March 23, 2018 at 9:21 am EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Piercing the heteronormative wedding industry
gay wedding, gay news, Washington Blade

Vendors, emboldened by changing laws and media portrayals, are no longer shy about going after the gay wedding dollar.

While it can still feel a little “token” and sporadic, positive media portrayals of same-sex couples getting married and an increasingly common shift away from heavily heteronormative images and wares from the wedding industry indicate the post-Obergefell era is gaining more traction little by little.

Here are some odds and ends we’ve seen of note in recent months.

VENUES

Does a lakeside wedding sound appealing? If so, check out the Lake House sponsored by Comstock at the Reston Association.

The Lakeside Room on Lake Newport offers access to a deck that can accommodate 50-75 guests. The Lake View Room can accommodate 95 guests in a natural light-filled setting with fireplace. The entire facility can be rented for up to 145 guests. It’s at 11450 Baron Cameron in Reston, Va. Details at reston.org.

The LINE D.C. at the Line Hotel offers 10,000 square feet of event space, a rooftop terrace and ballroom that can accommodate everything from small gatherings to large events for up to 500. Download a wedding brochure at thelinehotel.com/dc/private-events.

Other semi-regional spots billing themselves as welcoming for same-sex weddings include conference services at the University of Delaware (conferences.udel.edu), the Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach (4200 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, Va.; cavalierhotel.com) and even the good ‘ole Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md.) which has been targeting same-sex couples in recent months. Find out more at strathmore.org.

MEDIA

Thankfully representations of same-sex marriages are penetrating through the nauseating heteronormativity more and more all the time. People Magazine regularly spotlights same-sex celebrity couples in its wedding pages such as when Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli, who met on the set of “Orange is the New Black,” were wed in March, 2017 in Palm Springs clad in Christian Siriano white.

Washington Post has been equally egalitarian in recent years, regularly spotlighting same-sex couples in its Sunday “on love” series such as in November when it offered a lengthy profile on Elena Delle Donne, a Washington Mystics forward, who wed Amanda Clifton.

If you’re getting married soon and looking for ideas, it’s worth keeping an eye on the mainstream wedding magazines. They, too, are way more inclusive to our needs than they were pre-Obergefell. Brides, for example, in 2016 ran a mini-section on first-hand stories from same-sex couples who’d wed with tips on everything from how to de-hetero your favorite song if it has too many pesky “hes” and “shes,” to overcoming familial disapproval. These kinds of things can be a little tone deaf. Can you really imagine a same-sex couple choosing to dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” which Details helpfully suggests might be a good choice?

The closest thing we’ve seen to an authentically queer, semi-regional gay version of this type of thing is the spring, 2017 edition of Q Virginia, a state-wide gay magazine. Most of its content, which was solid, is online here.

SERVICES

True Harmony Events bills itself as an “elite group of DJs and wedding planning professionals” breaking the mold. They’ll help you “start your new life with the perfect soundtrack” and have specifically targeted the gay dollar. Details at trueharmonydjs.com/lgbt.html.

Argus Events & Marketing, known for its event planning services for Oscar De La Renta, Carlina Herrera, presidential inaugural evnets and “the most divine of the divine,” has branched into the wedding industry but only for gays. Go figure. Nervous about your wedding? They promise to be your fairy godmother. Find out more by calling 202-425-6144.

Alex and Ruth (lesbians from affirming local synagogue Bet Mishpachah) at Just Right Ceremonies offer “your ceremony, your way” and specialize in LGBT and interfaith weddings. Find out more at justrightceremonies.com.

EXPOS

Q Weddings is having is third annual LGBT Wedding Show on Sunday, April 15 from 12:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in Richmond. Details at virginiagayweddings.com.

The seventh annual Baltimore LGBTQ Wedding Expo is Sunday, April 22 at the BWI Airport Marriott. Details at rainbowweddingnetwork.com.

Washington Wedding Experience is Sunday, April 15 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Dulles Expo Center (4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, Va.). It’s $15 to get in and is same-sex inclusive (although not exclusively gay). Details at weddingexperience.com.

There are a ton of these types of events throughout the region in April and May. A good place for starters is weddingwire.com.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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