it's my job to make sure this doesn't happen, and that day I failed myself and my clients. I should have called ahead to remind the bakery that the appointment was with a same-sex couple, even though I mentioned it when making the appointment. I should have and I didn't.

Fortunately my clients were very cool and forgave both me and the bakery. This kind of thing actually happens all the time, though—wedding professionals who assume that there's one bride and one groom. I hear from grooms who tell me about approaching a vendor and hearing, "So, where's the bride? " or "What's the name of the bride?"—as if it's not obvious when there's not one!

real-wedding-annie-sylvia

I know very well that this kind of oversight does not necessarily equal homophobia or discrimination. Often it's just an accidental oversight that carries through on forms, contracts, websites and marketing materials and in employee training. But it can be a very expensive accidental oversight for businesses who cater to the fairytale wedding and unconsciously turn off potential same-sex clients. Some couples are forgiving and others are not.

I talk about this kind of stuff all the time when I train those in the wedding industry about gay weddings through my workshops and webinar course. I get that the laws are changing and there's a lot of catch-up to do. But ultimately gay weddings are good for business. They might not make you rich but even if your business is just seeing one or two gay weddings a year, that can still end up being significant. And if gay weddings are not legally allowed where you live, then you might get some commitment ceremony business—it's still good to be ready.

If there are 2.3 million straight weddings a year, gay weddings will never come close to touching that number. But nevertheless, gay weddings are here—and here to stay. Isn't it time your business caught up?

I wish I made this stuff up but here are 10 real-life examples of things wedding professionals should NOT say to engaged same-sex couples!

"Where's the bride?" (to two grooms)
There may be one bride, two brides or no brides! Be careful not to make assumptions!

"Is one of you going to wear the dress and one of you wear the tux?" (said to brides and grooms)
Gender roles are archaic and potentially offensive to couples. Ask open-ended questions instead, like "What are you going to wear to your wedding?"

"That's not what happens at a real wedding!"
Who's to say what happens at a real wedding? What is a real wedding anymore? Don't invalidate this couple's wedding planning decisions.

"How do your parents feel about all this?"
Their parents may be over the moon, completely horrified, or a little of both. Ultimately it may be none of your business.

"I'm so thrilled to meet you. You know, I was bisexual in college!"
LGBT people hate to be tokenized. Don't try to relate to us by saying things like that. Just be yourself and treat LGBT couples with respect.

"I'm thrilled to be supportive of your alternative lifestyle!"
Being LGBT isn't a choice, so please don't make comments which imply that it is.

"Oh, is that even legal?"
Whether or not the marriage will be legal is irrelevant. If the LGBT couple wants to plan a wedding, fantastic!

"Which way do you swing?" (inappropriate sexual question)
Stay away from anything even remotely sexual ... it's none of your business!

"Yes, we will plan homosexual weddings here."
The word "homosexual" has all kinds of negative connotations related to the early days when it was actually considered a mental disorder to be gay. Stay away from that term!

"So will there be drag queens and show tunes at this wedding?"
Maybe. Maybe not. But just because it's a gay wedding doesn't mean that you should assume that all of the cliches are true.

Bernadette Coveney Smith is the founder and owner of 14 Stories, a gay-owned wedding planning company. Learn more about her and her services in our Local Resources marketplace of gay-friendly wedding vendors who service New York.


Photo: Annie and Sylvia from Real Weddings by Rachel McCauley Photography



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Always Among Friends: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Always Among Friends: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Published: Friday, 21 February 2014 00:56

Many consider the island of St. John to be the jewel in the Caribbean crown. Affluent and tranquil, this tiny tropical paradise is only 13 miles long and four miles wide.

Glaciers, Humpbacks and Bears, Oh My: Honeymoon on an Alaskan Cruise
Glaciers, Humpbacks and Bears, Oh My: Honeymoon on an Alaskan Cruise
Published: Tuesday, 18 June 2013 19:11

Cruises serving the LGBT community have long been popular, but gay-friendly traveling options are widening as cruise lines increasingly welcome same-sex couples. 

Pocono Mountains Retreat: Mount Airy Casino Resort
Pocono Mountains Retreat: Mount Airy Casino Resort
Published: Tuesday, 30 April 2013 05:00

Mount Airy Casino Resort offers a picturesque honeymoon and wedding destination to gay, lesbian and allied couples alike.

ASK KIRSTEN Wedding Advice from our Editor

Our Families Don't Know We're Queer or Our Gender Identification and We're Getting Married
Our Families Don't Know We're Queer or Our Gender Identification and We're Getting Married
Published: Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:00

As we approach our engagement party where our families will meet our partner for the first time, as well as each other, we are feeling really nervous that they will be uncomfortable and confused.