After this last remembrance blog, we are back to the future. When I began planning weddings professionally, people didn’t talk about Same-Sex Weddings, or even the possibility of them.
Celebrations of love between same-sex couples were called commitment ceremonies. You had to be very careful who you asked to be involved. I can admit now; nothing disappointed me more than finding out which of my colleagues were unwilling to help with these celebrations. I have walked away from vendors because of their lack of professionalism.
My first opportunity to plan a commitment ceremony came with a call from a very nervous young lady named Brandy. We scheduled a meeting for her and fiancé Tina. When they arrived, I began by asking them to tell me a little about what they wanted for their celebration. I was met with the look of a deer in the headlights. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: “Are you alright? Do you need some water?”
R&T: “You are not treating us like we are from Mars!”
Me: “Are you from Mars?”
(They both laughed)
R&T: “No, but every other person we have met with has made us feel like we are.”
Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that. I work on a very simple principle. Love is Love and Everybody’s Money is Green. Are you in love?”
R&T: “Yes, we are.”
Me: “Is your money green?”
R&T: “Yes, it is.”
Me: “Then we are going to be just fine.”
And, just like every other wedding I’ve planned, we were fine.
I’ve learned a few things about gay culture over the years. I’ve run into a few things that made me blush. But as a dear friend is fond of saying, “Nothing you learn will ever hurt you.” He is right, it never has hurt me.
The most important thing I’ve learned about business, especially a business that deals with emotional experiences, you have to open your heart to everyone. It simply is not good business to shut people out. The wedding industry is large, but not so large that you can afford to turn away a paying customer. That is not to say I haven’t fired clients because I have. They were nasty people, not any one particular form of nasty, just nasty people I no longer wanted to or was able to help.
I have planned all types of weddings for all kinds of individuals. Great people, some less than great people. In every color, nationality, religion, gender or anything else a person can be. I’ve even planned nudist weddings. (And, yes I wore clothes.) The important thing I learned from my nudist friends: Eye Contact.
For me, legalizing same-sex marriages is the greatest gift the wedding business has ever received. I’m grateful it happened in my lifetime. Now we can celebrate all love without fear or recriminations (or at least not as much.) I’m confident, eventually; almost everyone in my beloved wedding community will feel as I do.
Love is Love; a wedding is a wedding, and everybody’s money is green!