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The hunt for gay-friendly wedding vendors and why it’s so darn hard to find them!

Industry Insights / Wedding Planning / July 21, 2014
– Weddinging with Ms. Luz-Vegas –

Back in 2008, my partner and I decided to get hitched in Australia, where we reside in. In case you didn’t know, in our country, marriage is legal only “between a man and woman with exclusions to all others”.

The planning of our wedding was a pretty significant time in our lives, a time which was filled with mushy goodness and some not so goodnessnesses. We thought that being the two-thousands and all, most wedding vendors would not have battened an eye lid to take on our business slash money. But as we discovered, we had to tread lightly, even when submitting a “wedding enquiry”. We were also finding that most of our web searches had to include  “gay friendly” or “same sex” – which seemed weird to us that this was the the only way that we’d know if that particular vendor was gay-friendly or not.

Planning a wedding or celebration can be very time consuming and emotionally straining, but what a lot of people don’t know, is that LGBTIQ couples often have an added anxiety to their planning mix when discussing their events with vendors. Especially if they live in a city or country where being lesbian, gay, trans, inter or queer and wanting to marry is illegal.

It can be quite heartbreaking to receive negative responses, or lack there of,  from vendors on what should be a very positive and exciting experience. And it was also very disheartening to be in the middle of a venue visit and have the venue staff end the conversation with “you let us know if you’d like to go ahead…” as they turn their back to you and walked away…mid sentence!

Unfortunately, half of the responses that we received from vendors were negative.  A sad statistic, but these were the facts. What most people don’t realise is that a big majority of LGBTIQ couples who are planning a wedding will be hesitant to contact a vendor if a vendor’s website or social media does not appear to be gay-friendly. For all we know, that particular vendor may be desperately wanting to attract more LGBTIQ clientele, but their sites are simply not saying this.

A large percentage of LGBTIQ couples will choose gay-friendly vendors compared to less obvious gay-friendly vendors even if they are cheaper. This is predominant because couples don’t have to ask the awkward question AND having a warm and welcoming vendor who will not treat a couple negatively, based on the couple’s identity, is priceless.

Here at F* Yeah Gay Weddings, one of our main purposes is to provide you with LGBTIQ friendly vendors who:
1. Proudly show it on their websites/social media by displaying real (LGBTIQ) weddings and content OR
2. Actively show that they support marriage equality via banners, buttons or flags

So, I am super duper, with a cherry on top, proud to introduce to you two vendors that are very gay-friendly. These guys are as passionate about marriage equality as we are and I could not be more delighted to share them with you.

First up…

Cartamodello Papeteire

One of the first things that you see on their website is their We support marriage equality”  button, smack bang on their first page! In addition to this, their Facebook page states “LGBTI friendly: all love is welcome here”. Love that! Needless to say that these guys are very gay-friendly and are, as they tell me, more than happy to shout it from the rooftops.

Cartamodello Papeteire are magic makers of wooden stationery. Their wooden stationery is digitally printed on 100% sustainable wood and makes for awesome and unique pieces. We recently worked on a styled shoot with these folks and we received nothing but love and support from them! They are based in Brisbane, Australia, and they ship all over this wide and wonderful world.

And thennnnn…

Image by Grain & Co.

Grain & Co. are another company that create magical wooden pieces with their their cake toppers such as “I love you like zombies love brains” or “for like ever” or their famous marquee light-up cake topperThis husband and wife duo make the most awesomest toppers (as well as other glorious party supplies) you’ll have the privilege of feasting your eyes on.

As well as being immensely creative, they too are a very gay-friendly business. They have a handy tab on their website (under wedding toppers) entitled “Same Sex” to accommodate to the LGBTIQ couples, yay!  While their portfolio is still building, they can of course make to order. So should you desire your names as cake toppers or on other products, they can certainly do that.

