Hello Wednesday! Here we are, the week wedged between Christmas and New Years. For me, things are a little hectic right now since we are in the middle of a move, so I thought I would post on a topic that I am passionate about, something I love talking and writing about, and something important to Allure. Nothing like a little inspired direction to get a girl focused!
I am a wedding planner and I love weddings. Obvious enough, right? I love what weddings mean, I believe in the institute of marriage and I know how important an expression of this love and belief can be to people. I see it at every wedding I attend or plan. Yet, many people I care deeply about, and many more I don't know at all, don't have the right to legally enter into this institution I believe so strongly in. They can express their love, and do--beautifully and emotionally and personally--but in 44 states, same-sex marriage is illegal. Like many, I hope the laws change in every state in order to recognize and support gay marriage. I believe this is our generation's civil rights movement and I want to be part of the change. I want my son to be able to marry whomever he loves one day, just like I want my brother to be able to do that today. He and his boyfriend should be able to discuss whether marriage is the next step just like my husband and I did when we were dating.
I've been in the wedding industry for a few years now and I always knew gay marriage and gay weddings would be a part of what I do one day. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should tell you that I haven't planned a gay wedding. Yet. But I am working hard to stay relevant in the cause and to keep Allure up to date and prepared to do the job when the time comes. We changed our catchphrase this year; it used to be 'Allure: Wedding Planning for the Modern Bride" and we changed "bride" to "couple". A small, but necessary and welcomed adjustment. We used to have a logo on our website and on all of our contracts next to the business name, it was a silhouette of a bride with a delicate veil blowing behind her. It was really pretty, but not very inclusive. In addition to these and other small marketing and branding changes (please note the bottom of our website on every page!), I also took a certification course taught by Bernadette Coveney Smith of 14 Stories, the countries first wedding planning firm to specialize in producing legal gay weddings. On her website, Bernadette says, "I believe that gay weddings change the world. We are more than just wedding planners. We are storytellers and equality-makers." I couldn't agree more. She is a personal and professional hero of mine and I was honored to be in the first class of her Gay Wedding Institute Seminar. I am proud to say that I am now certified by the only program of it's kind to educate industry professionals on the legal, logistical and personal intricacies of planning gay weddings.
Michelle Martinez, the owner of Allure, and I believe in marriage equality. We want to be a part of planning and producing weddings for same-sex couples. This is a mission at Allure and we are proud to be part of the community within the wedding industry. I am really looking forward to 2012. I'm sure you can guess my goal!
And one last note before I sign off: My parent's are the co-presidents of PFLAG Fort Worth, Texas. My brother is my best friend. For me, for us, for Allure...this is personal. I am so proud of my brother and the man he has become and I have amazing parents who literally practice what they preach: acceptance, love and non-judgement. I want to make them proud.
Follow Bernadette on Twitter: @gaywedding