We are Sam + Bryt, wife and wife elopement photographers, business educators, and LGBTQ+ activitists! We are so freaking excited that you are here!
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Hey friends! We wanted to drop another one of our top LGBTQ+ wedding tips: How to handle being “out” with your vendors.
Finding affirming and inclusive vendors is not always the easiest task and it’s, unfortunately, an added hurdle for future LGBTQ+ newlyweds but it’s absolutely doable!
I don’t know about you, but we were so nervous to come out to our wedding vendors for the first time. We were going to have a same-sex marriage. There was no hiding it and we needed vendors who were willing to be supportive.
We feared that we would fall in love with a vendor and maybe even get so far as to pay/book them only to have them find out about our same-sex marriage and then abandon or mistreat us. So how do you sidestep and/or work through this process?
If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of lists online that discuss LGBTQ-friendly wedding vendors. Start with a Google search for “LGBTQ+ friendly wedding vendors” in your area. If you don’t find one right away, consider reaching out to someone in a state nearby and see if they have any recommendations! You don’t have to do this for every type of vendor.
Generally, the LGBTQ+ identifying and affirming community are well connected and happy to refer each other! Start with one type of vendor (i.e. a photographer you love) and see who else they might recommend for your venue, catering, florals, etc. Another option may be to check with online directories such as Dancing With Her, Equally Wed, or The National Gay Wedding Association.
Before confirming with any vendors, ask them about their specific policies on LGBTQ+ couples and guests. If possible, make sure to email or call – this will give you a better idea of their personality and how they answer your questions. Ask them their pronouns. I
f they have no idea or aren’t sure what pronouns are, you will quickly know they’re not the vendor for you. Ask them if they use gender-neutral language in their forms, onboarding and day-to-day. These are simple questions but they’ll eliminate the wrong vendors in a hurry!
Ask them about who their vendors were and how their experience went. Word of mouth is, unfortunately, the most sure-fire way to ensure a safe experience for LGBTQ+ couples. Although the truly inclusive vendors are trying to make themselves more and more visible, chances are there will be regions where they’re hard to find. So ask around! If nothing else, maybe a friend in a nearby county or state knows a vendor who would be willing to travel for your wedding.
It doesn’t matter how incredible someone’s work is, if they cannot guarantee you a safe and affirming space, you likely should not be working with them. Unfortunately, we understand that affirming vendors may not be easy to find or as affordable in specific areas of the country. However, if you are able to do so, please give yourself permission to walk away. Chances are, by walking through the above steps, you’ll find the perfect vendor(s) for you!
It can sometimes feel overwhelming and impossible to be out and open with all of your vendors but if you take these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way. We all deserve safe and affirming space not only on our wedding day but in our day-to-day life. Start with research and lean on your fellow LGBTQ+ people and allies. You’ll find your people and have an incredible wedding!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! We are always happy to help with any other LGBTQ+ Wedding Tips, too! And if you are looking for more LGBTQ+ Wedding Ideas, click HERE to browse more!
One more thing… if you are ready to book us as your inclusive photogs, click HERE to email us today!
Sam + Bryt