Their unique and hand-crafted toppers, flags and other party supplies are made from eco-friendly materials, making them that extra little bit more lovely. Grain & Co. are based in Sydney, Australia, and they too are happy to ship worldwide.

Along with these two outstanding businesses, there are various gay-friendly vendors throughout the world that we’ve come across. We’ll be sharing their deets with you via our vendor directory listing soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Fun facts: I'm a "loud" little Latin gurl. I heart my label maker as much as I do my partner. I also like red things, leg-day and red velvet everything. My daily vocab includes "have you eaten?", "I love you" and "I farted"... not all at once or in that order. If I'm not talking to you about feelings I'd be helping you organise something.

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on November 6, 2015

So sad to hear that half of your responses were negative.
All the wedding vendors I know here in Atlanta are gay-friendly. I don’t know if that’s just Atlanta, or if I just hang out with the right crowd.

    on November 10, 2015

    Yeah it was a shame. That was back in 2007/2008 and things have changed now, thankfully :)

on May 11, 2015

Hey there Ms Luz-Vegas

I’m a marriage celebrant extremely keen to ‘crack the gay market’ and have spent a lot of time brainstorming and chatting with people about ways to do so.
You’ve given me one very valuable tip today about putting it up on my website and facebook page that I’m gay-friendly, or something of the like.
I do have a tiny youtube clip showing me responding to the ‘man and a woman to the exclusion etc..’ bit, but I think you’ve pointed out; I need to do more.
So thanks for that, I’m onto it!

    on May 11, 2015

    Hey Klara! Thanks for your comments. I’m glad that I was able to give you a valuable tip. It makes the world of difference to even have something as simple as “I support marriage equality” on your site/social media. Being a gay/LGBTIQ-friendly vendor, unfortunately, is not a presumption by couples. So it helps them immensely if they don’t have to come out to a vendor once they make an enquiry. Keep it up Klara :) xx

on August 3, 2014

Great article! Well put, the blog is looking fantastic – well done

    on August 3, 2014

    Awww thanks Grace! Love you lots girl xx

on July 24, 2014

I’ve just been assuming that the fact that I have a same-sex wedding in my portfolio will be enough, but maybe I should make it clear on my FB and my “about” page, too. Although I’ve had to remove the labels “same sex” from my tags on that post, as it meant I was getting a LOT of porn-related visits and spam! Ugh.

A few years ago, an Australian couple I know (two guys) asked me for recommendations for a wedding photographer in South Africa, where they were getting married because it’s been legal there for years. I made a list of the most fabulous photographers I knew in that area, and then ten minutes later had to email the couple back and tell them to ignore half the list, because I realised that I knew that many photographers who refuse to shoot gay weddings. It was a sad day. Plus I felt really embarrassed on their behalf, because they honestly thought that because gay marriage is legal in SA, they wouldn’t run into these problems.

All the best with your fabulous new blog! xx

    on July 24, 2014

    Thank you so much for your comments and your support.

    With the amount of discrimination that couples face in the world, it is unfortunate that it does need to be overly clear whether a vendor is “gay friendly” or not. It sucks, but little things like these help in a HUGE way for couples :)

    Very sad to hear about the SA couple. I hope they ended up finding a gay-friendly photographer.

    Keep on keepin’ on Kat xx

on July 22, 2014

Thanks for this! I’ve just changed my ‘about’ sections of my FB business page and several sections in my website too to state I’m a LGBTI friendly vendor. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner! :) thanks for the post and virtual slap in the face.

    on July 22, 2014

    I hope the virtual slap didn’t hurt too much ;) Thanks for the support Erica xx

      on July 22, 2014

      Not at all! It was clearly needed ;) I feel like a bit of an idiot for not doing it years ago! Now to see if it makes a difference in little old Perth. I hope to have a fab shoot to submit in the not too distant future. Loving the site. Great work! xx

        on July 23, 2014

        We hope that it makes a difference for you too! And be sure to submit it via the submission channels should you get one xx

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