24 wedding vendors donated a wedding to two grooms rejected by bigoted venue
At the beginning of 2019, Aaron Lucero and Jeffrey Cannon began wedding planning for their anticipated November 2019 wedding. The two envisioned a Texas wedding with a country vibe and scheduled a visit to the Venue at Waterstone in Celina, a wedding venue in Celina, Texas. The couple was turned away because the Venue at Waterstone doesn’t host same-sex weddings, in accordance with the owner’s religious beliefs.
“It was like a punch in the gut,” Jeff Cannon told Equally Wed. He and Lucero had researched extensively before setting up tours of potential venues. “We are aware that not everyone agrees with gay marriage and we didn’t want to patronize a place where we were not welcome.” There was no indication that the Celina-based venue didn’t accept same-sex weddings on their website.
The couple began getting discouraged about the idea of having a Texas wedding after several other venues implied that they weren’t “equipped” enough to host the event. “It made us feel that even if we found a venue that would host our wedding, they would prefer not to,” Cannon explained.
Fortunately for the couple, Lynn Jackson, owner of the wedding planning business Fit & Fab Weddings in Frisco, Texas, heard about the discrimination. “I wanted to help make things right,” Jackson told Equally Wed. She had recently coordinated a wedding at the Venue at Waterstone without knowing the venue’s anti-LGBTQ+ policy. Jackson offered her wedding planning services to Lucero and Cannon for free in response to the bigotry they’d faced in the wedding industry. It wasn’t long before Whispering Oaks, a rustic barn venue in Valley View, Texas, reached out to the couple to offer to host their wedding for free.
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From there, more wedding professionals began contacting Jackson or the couple directly to offer donations of wedding services. “We are now planning a wedding that we never dreamed possible and it is due to the fact that so many of our fellow Texans have chosen to reject discrimination and take a stand,” Cannon told Equally Wed. “This is the Texas that we know and love, and why we wanted to get married here.”
The couple’s rustic Texas wedding took place on November 17, 2019, and included Mexican influences; Lucero was born in Mexico and raised in Dallas. Their wedding had a fall color scheme, Texas BBQ, country dancing and mariachis.
PARTICIPATING VENDORS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS THAT DONATED TO LUCERO AND CANNON’S WEDDING
Venue: Whispering Oaks (donated venue for ceremony and reception)
Bartender: Tilt Cocktail Events (donated bartending services)
Alcohol: HD Liquid Catering (donated beer and wine for 200 guests)
Catering: Five Star Event Services (donated catering of appetizers, dinner, non-alcoholic drinks, china, glassware and flatware)
Cake Designer: Posh Cakes by Shane (donated wedding cake)
Cake Balls: Cakettes (donate cake ball desserts)
DJ: Toast Entertainment (donated DJ and emcee services)
Favors: Yelibelly (donated favors for guests)
CreativeDesigner: Joche W. Events (donated creative design, florals and decor for ceremony site and reception)
Florist: CD Designs (donated florals and decor for cocktail hour and wooden bars)
Hair and Makeup: Three Zero Six – Hairstyling and Makeup Artistry (donated hair and makeup for the couple and their wedding party)
Limo: Prime Limo (donated limo service for the couple at sendoff)
Linens: AM Linen Rentals (donated linens and napkins)
Musicians: Serenata Strings (donated musicians for ceremony)
Rentals: One Fine Day LLC (donated decor rentals, design installations and partnering with Fit & Fab Weddings on planning services)
Photo Booth: The Snap Pack (donated a photo booth)
Photographer: Michael Bush (donated full wedding day photography)
Planner: Fit & Fab Weddings (donated full-service wedding planning)
Printer: The UPS Store (donated printing of all stationery)
Stationery: Stephanie Powell Creative (donated design of all stationery)
Tuxedos: Generation Tux (donated tuxedos for the couple and wedding party)
Videographer: Chevy Chey Photo (donated full wedding day photography)
Officiant: Chris Ahrens, friend of the couple (donated time as an officiant)
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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