Same Sex Wedding Two Brides

What Same-Sex Couples Look For in a Wedding Planner

Last week, Heather Vickery of Greatest Expectations explained some of the challenges planners face when marketing their wedding services to same-sex couples. Luckily, she also shared her best tips for overcoming those challenges and creating a more inclusive wedding planning business!

Today, she tells us more about what same-sex couples look for when they’re picking wedding planners. Does your business fit the bill?

All photos in this post are from events produced by Greatest Expectations.

What same-sex couples are looking for

Just like every other couple, same-sex couples are looking for a partner in their wedding planning. They want someone who understands them, someone who works with and for them to ensure their planning process and wedding day are perfect.

LGBTQ Weddings Two grooms
Photography: Jennifer Shaffer Photography

I cannot stress enough how important it is for same-sex couples to feel safe. They are looking for a planner who comes out for them with each and every vendor prior to the first meeting (or even phone/email communication). Many same-sex couples fear being rejected by a wedding vendor or having to face the dreaded question “Where is the bride?” when there isn’t one. As the planner, you can ensure they don’t get these uncomfortable questions.

Same-sex couples are looking for planners who are willing to create new traditions with and for them—planners who don’t always follow the old-school, “traditional” planning rules. In fact, I tell all of my clients that I have only one wedding planning rule; that there are no rules!

LGBTQ Weddings Two Brides Unconventional Wedding Tattoos
Photography: Alex Maldonado

You can establish expertise by knowing your facts. In general, same-sex weddings have a smaller guest count (is this always true? No. But it often is). Many times, there is no wedding party; there are not always supportive parents or family members involved. In many cases, same-sex couples never expected to get married. While straight people grow up knowing they have this right and, perhaps, imagine their wedding day from a young age, this is not the case for most same-sex couples. This is new and exciting territory for the LGBTQ community and it should be respected and admired.

Personally, I believe the most important thing is to get rid of all assumptions. Never, ever assume anything and always ask thoughtful and polite questions. For example, instead of saying “who will walk you down the aisle” you might say “Have you given any thought to how you want to walk down the aisle?” or instead of “Will you be dancing with your dad/mom?” you could say “Do you want any special dances?”

How to avoid common mistakes

LGBTQ Weddings Two Brides
Photography: Steve Koo Photography

Based on all of the information above, here is a recap of ways to avoid common mistakes that could prevent you from booking same-sex clients:

  • Stop making assumptions
  • Remove “bride” as your go-to description of a client
  • Show diversity on your website and all marketing materials
  • Market on same-sex specific websites/blogs
  • Do not make off-color jokes
  • Know your facts
  • Have gender-neutral forms, timelines and checklists
  • Ask open-ended questions and listen to your clients’ needs
  • Advocate for your clients and “come out” for them prior to vendor interaction
  • Get educated!

In addition to being of service to your clients and building your same-sex wedding business, the things discussed here are designed to help educate you and advocate for the LGBTQ community. My work as a wedding planner is not simply to earn money. It is also to enrich the lives of my clients and vendors. It is working to ensure the safety and comfort of all couples in love.

Same Sex Couples Two Grooms Standing by Skyscrapers
Photography: Jennifer Shaffer Photography

Justice Kennedy said “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.” In forming a community of open minded, educated and caring wedding professionals, we also become something greater than ourselves.

It’s not just LGBTQ couples who shirk traditional wedding processes. Check out this list of wedding alternatives for the modern couple!

One response to “What Same-Sex Couples Look For in a Wedding Planner”

    Nancy says:

    Good work. I like your post.

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