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Approaching and working with wedding vendors

Culture / Industry Insights / Lifestyle / Planning & Styling / Wedding Planning / December 8, 2014
– Lifestyle with Tara –

LGBTIQ+ couples don’t always fit into the mold of traditional bride and groom. As a non-traditional couple you might be interested in switching up some of the traditional events to a newer modern day approach.

Working with wedding vendors is obviously a helpful tool, rather than doing it yourself. After all they most likely planned and attended more weddings than you will ever experience. Vendors know the ins and outs of the business and frequently offer great advice. There is only one problem, how can you assure that vendors will be willing to break free of the cookie-cutter wedding traditions they are accustomed to?

LGBTIQ+ couples don’t always fit into the mold of traditional bride and groom. As a non-traditional couple you might be interested in switching up some of the traditional events to a newer modern day approach.

Below are a few tips and tactics for dealing with traditional vendors:

1. Communication from the get go
Communicate your non-traditional and/or LGBTIQ+ status during initial contact with vendor. This can be done easily with either the straight forward approach “we are a same-sex couple” or “we are leather loving gothic same-sex couple” or the subtle approach “my fiancé (insert name/pronoun) and I’m planning on having a gothic wedding…”.

2. Expressing you want to change things up
Make sure your vendor has a clear mindset that all wedding traditions are open for modification. Depending on your country’s or states’ Marriage Laws, in the USA for example, there are only two essential parts of a wedding: (1) the presentation of marriage vows (2) the pronouncement of Marriage by a celebrant or officiant. All other traditions are yours to use, not use or play around with.

3. Prepare questions
Upon meeting with potential vendors it is a good idea to be prepared with a list of questions. The most important question might be: “have you ever worked with a same-sex couple before?” and “have you worked with non-traditional couples wanting to have a wedding that’s different to most?” Chances are they might have already dealt with non-traditional situations or they might be excited to be presented with the opportunity.

4. Feel comfortable with your vendor
Your vendor should make you feel like he/she are excited to be part of your big day! If you don’t feel that they are a good fit for you both in personality and their willingness to understand what you’re after, they may not be the best fit for you.
Bad fit example 1: The photographer you’re looking at hiring shoots very posed and structured images, but you’re after a more candid approach. Don’t hire them expecting them to deliver candid images when this is simply not their style.
Bad fit example 2: Your videographer isn’t interested in meeting you before you book to show you more of their work, understand how they shoot and what to expect from them and their crew on the day.

5. Work as a team
Yes, you are paying your vendor to get the job done but be sure to put the time into sharing ideas/concerns. Sharing ideas will not only get you what you are looking for but could also present a new direction that you haven’t yet thought of. The key here is not to mold them into something they are not (see item 4 above about being a good fit).
Example: Your florist asks you if you need any boutonnieres for the groomsmen. Since may not have a “groom”, together you come up with a list of what you could call these male participants of your wedding: men of honour, brothers of honour, bridesmen, etc.

Vendors reading this can check out next week’s article on how to use inclusive language when dealing with LGBTIQ+ clients.

These five tips and tactics are sure to help your experience when working with traditional vendors. Though, it is likely, after being hired by you, they won’t be so “traditional” any longer.

Help grow our list by adding your own ideas and tips below!

Tara Rosa
Tara Rosa
Tara married the love of her life in June of 2014, after 6 years of facing insecurities about her sexuality. These struggles are no more, as she embarks on life’s journey with her wife, Mandi by her side. They currently run a YouTube channel, Living Rosa, capturing the road to motherhood as a same-sex couple. @ F* yeah, Tara puts a smile on our faces and laughter in our hearts as she shares her heart felt and sometimes funny experiences. With her brutal honesty, she will provide you with advice that will leave you eager for more.

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on December 10, 2014

What really helped us out was attending bridal shows. We were able to meet with lots of vendors at once, as well as gauge vendors’ willingness and ability in working with same sex couples. We actually found some vendors had extra portfolios of prior same sex events they worked with.

    on December 15, 2014

    That is helpful. Thanks for your comment Leigh :)

on December 9, 2014

so i am not planning a wedding right now but great tips

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