rainbowsdollarsvertDear Wedding Vendors —

The gay wedding industry is about to take flight, and we can feel you salivating for the new business.  Before you go counting your rainbow dollars, be advised that there is more to attracting and serving the queer community than letting us know that some of your best friends are gay.

Your virgin experience with a same-sex couple could be your last, or it could be the start of a whole new line of business for you.  Don’t fuck it up.

If you need our help, contact us.  In the meantime, here are some tips to get you started.

1.  Watch your language.  Fix your marketing materials and business forms to send a welcoming message to all couples, queer or straight.  In other words, “Bride and Groom” just won’t cut it.  There are nuances to terminology, gender pronouns and etiquette that you need to be aware of.  For example, our caterer had “Bride and Bride” on our contract, thinking they were doing the right thing.  While their heart was in the right place, Drake, being more masculine,  did not identify as a bride.  We corrected them, gave them preferable terminology, and they updated their contract and informed their staff.  It was a win-win.

2.  Ask for directions.  Don’t expect that LGBTQ weddings will follow heterosexual traditions;  chances are they won’t.  There are many new customs and variations emerging.   We don’t expect you to know it all.  As a  queer community, we’re developing our own ideas about what a wedding represents.   We expect you to solicit ideas from us, to be  excited to explore deviations from tradition, and to be open to getting out of your comfort zone.  Start the relationship by asking questions, and you’re on your way to winning our business.

3.  Show us some eye candy.  The queer community has felt invisible for a long time.  To earn our trust and our business, you’ll have to make us feel welcomed and understood.    One way to do this is through  imagery.  If you’re a baker, we want to see some pictures of queer couples with a same-sex cake topper.  If you’re a photographer, we want to see that you’re comfortable with us showing affection to our partners, so you might display a LGBT couple holding hands on your website or office wall.  These small details will go a long way toward non verbal communication of acceptance, so use your space wisely.

4. Rock our world.  If you are already a vendor catering to same-sex weddings, and/or part of the LBGTQIA family,  yay.  But please don’t assume that alone is enough to earn our business and referrals.  You need to be excellent at what you do, offer the highest quality service and be highly professional.  In other words, you need to kick some serious wedding ass.  For example, during our wedding planning process, some of the lesbian vendors did not even have a service contact.  That’s basic Business 101, folks, to protect you and the customer.  We want to give you our business.  We do.  But if *you* don’t deliver, it’s even worse than if we chose a straight vendor; it feels like a betrayal.  Check out what happened to Tomboy Tailors, a business we’ve had our Aficionado eyes on.   Best of intentions.  Rough start. 

So, if you need help, contact us.   We want to help you spread the love.

Enjoy your Queer Wedding Business!

© Copyright 2013 Queer Wedding Aficionados℠