Will the LGBTQ-Friendly Wedding Vendors Please Stand Up?
I've conducted lots of weddings--and this year, I'm finally getting married myself! This is especially meaningful because, in case you didn't know, I'm gay, and it's only been since 2015 that LGBTQ couples across the U.S. could legally marry. Yet despite this victory, LGBTQ couples still face discrimination from wedding vendors, ministers and politicians. Fortunately, there are many wedding ministers (like myself!) and vendors who are more than happy to welcome LGBTQ couples. But it's still a bit of a jungle out there, as I've recently discovered.
I haven't experienced any outright discrimination yet. The venue we chose is owned by a gay man. The wedding cake vendors we've interviewed have all been great. But I was unprepared for how uncomfortable I would be while searching for a wedding photographer. We did get referrals but weren't told specifically if these photographers were ok with a gay couple. When I sat down to review their web portfolios, what stood out was not their photo skills but rather the total lack of LGBTQ representation. Was this just an oversight? Or, would they be unwilling for whatever reason to shoot our wedding simply because we're gay?
It's hard to tell. I will say that the majority of weddings I do are for straight couples, but I want anyone who looks at my site to know that I am happy to do their weddings--LGBTQ, straight, black, white, whatever. I make sure to post pics of LGBTQ couples and blog about gay topics. In the end, I'm not sure who to trust in my own search. I nixed one photographer right away because text on her site said she wants "glorify Jesus with my talent." Sorry, I know what that means. I emailed others, so we'll see--and I did find 2 photographers who openly state they are LGBTQ-friendly. Yes, it could be a lot worse, and I'm sure everything will work out fine. It's just a shame that your excitement over getting married can be so quickly extinguished by bigots.