This week, we feel a need to reiterate our commitment to supporting all marriages, including those between same-sex couples. We have always aimed for transparency, and up until Thursday, we thought our voice was crystal clear.
We proudly state our support for all unions on our website. But more than just words, we are proud of our diverse portfolio of work and history of helping ALL types of couples. This includes the hipsters and the preppies, the rustic and the modern, liberals and conservatives, republicans and democrats, couples with similar cultural backgrounds and others who are interracial, same faith and mixed faith, and yes, heterosexuals and same-sex couples too.
Somehow, this wasn’t enough. This week a venue we were to hold an event at in the near future let us down. They welcomed us in all the pre-planning. They told us they were super fans of our work, the upcoming event and the all star line up, which included very openly gay leaders in our industry. This is where the gray part comes in. What they didn’t share is that while they were “gay-friendly to anyone who wanted to work at their venue” they don’t allow same sex weddings on property. And since this wasn’t an actual wedding event between two same sex individuals, we didn’t learn of their unwritten practices of hosting only hetrosexual weddings. Did we make the wrong assumption that people who are fans of our work and fans of our LGBQT friends are inclusive as well? In 2016, we didn’t feel the need to ask specifically if same-sex couples were being turned away. Just like we didn’t feel the need to ask if interracial couples were turned away. We expect that other professionals will operate with the same transparency that we do.
Were we discriminated against directly? No. Were our clients discriminated against directly? No. Does that matter? No. While turning a blind eye might eliminate the hundreds of hours of re-work that must now be done, none of that matters. Luckily our client felt exactly the same way as us so pulling the event was an easy choice.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." -Desmond Tutu
In our eyes, you can’t be partially accepting just because it is the easy thing to do. While we’ve made great strides in our industry, we still have so many people who are comfortable sitting in the gray. It’s easier. It might be better business to not talk about controversial issues. But just because we are heterosexual females and personally have the right to marry anywhere in any state, doesn’t mean we’re going to stand silently with those who discriminate.
We’ve come so far, and there is so much to celebrate, but this week we’ve been re-awakened to the discrimination that still exists. As a leader, we want to be very clear in our support for fostering an inclusive wedding industry. Throughout our years in business, we’ve tried our best to be on the right side of this issue. We welcomed couples who weren’t able to get married in their home states. We celebrated on the steps of The Supreme Court when monumental rulings recognized those very couples’ marriages federally. And last year, we were on those steps again when the right to marry in ALL states was granted to all Americans. And this week, as these critical issues have come to the forefront, we stand beside those who might not look or love like us, but have an equal right to marry in our great country. There are too many talented vendors with inclusive practices to support those of you without them.
and Amber & Emily
Photo by Jodi & Kurt Photography from Matt & Josh's Maine wedding.