The wedding industry has long been rife with discrimination against LGBTQ+ couples, with vendors often refusing to serve them or provide them with the same level of service and amenities as straight couples. This is slowly starting to change, as more and more vendors are becoming LGBTQ+ inclusive.
If you’re planning a wedding and want to make sure your vendors are LGBTQ+ inclusive, there are a few things you can do. First, you can ask them directly if they have any experience with or policy regarding LGBTQ+ weddings. You can also look for vendor listings that specifically mention being LGBTQ+ friendly.
Finally, you can check online reviews to see if other LGBTQ+ couples have had positive experiences with the vendor.
Cleveland, Ohio is home to a large and vibrant LGBTQ+ community. Unfortunately, this community is often underserved by businesses and organizations. This can make it difficult to find LGBTQ+ friendly service providers, especially in the wedding industry.
When you’re planning your wedding, it’s important to find a photographer who will not only take stunning photos of your big day but who will also be respectful of your relationship and your identity.
The Importance of an LGBTQ+ Friendly Photographer
A wedding is a very special day for any couple, but it can be especially meaningful for a same-sex couple. After years of discrimination and exclusion, finally being able to celebrate your love in front of your friends and family can be a very emotional experience. It’s important to find a photographer who understands the importance of this day and who will be respectful of your relationship. An LGBTQIA+-friendly photographer will make sure that your wedding photos are everything you’ve ever wanted them to be.
Why is it important to ask if a wedding vendor is LGBTQ+ inclusive?
It’s important to ask if a vendor is LGBTQ+ inclusive for a few reasons. First and foremost, you want to make sure that your vendors are comfortable working with LGBTQ+ couples and that they will provide the same level of service and amenities.
You also want to make sure that the vendor is familiar with the unique needs of LGBTQ+ couples. For example, many LGBTQ+ couples choose to have two women or two men as officiants, which can require a different level of planning and coordination than a traditional wedding.
Finally, you want to ask because you want to support vendors who are making an effort to be inclusive. By asking and then patronizing vendors who are inclusive, you’re sending a message that this type of behavior is what you expect and demand from businesses you patronize.
2. What are some ways you can tell if a vendor is LGBTQ+ inclusive?
There are a few ways you can usually tell if a vendor is LGBTQ+ inclusive. One way is by looking at their website or social media presence. Do they have any images of LGBTQ+ couples? Do they use language that is inclusive of all couples, such as “partners” or “lovebirds” instead of just “bride and groom”?
If you can’t find anything on their website or social media, another way to tell is by asking them directly. As we mentioned before, most vendors who are inclusive will be happy to let you know and will often make an effort to let prospective clients know that they’re welcome.
If a vendor seems uncomfortable when you ask or seems evasive in their answer, that’s usually a bad sign. You might also want to ask around – do any of your friends or family members know of any good LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors in your area?
3. How can you make sure you are comfortable with a vendor?
Once you’ve found a few vendors who might be a good fit, the next step is to make sure you’re comfortable with them. After all, this is your wedding and you want to make sure everything is perfect!
One way to do this is by asking for referrals from friends or family members who have used the vendor before. If they had a good experience, chances are you will too. You can also read online reviews, although keep in mind that not all reviews are 100% accurate – sometimes people just like to complain!
Another way to get a feel for the vendor is by meeting with them in person (or over video chat, if necessary). This gives you a chance to get to know them better and see how they interact with you and your partner. Do they use welcoming and inclusive language? Do they seem like they’re truly excited about your wedding? These are all good signs that you’ve found a winner!
4. What if a vendor is not LGBTQ+ inclusive?
Unfortunately, not all vendors are LGBTQ+ inclusive – yet. If you find yourself in a situation where a vendor you’re interested in working with isn’t inclusive, there are a few things you can do.
The first step is always to try and talk to the vendor directly about their policies regarding LGBTQ+ weddings. It’s possible they may not even realize they’re being exclusionary and may be open to change after hearing your concerns.
If the vendor isn’t open to change or if they refuse service outright, your next step would be to file a complaint with your local human rights commission or equal opportunity office. In some states or cities, it may even be illegal for them to discriminate against LGBTQ+ couples!
Finally, if all else fails, reach out to an organization like Equality House which helps connect LGBTQ+ couples with vendors who are willing and able to serve them.
5. How can you find LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors?
Luckily, there are quite a few resources available to help you find LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors near you. One great resource is Equally Wed, which has an extensive directory of both national and international vendors who are committed to serving all couples equally.
Another great resource is Two Brides Two Grooms, which offers both an online directory of vendors as well as tips and advice for planning an LGBTQ+-friendly wedding. They also have an annual conference called Love Unites Us which brings together queer-friendly wedding professionals from all over the country (and world!)
And finally, don’t forget about good old-fashioned word-of-mouth! Ask around among your friends, family members, and co-workers – chances are somebody knows somebody who knows somebody who knows a great LGBTQ+ friendly vendor!
Art Goans Photography is an LGBTQ+ friendly, body positive elopement and portrait photography company located in Ohio.
My mission is to create beautiful, authentic images that reflect my clients' uniqueness and celebrate love in all its forms.