Planning a same-sex wedding? check out the Say I Do! Soiree for all your needs (ticket giveaway)
“Walking through a traditional expo looks like it’s 1960” said Tammy Freeman, founder of the Say I Do! Soiree - LGBT wedding expo. Tammy said her trips to normal wedding expos don’t often include relationships like hers – involving folks of the same-sex.
Formed in 2010 after DC passed their marriage equality bill, Say I Do! works in direct response to the “obvious, overt hetero norm” that exists in most major wedding expos. Freeman experienced this firsthand when she attended expos in preparation for her own wedding.
In her experience, Freeman found that she had to come out to every vendor she met when planning her own wedding, and the reaction of traditional companies would be to either deny her service outright or to bill themselves as being LGBT-friendly but, as she put it, “they will take your money, but still not like you.”
“A lot of us, in our workplaces and our day to day lives, aren’t totally out,” Said Freeman. “We don’t see people who are like us walking down the street holding hands or with their girlfriend or boyfriend. You don’t see co-workers who have pictures up of her and her wife or him and his husband.”
Ayana Obika-Clayborne, founder of Gratitude Rising Events, a Richmond-based event company that aims to help the LGBT community in RVA, said she has also felt rejected and made ostracized at traditional wedding events. She said she’s even had sponsors walk away after Obika-Clayborne told them that she plans same-sex events.
But now she’s working to bring Freeman’s LGBT-affirming company to Richmond with Say I Do! Soiree happening on February 8th.
Tammy Freeman and Ayana Obika-Clayborne are planning to create a more relaxed atmosphere where couples and vendors can meet and build relationships with this event, as opposed to the less personal, more sales driven nature of vendors at wedding expos.
Many local businesses are sponsoring the The Say I Do! Soiree, with Adolf Jeweler, The Renaissance, Leap Audio/Visual, Hoot Media, The Boathouse, The Hilton Garden Inn-Downtown Richmond, The Prop Shop, The Vine, Sticky To Go Go, The Flowerguy Bron, Once In A Lifetime, and James Limousine all stepping up to help.
The full list of events for the show include:
- A decadent dessert buffet to indulge your sweet tooth (this is a dessert only event)
- Opportunity to meet other members of the LGBT community and our allies
- Meet pro-equality businesses who can help you with your wedding or any life event
- Raffle prizes up for grabs, proceeds to benefit Equality Virginia
- Same-Sex Weddings Fashion Show
- Games and prizes
Tickets can be purchased at http://bit.ly/sayidosoiree.
Rodrigo Arriaza is a cool dude who loves bees and Bolivia.
“My sexuality isn’t necessarily a paradigm in my business. However, I think it allows a creative outlet and access to different forms of expression.”June 9, 2015
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