Equally Wed
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!

It's Not All About the Dress: Wedding Lingerie for the Feminine Bride
Published: Tuesday, 15 April 2014 16:46
It's Not All About the Dress: Wedding Lingerie for the Feminine Bride

Your wedding isn't all about the dress—you want to feel fabulous underneath it, as well!

Feeling Visible: Filing Taxes Together as a Married Lesbian Couple Should
Published: Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:17
Feeling Visible: Filing Taxes Together as a Married Lesbian Couple Should

It’s tax day, and I’m feeling visible, which is a pretty damn spectacular feeling for someone who has felt invisible in her country for the past five years of being married to the woman I love.

Same-Sex Couple is the First to be Married in UK Church
Published: Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:29
Same-Sex Couple is the First to be Married in UK Church

A UK couple becomes the first to legally marry in a UK church.

Become a Preferred Local Vendor Today
Published: Tuesday, 15 April 2014 02:18
Become a Preferred Local Vendor Today

equallywed.com is the nation’s premier same-sex wedding magazine. We invite you to become a preferred local vendor today!

Ohio Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Performed in Other States
Published: Monday, 14 April 2014 16:47
Ohio Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Performed in Other States

A federal judge has ruled that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state.


sharda-anna-lesbian-wedding-how-to-plan-gay-wedding-vendors

While most of our readers are couples planning their weddings or engagements, we do have quite a few wedding vendors who enjoy Equally Wed’s articles as well. One of the questions I get asked at most any function I speak at is: “How can I make my wedding business more gay-friendly?”

I thought I’d take a moment to answer that question the way I do in those conversations for everyone to have a better sense of understanding of how to make your gay, lesbian and transgender clients feel at ease when working with you.

It’s a matter of dos and don’ts, really.

DO

Know that not everyone wants to be referred to as a bride or a groom. Some members of our LBGTQ community don’t identify with a gender or feel a connection to both genders, and many feel that the term bride is both antiquated and antifeminist.

Change all your materials (website content, brochures, all contracts) to reflect gender-neutral terms, i.e. the couple, you and your partner, partner A and partner B (in forms and contracts).

Be respectful to both partners, and treat them with as much courtesy and respect as you would for your heterosexual clientele.

Do consider putting out a basket of white knots in your office with a small sign that reads “I support everyone’s right to tie the knot.” You can get a few hundred mailed to you for a small fee from the celebrity-endorsed nonprofit WhiteKnot.org. This will ensure your gay and lesbian customers planning a wedding feel comfortable right from the start, and it helps educate your straight clients, as well. Proud allies are very influential.

DON’T

Don't make stupid jokes, i.e. “Who’s the bride?” Whether your intentions are good or not, what comes across is “I’m so stuck in my self-righteous ideas of what a wedding consists of that I will never be enlightened enough to realize that love is love, and nothing else matters.”

Don’t ask offensive questions, i.e. “Are your parents supporting this?” (Whether they are or not is simply none of your business, and your question implies that you think the parents or anyone else has a right not to be supportive of this relationship.)

Don’t isolate your services to gay and lesbian clients by relegating your offerings to a section for commitment ceremonies. The term sends chills down my spine. It’s akin to offering your same-sex couples the opportunity to drink out of a water fountain with a sign above it that reads, “Gays Only.” Not cool.

Don’t ever use the term lifestyle when speaking about someone’s sexual orientation. We’re not necessarily avid tennis players or crazy club-goers. This is not a style of life. This is a genetic, innate part of who we are. We were born this way. A lifestyle is a choice, and being gay is not. Your use of the term implies that you think otherwise.

Don’t assume anything. Don’t assume that a masculine woman is going to don a wedding gown or that an effeminate man is going to, either. But don’t be surprised if they do. It’s just better to ask what they’re planning for their attire, and respond in a respectful manner. People of all orientations dress how they’re most comfortable – on and off their wedding day. The same goes for a couple's preference for two boutonnieres, two bouquets or one of each. Just ask simply what the couple is thinking for their flowers or cakes. Let them tell you instead of implying what you think they should do.

Don’t ask if this is legal. Don’t say “but this won’t be legal.” A wedding is a ceremony of marriage, a commitment of two consenting adults who love each other and are promising their lives to one another. It does not require a trip to the courthouse. Hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples around the world are holding wedding ceremonies without a legal marriage certificate because it’s the right time for them to commit to each other—with or without the government’s recognition of it. If you’re concerned that your clients aren’t getting full marital rights as a gay or lesbian couple, make sure you speak out on their behalf, give money to organizations such as Lambda Legal, Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign, and, of course, vote for marriage equality.


Photo: Ron Soliman Photojournalism
 

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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.