I found a wedding show locally that was happening just 3 weeks after we got engaged. I was so excited to meet local vendors in the area and see who was showing LGBT weddings at the expo. I was very disappointed to say the least. Not one vendor showcased an LGBT wedding couple in their portfolio and not one vendor had gender neutral language on their inquiry form. I half expected this outcome before going to the wedding show. I arrived armed and ready with a red pen and confidently crossed out “groom” on each inquiry form and wrote bride. But at that event, talking to each vendor and having to “come out” to each vendor was exhausting and overall not a pleasureable experience.
Your wedding day should be a day of celebration and love surrounded by friends, family + wedding vendors who support and respect you. Here are my top tips to identify inclusive wedding vendors to support LGBT weddings.
Portfolio – Social Media
Scroll through their instagram and website. Do they feature any LGBT wedding couples? How far are you scolling to find an LGBT wedding couple in their portfolio? Does your wedding vendor follow any LGBT wedding experts like Equally Wed or LGBT Weddings?
Do they have any identifiers of LGBT wedding friendly on their website? This can appear as a text stating they are LGBTQ+ friendly or an image of a rainbow flag? On my site I have both!
Contracts – Inquiry Forms
Do they have gender neutral terms on their documents? Many wedding vendors default to “bride” and “groom” and leave no space for correction. Look for wedding vendors that do not assume your gender or title.
This related to number 3. Along with gender neutral language in their workflow and communication are they asking about your pronouns? I think it’s important to ask for pronouns at the start of the inquiry process so there is clear insight on who you are and how I can address you properly.
Advocating for LGBTQ+ Community
Going a little bit deeper in support, I think that it’s important that vendors who support LGBT weddings also advocate for LGBTQ+ causes. We’re not looking for performative alliance here, as an LGBTQ+ couple, I am looking for genuine support and allies. Some vendors may keep their beliefs separate from their business practices, but I think transparency is important in a business. I want to know that my money is supporting vendors that share my same values.
Are there any reviews from LGBTQ+ wedding clients? If there isn’t but your vendor is marketing LGBT weddings, ask your vendor if they have references from LGBT wedding couples. Unfortunately there are some wedding vendors showcasing LGBT weddings but do not understand the importance of respecting pronouns or the nuances of LGBT weddings.
Most importantly you want to meet your wedding vendors and ensure you have personalities and ideas that mesh well together. This day is to celebrate you and your partners love for one another and you want to be surrounded by vendors that are enthusiastic, respectful and share your vision for your day.
Looking for LGBTQ+ Wedding vendors in the Central Valley? Check out my top recommendations here!
Hey there, I’m Michelle!
Wedding Photographer + Creative behind GunnShot Photography.
With over 3 years of wedding experience, I help couples feel comfortable, confident and capture timeless memories to share for years to come.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I provide invaluable insight on how to navigate the wedding planning process as a queer couple in this heteronormative wedding world. You two can can create your own traditions and I’ll be there to capture those timeless moments.
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I specialize in inclusive wedding photography for all. I went from being engayged to being a Fresno Wedding Photographer when I couldn't find any photographers locally who held my same values.
Fueled by equal parts coffee and passion, I believe your story, your love, is beautiful and I can't wait to capture it in images you will treasure for years to come. I believe in real moments and genuine connection. In the kinds of images that remind you of the joy that can be found in the simplest of moments together.
And I can't wait to get to know you!
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