“As the couple walked past the vendors at the wedding planning showcase at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk on Sunday, they couldn’t help but envision what their special day would look like in December. […] Marquez and her fiancee, Mary Bailey, 29, were one of more than 80 couples who registered for the showcase presented by Diana Marie Events that included vendors promoting gay-friendly businesses and services. […] Less than two weeks ago, a Monroe County judge ruled that Florida’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. […]Diana Marie Martin, the host of [the] event said the rulings have given a lot of couples hope, despite Attorney General Pam Bondi announcing the state’s decision to appeal the Monroe County case.”

This article from the Tampa Bay Times then goes on to describe how this couple has chosen to continue to plan their wedding, despite these limitations. Moreover, the wants couple an entirely traditional ceremony: the proposal was on bended knee when Marquez asked Bailey for her hand, and will also not see the dress until the day of the ceremony. These kinds of stories can be particularly illuminating to the wedding industry professional. Not only do same-sex couples face damaging institutional laws, but stereotypical ideas about what they might want for their ceremonies, receptions, and even in preparation for their big day.

What I think may be among the most important to take away from news stories like these is the reminder to stay close to the heart of what a marriage celebrates. Yes, when it come to same-sex marriage, it is certainly about the right-to-marry. The legalization of same-sex marriage is also about progress, and to cast off outworn and dated traditions. It depicts our cultural growth to become more inclusive and reflective of the world we live in, and to appreciate its innate diversity. For many who actually commit their lives to a same-sex union, however, the most important component is simply the opportunity to cherish and celebrate true love.