Vetting the (Gay-friendly?) Vendors

would you have went with another venue had the owner NOT dealt with gay couples before? This is something I’ve been thinking about lately b/c there seems to be a real emphasis around the blogosphere on vetted gay-friendly vendors and yet a part of me thinks that maybe some really awesome allies just haven’t had the chance (pleasure) of working with a gay couple yet. So everyones gotta start somewhere, ya know? Love to hear your thoughts!

This is a really interesting question!  Thanks, Ms. Awesome, for bringing it up.

First, it’s really, really important to us that the people we work with are comfortable working with us – us as a lesbian couple, us as a crunchy couple, us as a couple on a relatively small budget.  Us as a couple of women who don’t always agree with each other and often want something in a very. specific. way. if you know what I mean.  Again, top priority = comfort.

So, not having worked with gay or lesbian couples before is so not a dealbreaker.  I’m sure lots of people haven’t been given the amazing opportunity to meet or work with people as awesome as gays and lesbians are.  We emailed one wedding coordinator (before we found out our caterer has one built into the package) and they hadn’t worked with any same-sex couples before.  But here was their response:

“We haven’t worked with lesbian couples before, but would love for you both to be the first!”

I loved that they included both of us in their response (I may be the one writing about all of our planning, but we are doing this *together* – that’s the whole point), that they were eager to work with us and talk about our vision for the day (ugh, did I just say “vision for the day”? Sorry.), and that she was very open to the ideas I had put out there.  I think one reason to ask these questions is to get a feel for how people respond to these questions and these situations.  If someone panics or looks nervous when I say, “Have you worked with a same-sex couple before?” it is cause for concern, because I don’t want anyone at our wedding being uncomfortable because we’re a same-sex couple.

That said, our vendors get extra points for being gay.  We did not search out gay vendors or even vendors who were advertised as “gay-friendly” or anything like that – we just looked for people we liked, and music or food or a space that we liked, depending on what it was we were looking for.  After we had decided to go with our caterer, he came out to us – points for him!  But it wasn’t what made us decide to go with him – it’s because the tart he made was delicious and my mouth still waters every time I think about it.

I also keep reading about places that offer same-sex wedding planning, and one of the things they list as a reason to have someone else doing the planning is so that you don’t have to come out to each and every prospective vendor.  But the thing is, that feels like an important part of the process for me.  I want to see people’s reactions, or lack of reactions.  I want to say, over and over, I am getting married to a woman.  Here I am, here we are, and what flower arrangements can you make for us?

Since I came out – whoa, a whole few more posts, not a story for this one – I have mostly been very comfortable coming out to people, but I admit that there have been some people, coworkers mostly, that I mostly-happily allowed to go on believing that I just hadn’t found the right man yet.  There have been some people I found on facebook that I did not add as a friend because I didn’t want them to know, for fear they might not like me anymore.  And – this is kind of shocking – I kept it a secret when I first joined roller derby because I thought everyone else was straight.

Once you’re done laughing, continue reading.

Since getting engaged and doing this whole wedding thing, pretty much all of my fear around coming out is gone.  I’m getting married!  And it’s awesome!  And I’m really, really lucky.  And anyone who can get that is someone that I would be happy to work with.


1 Comment

Filed under gay, Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

One response to “Vetting the (Gay-friendly?) Vendors

  1. All well said my dear! I do agree that the comfort level is super important and I’m actually talking about our (the brides) personal comfort not the damn vendors comfort level. If they’re uncomfortable with us then that’s going to make us uncomfortable and THAT’s the problemo. And I don’t wanna give my money to homo haters. That’s kinda important to me ya know? And you beat me to it- I’m in the midst of writing about this right now. (And clearly procrastinating a bit) since I’m reading your blog instead. Okay I’m gonna go drink more coffee and compose my jumbly thoughts. 🙂

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