Each wedding involves 43 different number of vendors, on average. Everyone from the hair and makeup people, to the limo driver, to the coat check guy. And when you, as a gay couple are planning your wedding, you have to come out over and over and over again - to all of these people. The ones you hire and the ones you do not. Every time you visit a venue or taste cake, you must come out. Every time you interview a florist or a wedding planner, you must come out. This could mean coming out 100+ times over the course of wedding planning.
And unfortunately, in many places (about half of the US states), it's legal for vendors to say, "I can't help you. I don't do gay weddings."
Of course every vendor we work with is going to be great but I know that there are others who won't. If you are two women, you will encounter vendors who will say, "Who's the bride?" - even if they are gay-friendly.
Here's how you should come out when speaking on the phone (example if you are a groom):
"Hi, I'm getting married to my partner John. He proposed recently and I wanted to inquire about your venue to host our gay wedding."
A few tips:
- Be pre-emptive in coming out. Come out right away before they can make any assumptions about your sexual orientation.
- Trust your gut instinct - if there's any awkwardness or discomfort on behalf of whomever you are talking to, call someone else. Someone else would love to work with you.
- Don't be afraid to ask what their experience is with gay weddings.
- Don't be too quick to dismiss them if they don't have any experience but seem to be a nice and supportive person.
Have you had any awkward conversations where a vendor assumed you were straight?
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