Happy new year, friends and colleagues! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. This post is a little late because our holidays were kind of hectic...between both of us getting horrible colds and Jen's grandma passing away, we have been fairly unplugged. As always, we start the new year highlighting 14 things that were exciting about LGBTQ rights, marriage equality and our company in 2013. Enjoy the list below and we look forward to hearing from you to celebrate this new year!
1. DOMA was overturned by the Supreme Court. In other words, even though about 31 states are behind the times, we have federal marriage equality and Jen and I can file our tax returns as "married" for the first time in 2014.
2. Since this time last year, we've had 10+ new states with marriage equality...it's hard to be precise as the number seems to change almost daily now. Utah?! New Mexico!? It's amazing and inspiring and we are so thrilled for all the thousands of same-sex couples with new marriage rights. And our brothers and sisters around the world have reason to celebrate as well with legal marriage in places like France, Brazil and Uruguay.
3. Prop 8 was overturned on that same historic day as DOMA and marriage equality has returned to California!
4. We saw some notable celebrity weddings (sadly, none planned by us) including Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dot-Marie Jones from Glee, Meredith Baxter, Greg Louganis and TR Knight.
5. We launched an exciting new partnership with the W Retreat and Spa in Vieques, Puerto Rico.
6. My second book, The Lesbian Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning, hit the shelves and feedback has been great!
7. 14 Stories worked with 38 LGBTQ couples from 14 different states in 2013! Thank you so much for your business and we hope we served you well.
8. We co-created (with Community Marketing and Insights) a really interesting survey of 916 engaged and married same-sex couples. If you want to read the survey results to learn more about what LGBT folks are doing with our wedding plans, check out some of the results.
9. Our clients weddings were featured in amazing publications like The Knot, Brides and Inside Weddings magazines.
10. We were featured in articles written in the Advocate, Curve, NY Times, CNN and many more.
11. I was honored to train thousands of wedding professionals around the world about same-sex weddings and LGBT couples. I went to Mexico three times in 2013 to lead trainings and once to Canada. All of these professionals are now prepared to work with LGBT couples in the most sensitive and equal way.
12. I was Vice Chair of the annual Family Equality Council fundraiser, Night at the Pier, which raised over $800,000 to advocate for the rights of LGBT families.
13. Rhen joined the team as our NYC Wedding Planner and Elopement Coordinator and has been an awesome addition to the team! He's in charge of all the small NYC gay wedding we are planning.
14. We participated in a really fun segment of Huffington Post LIVE talking about gay wedding planning 101.