Hey did you know June is Pride Month?? During the month of June I took the time to reach out to some local to Arizona LGBTQ+ friendly vendors and spent time on social media featuring these businesses! Just search #osiprideguide if you'd like to find those posts. I will also be publishing a blog post with ALL of the vendors in one place so it's easy to find.
I also wanted to take the time to interview an actual married couple to ask them a few questions about their wedding planning process. Planning a wedding is a very stressful process no matter who you are, but doing this as an LGBTQ+ couple can come with some unique challenges. So thank you Heather and Heidi for sharing your experiences and offering advice to other couples planning their big day!
- Names: Heather and Heidi
- What was your wedding date? April 8, 2016
- What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
Heidi: Checking out our venue options in Sedona and then staying there after knowing that's the place we were going to get married. Imagining our honeymoon was a favorite part, too.
Heather: My favorite part was definitely dreaming about where we would get married. We knew we wanted to do a destination wedding, so it was really fun and exciting to explore travel options.
- What is/was the biggest challenge you faced with planning your wedding?
Heidi: Cost. It was expensive AF. Specifically, the most difficult part was realizing how expensive our wedding was going to be in the end, and accepting that we needed to make changes. Once we selected our dream venue and paid the deposit, we started to see the costs add up because we were required to use vendors approved through the wedding venue. The price tag ended up at around $20,000, and we just couldn't justify a budget like that. Ultimately, we walked away from our $1,500 deposit to save a lot on cost in the end.
Heather: Shortly after we got engaged, I went with my Maid of Honor to a wedding expo. I was so excited! A lot of booths asked me "what the lucky guy's name is" and things along those lines. Everyone was super nice when I responded that my fiance's name is Heidi, but it was still an eye opener. There didn't seem to be a lot of same sex wedding representation or awareness in the wedding industry at that time. Then, I came across a booth with stunning destination wedding inspiration and I told my MOH that I just HAD to get married at this resort! After 10 minutes of excited conversation with the woman operating the booth, she asked me for my fiance's name. Her face fell when I told her and she informed me that she was really sorry, but same sex weddings weren't legal there.
- What advice do you have for other LGBT couples planning a wedding in the Phoenix area? Heidi: Don't put a deposit down until you've done all of your research!
Heather: Obviously, look for vendors who whole heartedly support marriage equality. I am so happy to say that there are a ton of them in the Phoenix area. There is WAY more representation for same sex weddings now, and that's going to make finding the right vendors for you that much easier. Pro tip: hire a photographer that has same sex couples in their portfolio.
- Who were some of your favorite vendors that served you on your wedding day?
Heidi: We got married at Junipine resort in Sedona, and they were amazing. Their space was super affordable and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous and heavenly. It was exactly what we dreamed of.
Heather: In the end, we had a very small ceremony at Junipine in Sedona, so we didn't work with a lot of vendors. Junipine was amazing through the entire planning process, though!
Thanks again ladies for sharing your experiences!
Thank you to Junipine Resort for hosting this beautiful wedding, and thank you to Lora Ebner for the beautiful images.