Happy Pride Month 2022! As a yearly tradition, my blog celebrates Pride Month with a series of LGBTQ+ stories from some of my lovely recent couples! So Sam and Jackie's double proposal at El Morro Fortress felt like the right start for this month's series.
LGBTQ inclusivity and visibility in the wedding industry
When it comes to marriage, same-sex, gender non-conforming, and queer couples encounter incompatible traditions all over their wedding planning process.
The wedding industry has made great strides, but it still needs work. For example, I was gifted a wedding planning guide and workbook last week. Its content is priceless, but it was blatantly heteronormative: there was only the possibility of one bride and one groom, excluding so many kinds of couples.
As members of the wedding industry, and if we want to excel in our customer service, we must evolve beyond the bride and groom mindset. Representation and visibility matter, but if we don't have a diverse portfolio yet, we can at least use inclusive language that doesn't repel clients that otherwise would feel happy to work with us.
Some wedding vendors see inclusivity as an excellent business opportunity, and I guess they're not wrong: opening up your prospects makes financial sense.
But we must not forget weddings are not just a transaction for couples; they're a spiritual, emotional, and psychological experience.
Serving lgbtq+ couples goes miles beyond taking their money and providing a service. It means listening, learning, and trying to embrace and love each client individually. We must make space to grow with each experience.
Double Proposal at El Morro Fortress
As a result of the lack of widespread wedding traditions for non-heteronormative couples, we see so much creativity and new traditions that honor each relationship's story.
A few months before our photo session, Jackie connected with me over video to talk to me about her proposal to Sam. They had talked about marriage and agreed there would be a double proposal but didn't know when or where.
Jackie brought two rings on our appointed date: one she bought for Sam; the second, a family heirloom that she wanted Sam to propose to her after the surprise. A modern, egalitarian alternative gave us twice the reason for a celebration.
I followed them as they arrived at El Morro. Eventually, Jackie would kneel first as a surprise. Jackie's proposal came as a surprise, and Sam thought I was a nosy tourist capturing the moment for them. After the initial shock and the excited YES, Jackie brought out her heirloom ring, and Sam went on one knee to propose back to her. So much happiness, my heart couldn't take it. I bawled my eyes out!
Just ten days after my own surprise proposal, I spent Jackie & Sam's proposal shoot just as I spent my engagement night: between uncontrollable laughter and tears. We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging around the old city, which felt prettier and more exciting than ever, maybe thanks to the beauty and excitement that emanated from these two lovebirds.
Enjoy this happy set and stay tuned for the next proud update!
Always a friend and ally,