TIPS TO ENSURE YOUR WEDDING BUSINESS IS EQUALITY-MINDED
FACT: LGBTQ+ couples deserve the same high level of professionalism that you offer every other client you serve. This seems obvious, right? And yet LGBTQ+ couples continue to lament over poor service, inappropriate comments and outright homophobic and transphobic behavior from wedding professionals. This isn’t just happening in rural areas or locales far away from any metropolitan points on the map. Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community is alive and well in the wedding industry in the heart of New York, Los Angeles and beyond.
One of the questions I am frequently asked by vendors I meet at speaking engagements and other wedding events is this: “How can I make my wedding business more gay-friendly? What does that even mean? When I respond, I rephrase it using a term I coined: equality-minded wedding vendor. Not everyone in the LGBTQ+ community is or identifies as gay.
I thought I’d take a moment to answer that question the way I do in those conversations for everyone to have a better sense of understanding of how to make your gay, lesbian and transgender clients feel at ease when working with you.
It’s a matter of dos and don’ts, really.
Know that not everyone wants to be referred to as a bride or a groom. Some members of our LBGTQ community don’t identify with a gender or feel a connection to both genders, and many feel that the term bride is both antiquated and antifeminist.
Change all your materials (website content, brochures, all contracts) to reflect gender-neutral terms, i.e. the couple, you and your partner, partner A and partner B (in forms and contracts), marrier, nearlywed, etc..
Be respectful to both partners, and treat them with as much courtesy and respect as you would for your heterosexual clientele.