This post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings.com, the leading online resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999. Kathryn is also co-author of the groundbreaking book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography. Follow her on Twitter @madebykathryn.
I’m feeling awfully reflective these days.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve just started the book tour for the release my new book (co-authored with photographer Thea Dodds), The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography, and that’s got me into a storytelling mood.
Or perhaps it’s because this month – May, 2014 – marks 10 years of marriage equality in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In some ways, it feels like May of 2004 happened a heartbeat ago; in other ways, it has felt like a long (once lonely, but increasingly crowded and joyous) journey.
It’s also been just over 10 years since we launched our ‘gay-friendly’ directory (which we now refer to as our LGBTQ-friendly directory and which is now powered by WeddingWire), where we showcase wedding professionals – straight and gay alike – who are ready, willing and able to serve same-sex couples. More importantly, what was once a catalog of several hundred professionals nationwide has grown in size to one of over 90,000 Pros. And yes, I still get chills every time I say that.
But, here’s the thing: wedding professionals nationwide have enthusiastically signed up to serve the LGBTQ community via our wedding directory, but the majority have not yet updated their settings to reveal their sensitivity to this market.
And this is important! You may be ready and willing to serve same-sex couples, but same-sex couples might not give your listing a second chance because they only see references (visual and textual) to a bride or a bride and groom.
And the complication here is that you will lose out on prospective clients not just on GayWeddings.com, but also network-wide. Though same-sex couples do look on niche sites like ours, they also shop for services at other sites (like Brides.com, Martha Stewart, Project Wedding, etc) that resonate with them.
To help you update your settings and improve your listings in our directory, I’ve created a PDF with a few quick tutorials with the help of the friendly folks at WeddingWire. I explain how to add or remove your listing from our directory and how to update your profile image so that your offerings will be better in sync with our audience.
Please take a moment to review these tips and update your listing so that same-sex couples who visit our site will see right off the bat a list of wedding professionals who not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk.