» Points of Pride: Happenings and Happiness

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.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I had ‘come out’ and attended my first Pride celebration in Philadelphia. It also doesn’t seem that long ago that my wife and I exchanged vows for the first time, because doing so felt right for our relationship even though we had no access to legal rights at the time. Ultimately, though, it’s been almost a quarter century of celebrating Pride months and I’m thrilled to celebrate once again with the help of WeddingWire.

Wed We Can Vow Renewal

Celebrate with us at Capital Pride DC to kick off Pride Month

On Saturday, June 13, WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com will kick off the celebration of Pride month at Capital Pride in Washington, D.C. We are starting the day with an exciting Vow Renewal Celebration at The Embassy Row Hotel from 10am-12pm. We’re thrilled to celebrate a re-commitment to love at the event and have some wonderful sponsors on board to help! Then, at 3pm we are meeting at the Capital Pride staging area to march together in the parade (and rock a free t-shirt!). Would you like to join us at the Vow Renewal celebration and march with us afterwards in the annual Pride parade? Register today to save your spot!

New Badges We’ve Made For You

I often receive the question: how can I show that my business welcomes same-sex couples? Listen to one of our WeddingWireEDU webinars for more specific tips, like updating your GayWeddings.com profile image or consider adding this new badge to your website or blog. In addition to being able to show that you are a member of the GayWeddings.com family, you’ll also be able to showcase your listing via the badge link. Learn more about our new badge program and embed yours today!

Questions I’m Happy To Answer

On May 19, more than 2,600 of you enjoyed access to a webinar called “The Same-Sex Marriage Evolution: From Niche to Modern Market.” We reviewed some background on the legal landscape of the marriage equality movement and how considerations of the emerging LGBTQ wedding market has changed over the years. I also took questions from registrants leading up to the webinar so that I could share answers to the questions YOU are asking.

Even with 30 minutes of extended discussion time, we ran out of time to cover all of the questions asked and promised you some bonus content. The first includes the videos and links we referenced in the webinar and published earlier this month. The second bit of bonus content, found here, includes very brief answers to the following questions I didn’t have time to address.

Will you look at my website?

I do offer this service as a consulting expert and would be happy to consider inquiries for private consultants upon request. Bernadette Smith of 14Stories also offers this service.

What kind of images should I use in my materials if we’ve never hosted a LGBT wedding?

Here are a few inclusive image ideas you can use if you have not yet had same-sex clients!

Do you think it is insulting to have a separate website for same-sex couples?

Like the old adage, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” so, too, are insults. What one person might find ‘insulting’ another person might find to be an oversight or not worthy of consideration. I’ve seen folks try to be inclusive on one website and still be ‘insulting,’ just as I’ve found folks who have marketed with separate sites and been incredibly respectful and appropriate. So, what ultimately matters is your intention: What is your plan behind a separate site (or separate section)? And, how are the couples you want to reach in your area responding? Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with a thoughtful niche-oriented site (consider GayWeddings.com, for example!) if you want to make the investment, BUT you also need to be fully inclusive in your other primary business website and materials (like WeddingWire).

Is understanding the history of marriage equality really that necessary?

My belief is that, yes, the history on this is important for understanding the LGBTQ experience and what the forthcoming SCOTUS marriage ruling means. While some elements are certainly personally and intellectually interesting to me, I have found it interesting that most LGBT-identified persons who attend my talks love and appreciate the legal landscape portion. And, there are some, like the attendee who wrote in asking about whether or not weddings can happen in Ohio (no, marriage equality is not currently recognized and is, in fact, the state that has brought the hallmark case to SCOTUS), who haven’t considered the legal connection to the same-sex wedding experience. I hope that some of your questions about what Pros need to consider to be prepared were addressed in the additional portions of the webinar!

As a wedding venue, how do we reach out to our vendors to identify those that are gay wedding competent?

Call each one up or email and ask! You might consider asking questions about how many same-sex couples they’ve worked with, what kind of adjustments they’ve made to their ad campaigns and marketing materials, what trainings or seminars they’ve attended on the topic, if they are listed on GayWeddings.com or have any reviews from previous clients, and how they feel about marriage equality. You can always open with something like this: “I recently attended a WeddingWireEDU webinar hosted by GayWeddings.com and the speaker suggested that we contact each wedding vendor on our referral list and talk with them about their experience working with same-sex couples before we refer any of our same-sex couples. What can you tell me about your company policy and/or experience about working with LGBTQ couples?”

Finally, we hope you join in the Pride month celebration with us! Head on over to WedWeCan.com for the latest Pro education resources in one place and community resources center with great badges to show your support this month – and all year long!