So once again, mom’s advice was spot on when she told me, “To stay relevant, keep learning something new every day of your life.” My last post, Gay Marriage Orlando Style, was two weeks ago but gosh, gee wiz, have I learned a lot about gay marriages in that short time span! (And don’t forget, there was a red, white, and blue holiday during that time when all this education was coming my way, so I’m sure there was an adult beverage or two involved with my classes. Ahem.)
For instance, some readers questioned my use of the term ‘gay’ – was I being inclusive of the entire LGBT community by using that terminology? Heck yes, or so I thought, but after being questioned about it I did what any good writer would do which is check the facts. So I consulted the Gay Wedding Glossary, as listed via the Gay Wedding Institute, and here’s how those experts have it listed:
[the word gay] Describes people whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attractions are to people of the same sex. Often used to refer to gay men, but can be used to generally encompass all genders who are attracted to the same sex. Gay is a perfectly acceptable, politically correct term.
Ok then, we’re all clear on that now, right?
Moving on, we (I’m referring to pretty much all of us living on this planet right now who are acknowledging the recent historic Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling ) need to start using some new terminology beginning with the phrase wedding party now preferred instead of bridal party because it’s gender neutral. A simple but meaningful shift of thoughts to the whole concept about inclusivity. How do I know this? Have I mentioned that I do my homework? Yes, I have, and this time it involved interviewing a local wedding planner pro, Elisa Delgardio, a Master Bridal Consultant/Certified Special Event Professional, and long time owner of A Flair for Affairs/Wed in Style. She was full of information on this subject, and when asked about any specifics that make gay weddings unique she added the following:
“Gay weddings typically include many customary elements, such as the exchanging of vows and rings. What’s really exciting is that we’re seeing new traditions emerging, where as established ceremony elements and cultural traditions are adapted and blended to create a customized fit for these modern nuptials. For example, consider the ceremonial entrance of the couple: To show equality, they may prefer to enter the ceremony at the same time – either by using two aisles or walking together down a central aisle. When the couple enters together there is an automatic shift of focus away from the traditional (roles of) Bride and Groom.”
Makes sense, right? And here are a few more pearls of education Eilsa dropped into the conversation:
1] Central Florida has an extremely supportive vendor community when it comes to same-sex marriages. Check out this website for more information: [Central Florida] The Wedding Alliance
2] And here’s another website to help the LGBTQ community find friendly vendors in both Orlando and Tampa areas: Equalove
3] On August 23, 2015, there is a “stylish and inclusive” wedding event held at a downtown venue so you can learn all kinds of things to assist in the wedding planning for this targeted market. Details can be found here: Orlando Gay Wedding Expo
And finally, to answer the question some of you have asked about what does all this have to do with Hospitality in Orlando? Let me spell it out: weddings=special events=booking venues, buying food & beverage/merchandise/services/entertainment=job security for many in those areas, all of which are classified as hospitality driven. Which makes it a vital part of the economic link to our local hospitality industry at large.
And there you have it!