Nothing crushes your “I just got engaged” bliss faster than realizing that the vast majority of the wedding industry consists of cis-gender, thin, white, straight couples. It’s awful to feel like your love isn’t as valid or worthy of celebration as the love stories being portrayed on social media. Unfortunately, the wedding industry still has a long way to go in terms of diversity and inclusivity but there are many ways to make this a more positive, safe and affirming process for you!
I would be lying if I said, finding wedding vendors wasn’t incredibly discouraging for me and my wife during our planning process. We went to wedding shows, searched all the wedding magazines, and searched high and low on google all to realize that there was virtually no one we felt 100% comfortable reaching out to. Every single contact form felt like having to come out all over again to complete strangers. While my experience planning my own wedding was discouraging, here are some tips I’ve picked up since then would have saved a lot of time and frustration.
I am a big believer that your guest list should focus on including the people who are there to support and celebrate your marriage. Choosing to focus on inviting those special and loving people will not only help with narrowing down your guest list but more importantly will make you and your partner feel more comfortable and safe on your special day. Feeling safe is the bare minimum you should both feel on your wedding day, and everyone invited should encourage that as well.
There are so many unique situations and dynamics when it comes to LGBTQ+ wedding planning, which is one of my favorite things about being a LGBTQ+ wedding photographer. Most (if not all) traditional aspects of weddings are rooted in heternormity, and many LGBTQ+ couples don’t feel comfortable including them. It’s okay to throw away traditions if they don’t fit or feel right to you and your partner. Here are some nontraditional things you can incorporate into your LGBTQ+ wedding. This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but hopefully it’ll help you get creative in your planning process!
No matter what anyone says, family, friend, vendor, or otherwise, I want to remind you that you DO belong in the wedding world. Your marriage is worthy of love and celebration. As we continue to push the boundaries of the heternormative wedding industry, couples like you are inspiring hope, change, and increased visibility for the LGBTQ+ community. Use your supportive family and friends for moral support when you need to, and remember that you are not alone in this!