While planning a wedding can be an extraordinary and joyous occasion for some, it can also come with its fair share of challenges. A key aspect of the LGBTQ wedding planning process is choosing vendors who are skilled, inclusive, and supportive of LGBTQ individuals.

As an ally and a wedding vendor who consistently strives to embrace diversity and respect all types of love, my biggest wish is that every couple finds vendors that meet their needs AND embrace their love story with warmth and acceptance.

Every year as Pride Month kicks off, I enjoy shining a spotlight on the LGBTQ weddings I’ve had the privilege to be part of, along with LGBTQ wedding planning resources for my clients. Just this past summer, a client contacted me via email as they began their wedding planning process.  They were struggling to identify wedding vendors from those that merely claimed to be LGBTQ friendly. Their concerns are valid and not uncommon.  Many couples, regardless of orientation or background, struggle to find vendors who understand and celebrate their diversity, and this client who is both culturally diverse and gay, felt disoriented in their endless search on the internet.

Their message struck a chord with me; “We’re sorry if we’re taking up your time. We’re having trouble finding a wedding planner for our day. It’s hard to distinguish between them in this aspect.” Don’t worry, everyone. Visiting here or emailing me for assistance is not a waste of anyone’s time. It’s important to find a wedding vendor who embraces inclusivity to make sure your special day truly represents your love, beliefs and individual backgrounds and I’m always happy to help when I can.

LGBTQ Wedding Planning: Evaluating Vendors’ Inclusivity

If you are a wedding vendor, especially an LGBTQ-friendly vendor, you should recognize that it’s essential to understand why prioritizing LGBTQ couples in your website copy and images is crucial. LGBTQ couples who do not see themselves represented in the wedding world will (and should) feel uncertain and apprehensive when approaching wedding vendors.  This is entirely understandable, particularly when so many wedding vendors use gendered terms all over their websites again and again and again and again. AND AGAIN.

This is what an LGBTQ couple, seeking out evidence of inclusivity and support for LGBTQ couples is going to look for:

  • They are going to check websites and social media for a sense of a vendors’ approach to inclusivity and level of ally-ship. If you are a vendor that is LGBTQ friendly but hasn’t worked with LGBTQ couples, then make the effort to stage a styled session to show proper representation. If there is no evidence of LGBTQ sessions on your website then it is very clear that either you aren’t supportive. Or you don’t care to be.
  • They are going to look for statements or badges that indicate allyship.  While some vendors may explicitly state their commitment to serving LGBTQ couples on their websites or display badges indicating their participation in LGBTQ-friendly initiatives or organizations, the best indication that you are a LGBTQ friendly wedding planning resource is actual resources.
  • It is 2024 y’all.  There is no reason for your website to be gendered.  Do you only talk about “brides” or do you use language that represents diversity, inclusivity, and openness?  All vendors, especially my Tahoe vendors, should work on updating verbiage on their websites, marketing, and venue signage to be inclusive and gender-neutral.

If you are an LGTBQ couple, these are the key things to look for on vendor sites.  There is a reason that the header image on my website is Jack and Kyle – because I want you to feel welcome as soon as you open my website. And I low-key want to make sure that the people who don’t welcome you, also do not accidentally become my clients. 😉

LGBT Wedding Trends

LGBTQ Wedding Planning: Researching and Finding Inclusive Vendors

Although I have a wealth of LGBTQ Wedding Planning resources on my blog, I do have a specific post on a few of the larger options available out there for LGBTQ wedding friendly vendors.  Websites like Pridezillas or the Rainbow Wedding Network are a great place to start.  That being said, lots of LGBTQ friendly vendors are NOT listed on those sites simply because each one of them costs a listing fee of anywhere from $45-$85/year.  Listing yourself across many of these vendor sites, for lots of vendors, is cost-prohibitive.  There are additional ways to find vendors out there who are not only competent but also genuinely inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly.

  • General Wedding Planning Sites: While general wedding planning sites like The Knot may not exclusively cater to LGBTQ couples, many of them have dedicated sections or filters for LGBTQ weddings. Take advantage of these resources to discover vendors who have indicated their support for LGBTQ couples.  That being said, the Knot tends to highlight vendors and attract truly traditional wedding clients.  As a wedding vendor who tends to highlight non-traditional weddings and wedding photos in my gallery, I do not often get referrals of any kind from there.
  • Hashtag Searches on Social Media: Utilize social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to search for relevant hashtags such as #LGBTQweddings, #LoveIsLove, or #PrideWedding. These hashtags can lead you to posts and profiles of vendors who specialize in serving LGBTQ couples or who actively support LGBTQ rights and representation.
  • LGBTQ Wedding Planning Groups: Join LGBTQ wedding planning groups on platforms like Reddit to connect with other couples and gather vendor recommendations.
  • Personal Recommendations and Word-of-Mouth: Be like Peter last summer and don’t underestimate the power of reaching out to just one wedding vendor who is an ally.  Peter originally asked me for a list of LGBTQ friendly wedding planners who could provide additional vendor recommendations. His web of referrals started with just one person: me.

By leveraging these online resources and personal connections, you can expand your network of inclusive vendors and make informed decisions that align with your values and vision for your wedding day. Remember that finding vendors who celebrate and honor your love is an essential step in creating a wedding experience that is authentic, meaningful, and unforgettable.

LGBTQ Wedding Experience
LGBTQ Friendly Wedding Photographer Tahoe