A Colorado Wedding Planner Speaks Out
We love the support that has poured out of our local Colorado Vendors!
Colorado Wedding Planner Lilli Black with Sweetly Paired (and our CEO here at CGW) has shared this story with Colorado Gay Weddings – and though we’re sad it happened we LOVE the outpouring of support from the Colorado Wedding Community.
Tuesday Feb 27th 1952 (JUST KIDDING! It was 2018!):
I was sitting in Starbucks – The awesome one down by Park Meadows with the bench seating, plugs everywhere, and good WIFI by the Google. It was late for some folks to be working, but I’m a night person, so I was in my prime. I had just finished a call with one of our clients for this year in Beaver Creek – at the GORG Allie’s Cabin. I started to do some follow up emails and my phone rang again with a TX area code. I pretty much always answer as SO many of my clients are from out of state. “This is Lilli with Sweetly Paired, how can I help?”
”Hi, um are you a wedding planner?”
“Yes ma’am I am! Are you getting married?”
“Well, we want to. We’re not sure what to do, though”
“Welp, helping you through that is what we do! Tell me about you guys! When are you looking to get married? Are you looking at Colorado? Do you have a date? (I’m sure I sound like a kid in a candy store – I love hearing new couples’ stories!)”
“Yeah, we are hoping for sometime in the summer next year. The thing is…”
*another voice on the phone* “Just tell her! …..Mutters…. Ok I will. We’re both women.”
“Oh, awesome, so do you have any favorite spots you’ve picked out so far? Favorite venues or areas? Have you been here before?”
“Hello? Did I lose you?”
“No, we’re here. We just want to make sure you work with gay couples.”
“Well of course we do!”
*some sniffling in the background*
“Ok, wow, good. We just had a call with a planner who told us she didn’t take same-sex weddings.”
**I had a moment while I swallowed my murderous rage**
“I’m so sorry you had to deal with that! Not only do we work with ANY couple, but we have an inclusive network of vendors we refer. We have you covered, and you won’t have to ask that question again.”
NOBODY should have to ask that question ever again. Read more below!
I spent almost an hour on the phone with these sweet ladies. They had decided to come to Colorado for their wedding because they ‘didn’t feel safe’ in TX where they are from. They said they called Colorado because they thought we were going to be a ‘safe place’. Can you imagine? Why wouldn’t you feel safe in your home city? Home state. I assured them we could take care of them here, and we’d be able to find vendors that not only would take their wedding, but they’d fight over it! Then they explained that they’d just gotten off the phone with a planner who said that she didn’t accept GAY weddings. She wasn’t nice about it. While telling me the story, this client was in tears. I was struggling not to cry on the phone with this poor gal while sitting in Starbucks. I was so mad! How dare someone make this woman not feel SAFE while planning her WEDDING!
I tell you what – They’re a dream client. I hope we get the wedding! They’re looking at Aspen or Vail. 90 guests, $100k budget. A DREAM client. They want warm fall colors and navy. They love velvet. They want gold accents and a venue with a view. They’re hoping to get a date when the leaves are changing. They should be worrying about what date the leaves change, not whether or not someone is going to discriminate against them. Not worrying about whether they’d feel bloody SAFE at their wedding. This has to stop. The response they got from the planner they called was, “Oh, we don’t take GAY weddings.” You can stop, insert black, Muslim, Jewish, mixed-race, or any other group that’s been discriminated against… and everyone will cry discrimination. But since it’s same sex? When I posted this on a facebook group for wedding pros I got some, “but it’s better to have them not have a vendor that’s uncomfortable with them” posts. If you’re a medical doctor working in the ER and you’re ‘uncomfortable with black patients – does that mean you shouldn’t have to treat them? How about white supremacist patients? No, huh? Well guess what. Same thing goes for wedding pros.
Thanks so so much for being here, you guys. That’s why this site means so much to ALL of the wedding clients. It means no client has to ask – “Will you take my wedding? We’re a ___ Couple.” It is my passion to help people plan their big days. No matter what they believe, who they are, or who they love. What you do MATTERS.
We got some great responses from some really fabulous vendors when we asked them their thoughts on the matter. We’re happy to share those, as well as the lovely supportive wedding pros info who were kind enough to give a quote.
The awesome Katy Law Marble – A Colorado Wedding Photographer – posted this awesome image from https://allarewelcomehere.us/ We think this just about sums up the feels that we have here at CGW. We went ahead and ordered some things to support them!
Jennie Crate – one of our awesome LGBT identified photographer and one of our trusted vendors (you can see her listing on CGW HERE!) says, “As an LGBT photographer I understand first hand how important it is to find vendors who not only accept you but who want nothing more than to help you celebrate the beauty of your relationship. It is infuriating to hear stories of vendors who turn away amazing couples because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Love is love is love and I believe that you deserve the very best on your wedding day, including family, friends and vendors who support you, and want to celebrate with you.” We love this sentiment.
We love these wedding pros! Inclusivity is IMPERATIVE!
“I try so hard to make every client who comes through my doors feel like any other client. It breaks my heart that anyone would ever experience the bigotry she felt planning an event that is founded in love. All are always welcome through my doors. Come as you are.” – This from Sarah Roshan – another awesome wedding photographer.
