As a wedding vendor, I have written about gay marriage before. I made my policies clear in that earlier post, noting that our ordering process “is the same for every customer, without exception.” I want everyone to feel special and celebrated.
Am I saying it enough?
Though my opinions and business practices haven’t changed since I wrote that post in 2009, a conversation last summer made me wonder if I should talk about this more often. A customer was ordering for a friend and we chatted on the phone about her bridal shower favors. When it came time to share the event details—specifically the names and date for the tags—she hesitated. She explained that this was for a “different” event. She paused. “And…nontraditional,” she said. She paused again. Only then did she share the two brides’ names.
I don’t remember what I said to reassure her, but it felt awkward and inadequate. I was taken aback by her hesitation, and have thought about that conversation many times since. One of my favorite things about working with wedding couples and their families is how excited they are; I realized that some might hesitate to express their own happiness and excitement because they aren’t sure if other people will share it.
I was moved to write about this situation, to make a more public statement about my company’s support of gay marriage. But then June 26 came and the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Surely there would be more acceptance now, and less hatred? My own small words of support seemed unnecessary.
We need more words of support
And then last month one hundred and two people were shot in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. And suddenly all words of support feel mandatory.
e.e. cummings said, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” It’s not easy to be yourself, but the battle is much harder for some.
I know it’s possible that some of my readers will be offended by this. Others may not think it’s necessary. My intent is not to offend anyone, but to offer this thought: my business is about celebrating people to make them feel special, and I’ve never liked the idea that some people have to be left out in order for others to feel special. It saddens me that sites like The Knot have to tell same-sex couples to “be wary of unfriendly vendors,” though my own experience with hesitant, sometimes even apologetic customers tells me that people are still finding it necessary to be wary. And the hatred shown in last month’s act of violence demonstrates why.
So I will continue to treat all of my customers with the same consideration and respect, while posting the following message on my site so everyone knows this: I see you. I acknowledge and respect you. And I celebrate you.
The Favor Stylist is an equality-minded business. We are LGBTQ-friendly. Your stories and event details are safe with me.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there’s anything I can do to help you.