Today’s guest post is from Bernadette Smith. Bernadette Smith is founder and president of 14 Stories and the Gay Wedding Institute, and award-winning author of three books about same-sex weddings, including the new book, The Business of Gay Weddings: A Guide for Wedding Professionals.
Nationwide marriage equality not only brings great news for society and equality, but tremendous opportunity for your business. The financial opportunity is obvious but perhaps more exciting, same-sex weddings may bring new energy and a fresh perspective. To help your business shift in preparation for same-sex weddings, consider these 5 tips:
1. Update your marketing materials, contact form, wedding planner worksheet/timeline and contract to remove the terms “bride and groom” and substitute gender-neutral alternatives throughout.
2. Make a list of LGBT-friendly wedding professionals in your service area that you are 100% confident will treat your clients with respect, and consider this your new LGBT Wedding referral list (and hopefully ALL weddings).
3. Are all of the photos in your portfolio of only brides and grooms paired together? Find photos that are more inclusive and use some of those instead, such as the bride by herself or the groom by himself, which are more ambiguous.
4. Weddings have traditionally been based on gender roles and same-sex couples often don’t adhere to those roles! You’ll notice many same-sex couples choose to reinvent traditions or skip them altogether.
5. Educate yourself on the laws that may affect same-sex couples in your area. For example, in 29 states, LGBT individuals could still be denied services, like that of a wedding photographer or DJ, simply on the basis of their sexuality. You are your client’s advocate so ensure you are aware of the challenges they may face while wedding planning.
Don’t forget – for more information on the Gay Wedding Institute Certification Course, the Gay Wedding Glossary or any of our other work, check out: www.GayWeddingInstitute.com