Reverend Sam – “I am a Minister and a Wedding Officiant and I believe with all of my heart that each of us has a God-given desire to fall in love and experience a lifetime of happiness with a partner.” Rev. Samuel J. Lopez, Pastor, Minister, Wedding Officiant With Amazing Weddings and Ceremonies
Thank you for publishing this. I think it’s so important for a couple to come in feeling welcome and excited about their wedding. I can’t believe this still happens today. Thank you for providing a platform of inclusivity and love.
Thanks, Sarah. We have always been, and will always be inclusive of any type of couple. My earnest wish is that we can get this message out so that more and more vendors and professionals can learn to be inclusive as well.
Thank you for sharing this story. As heartbreaking it is to hear that someone would deny planning their wedding for who they are, I am so very thankful their next phone call was to you. A very compassionate planner who is fantastic at what she does, and does not leave ANYONE out.
In this society, where we hear of gun violence and strife every day… It is my job, as a wedding professional – to be the person who accepts ALL forms of love. We should hope for love, support love, and nurture love, in any form.
I was so angry to read your post about how this couple was treated but so reassured to see the comments from all of the pro gay vendors. I’m one of them. As a honeymoon travel designer I understand that the idea of going to a country that is not LGBT friendly is discouraging. Or to a resort that assigns you a double bed room despite telling them it’s your honeymoon. I’m here to help make your honeymoon the one you have always dreamed about!
Thank you for your voice Lilli.
While this obviously happened in the states, This is a very valid point! It is so hard for LGBT couples to make travel plans based on where they’ll feel safe. It is not just a US problem, but an international one. Thanks for being there for these couples to make sure they have a happy honeymoon!
Thank you for sharing this! It blows my mind that this is still happening. LOVE is LOVE and as a black women that plans events, I am proud to surround myself around vendors that feel the same way!!! ALL are welcome here!
Thank you thank you! So needed to be said and we stand behind you 100%.
Thanks, Jennie, and thanks for all you do as a member of the LGBT community and the wedding industry!
100% agree and support anyone who wishes to live their life full of love and light!
Love this! Thank you Lilli!
Lilli ~ Thank you so much for posting this. I serve ALL clients regardless of gender, age, color, religion, height, weight… and the list goes on. Yes, ALL are welcome here!
Thank you for loving ALL couples, Lilli! I hate that your clients went through what they did, but I’m so happy they found you in the process. I have no doubt that you and the other vendors they select will take wonderful care of them.
YES! Everyone deserves to be able to marry the person they love without hate or discrimination. “Being safe” should never be something you have to factor in on your wedding day.
Thank you for being the awesome person that you are, for lifting up ALL couples, and for calling out this abhorrent behavior. I’m so happy this couple found you. I’m saddened to hear that there are still people/businesses out there discriminating against same-sex couples, but all we can do is practice love and inclusion and hope to make the world a better place one day at a time. Love is love!
It baffles me that there are still so many close-minded people, especially in a place like the wedding industry that’s all about celebrating LOVE. Thank you for creating such a wonderful safe space for us vendors here on Colorado Gay Weddings ❤️
Thank you so much for posting this…thought I can’t beliebe we have to in 2018!!!! Love is love and we should not even have to have this conversation :( Makes me so sad!
At Beauty on Location Studio we absolutely love working with two brides, all are welcome here 💄😍💕
Great job Lilli, thanks for doing all you are doing with this and helping these couples have a sensational day that they deserve.
Heartbreaking for these couples, and downright sad for these vendors, so petty. Keep posting articles like these and spreading the love…is love…is love…:)
I never thought about what should be such a happy time in someone’s life being smashed by fear – how terrible! Everyone deserves the joy that weddings can bring – EVERYONE.
Hanging in our office is the quote from Justice Kennedy, when the Supreme Court ruled that all couples have the right to marry. We believe that love is special, and the desire to commit to another human is profound. No one should ever feel that loving someone else puts them at risk. Thank you for taking that call.
We’ve hosted same sex weddings at our venue and will absolutely continue to do so. It’s unfortunate that people in this world still feel empowered by demoralizing others. Love is love…everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
Ughh so messed up. It’s unbelievable that couples are facing that kind of discrimination in Denver in 2018. So wonderful to have a safe space for LGBTQ couples to plan the happiest day of their lives!
I cannot imagine how difficult that must be for same sex couples- I’m glad there are wedding planners and vendors like you in Colorado that don’t hesitate to serve them just as well as any other couple.
I love that you shared this story. Being from texas, I know all too well about the judgements and discrimination that happens towards the LGBTQ community down there. A major reason of why I left. The close-minded ness is something I don’t want to be around. It’s baffling that this is even an issue in the world today. I am so proud to say I am a supporter of the LGBTQ community and gladly photograph LGBTQ weddings. I specialize in ANYONE in love. Anyone. I’m so happy there is a planner here that is so supportive of this community.
What a great story to share. All should be included, loved, and never have to feel judged. Afterall, isn’t it all about LOVE.. the heart loves who the heart loves.
I am sad to hear how awfully those women were treated. thankfully they found you and can now have a wonderful wedding experience :)
It makes me so sad that there is still so much discrimination in this industry. I’m so glad you’re speaking out about this! I’m definitely including this all are welcome here badge on my website, but I can’t wait for a day where it doesn’t even need to be a question. Everyone should be welcome always.
I’m so glad you were a safe landing for this couple. Hope this leads more LGBTQ couples your way.
I read this earlier and it made me want to cry. I personally feel like anyone who is not on board with inclusivity should find a different industry. The wedding world should be one of inclusion and celebration!
Thank you for sharing! So needed to be said. I completely feel you.
Loved readingg this thanks