How to tell if a vendor is LGBTQ+ friendly before meeting with them
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
Part of the fun of planning a wedding (and let’s be honest, it’s not all fun!) is meeting with vendors and imagining different possibilities for your big day. But even though more couples getting married every year are LGBTQ+, the wedding industry has been slow to embrace queer folks. Whether you’re shopping for your venue, photographer, dress, DJ, or caterer, you deserve to know whether your vendor is LGBTQ+ affirming before you waste your time meeting with them.
Keep reading for four questions you can use to check out your vendor ahead of time.
1. Do they feature photos of LGBTQ+ weddings?
At this point, a wedding vendor has no excuse not to feature photos of LGBTQ+ weddings. Even if they haven’t actually worked with queer folks before, vendors often use stock photos or stylized shoots to communicate their values as well as their style. You deserve vendors who aren’t just willing to work with you, but excited about it! Plus, it doesn’t hurt to know that you won’t be your vendor’s *first* queer wedding.
2. Do they use gender neutral language?
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but words matter, too! Check out what terms the vendor uses on their website and socials when referring to couples. Does their language assume heteronormative relationships? By now, wedding vendors should have long ago retired “bride and groom” as synonymous for “people getting married,” and their website, socials, and contracts should always use language that doesn’t assume clients’ genders.
3. Can you find them in LGBTQ+ wedding vendor directories?
Lots of wedding websites provide online directories of vendors that can be filtered by category and region, and sites like A Practical Wedding, Equally Wed, Love Inc. Mag, and LGBT Weddings were created with the explicit mission to help LGBTQ+ couples plan their weddings and navigate the heteronormative wedding industry. Vendors have to pay a monthly fee to be listed on each of these sites, so you can be sure that vendor info is kept up-to-date. These vendors are paying for the chance to attract LGBTQ+ clients, so you can bet they’re genuinely interested in working with queer couples!
(Check out our profile in A Practical Wedding's vendor directory!)
4. Have they invested in becoming more inclusive?
Some of these popular online vendor directories also offer certification courses for vendors that train them to better serve LGBTQ+ couples, including:
Equality Institute - LGBT+ Wedding Certificate Program
Equally Wed - LGBTQ+ Inclusive Wedding Certificate Program
Look for a badge on your vendor’s website indicating that they have completed one of these certification programs (or one like them). Don’t see a badge? Ask them what they’ve done to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ couples in their business!
Something New Ceremonies is a queer affirming wedding planning service specializing in helping couples and first-time officiants design personalized wedding ceremonies that honor the unique magic of every love story. Want to know more about how I can help you plan the wedding ceremony of your dreams? Send me a message!