Even if same-sex weddings are not yet legal in your state, become a part of the cause and shape your wedding business as if it is already legal. It is easy to start after it becomes legal. By then, however, you’ve only just joined the rat race to catch-up with everyone else!
By beginning before it has become legalized and pioneering the cause of same-sex weddings, you’re doing more than merely catching up with a marketing-trend. You’re cultivating the genuine respect and potential loyalty of those the legalization will impact.
Here are a few ways you can begin to “come out of the closet” on behalf of your wedding business prior to same-sex wedding legalization:
You can opt for subtly. A rainbow flag or equality symbol on your storefront, your website, or promotional materials, is a good place to start. Publishing positive news and related information about same-sex weddings on your website, blog, and social media channels are other great options.
You can also take bolder steps. Begin to incorporate same-sex weddings into the imagery of your marketing design. Or, take a gender-neutral approach when shaping images or developing content. Refer to your potential customers as “couples” rather than “brides and grooms.”
Another option is to declare a positive political stance openly about same-sex weddings. Your marketing materials can reflect your support of same-sex weddings and you can creatively incorporate your position of “when it becomes” legal into your business marketing strategies. If possible, assist in same-sex weddings across state or national lines where it has been legalized (as is currently done in Oregon where customers work with US businesses and get married in Vancouver, CA.)
You can create business literature specifically reflecting your awareness and sensitivity to this issue, and your promise to same-sex couples who come to you once same-sex weddings have been legalized. Bring this material to your local LGBTQ community centers, as well as Gay Pride events. You can also circulate this literature through political rights groups, and Internet forums. Anywhere you might imagine same-sex couples might be looking is a great place to show your support, and bring awareness to your business.
Consider joining wedding professional groups like the Wedding Professionals United for Marriage (Oregon-based) and rally for same-sex weddings with your business colleagues. A powerful example of such a group in action is what just took place in Oregon this month. According Jessica Morkert of Koin.com: “Members of the wedding industry gathered in SW Portland […] to show off the services they plan to offer same-sex couples who plan to get married if a ban on gay marriages is overruled in Oregon.”
Lastly, you can affirm your stance and build your confidence by educating yourself on what the legalization of same-sex weddings can mean for both your business and your state economy. The University of California, Los Angeles’s Williams Institute is constantly producing authentic studies of what same-sex marriage legalization could mean for state and industry economy.