In January of 2014, we at SAVE The DATE wrote a piece that was to be published in a local gazette. Sadly, as is the case with many forms of printed media and newspapers, the gazette closed. While we wish this piece could have been published for it’s original purposes, it’s simply too good to not share. Enjoy …
As of January 2014 same sex marriage is legal in seventeen states, including Maryland; as well as the District of Columbia. For event planners, vendors, and venues; the updated definition of marriage offers a new market to assist with making a memorable moment in their lives as couple. For us [SAVE THE DATE] it provided an opportunity to combine several new elements in the event world to help a couple say I Do!
Our final event of 2013, a wedding on December 29, allowed us to celebrate these new laws in a recently converted staple Bethesda restaurant, with do it yourself decor. The two brides possessed creative ideas, and were able to show, with some organizing assistance, their commitment to each other in front of friends and family. The couple was a model example of do it yourself (DIY) Brides, an increasingly popular trend thanks in part to Pinterest. They found their own centerpieces, made their own programs, and created a warm and beautiful room for both their ceremony and reception. They accomplished all this while keeping their budget in check. For them, being involved in every element of the wedding process made for a more meaningful wedding. Many find comparable rewards in DIY décor.
Wedding decor doesn’t have to burn your budget as long as you have time and a truck. With stores like AC More, Michaels, Home Goods, Marshall’s, Ross, and dozens of online sources, it’s easy to do it yourself. You can simply pick your colors and/or theme, determine your perimeters, and then begin creating that special look to make your day unforgettable. DIY décor offers couples the opportunity to get creative and personalize their day by literally pouring their efforts into the creation of their event. While our brides were able to be DIY we found that they still really benefitted from a couple planning meetings and day-of assistance.
In the event planning industry, there are two real components: the planning leading up to the event, and the coordination of the plan on the actual day of the event. For brides who want to have a lot of control over the planning, the DIY bride, day-of assistance can really be beneficial. Day-of Assistance, or Day-of Coordination is having an event planner on site to make sure all of your specific desires are met. Some view this as an unnecessary added expense; however, it reduces the stress the bride feels because she knows there is a professional there to help her. For DIY brides it is arguably more important because they have eliminated the decorator so they need a professional to set up their décor. Even the best laid plans can fail if the execution is subpar. Our final event of 2013 is a great example of DIY working hand-in-hand with day-of-assistance.
Our couple came to us in the spring of 2013 asking for suggestions for venues, vendors, and expert advice. They also came with a Pinterest page of carefully collected images they wanted to use as inspiration. They were very organized, so we agreed that four meetings (including a site visit) spread evenly throughout the year along with day-of-assistance would provide more than enough support for them to have their dream wedding. They kept up with their planning in-between meetings and everything went smoothly. With that said, they really appreciated the day-of-help because it meant that their wedding vision could be executed without a family member or friend having to set up the space. Knowing that they could walk into the room and it would look exactly the way they envisioned it was comforting. Day-of-Assistance with one or two meetings as opposed to full package planning is a rising trend, and event planners must being willing to alter their packages, paperwork, and mindset in order to change with the times.
This wedding was a new experience for our company. We were unsure of the couple’s personal preferences on how they wanted to be referred to. We needed to adjust some of our paperwork; changing the words bride and groom and husband and wife to spouse and spouse or partner and spouse, or bride and bride to ensure we were accurately representing the couple. These types of changes put us more in sync with today’s current wedding world.
The Important thing we learned was same sex marriages really are not very different from heterosexual weddings. Same ceremony. Same schedule. Same event. Same Love. Just, in this particular case, no man directly involved in the planning or the wedding. Marriages are ultimately about two people joining together to form a unit built on love, trust, and understanding. Weddings are for showcasing a couple’s dedication to each other while celebrating and having fun. The participants may be slightly different, but the motivations and desires are ultimately the same.
As previously said, there are seventeen states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized same sex marriage; however, there are also thirty-three states that currently have same sex marriage bans through either state law or state constitution. Couples are currently suing their states, including Virginia, to obtain the right to join in marriage; hearing about these lawsuits makes us proud to live in one of three states that legalized same sex marriage through popular vote, but also reinforces our understanding that change takes time. We are happy to help effect the change we want to see by assisting all who are planning their wedding. We were honored and humbled to be hired by our clients who trusted our experience and knowledge of events, despite knowing there might be a learning curve in terms our understanding of same sex marriage. We [SAVE THE DATE] hope to reach out to, and assist all couples, regardless of sexual identity, in the planning of their events. We want to treat each couple and event as individual while understanding they really are all the same.
Since the original writing of this article, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban same-sex marriage, so the conversation about which states have legalized same-sex marriage is less relevant than at the time of writing the original piece. Hope you enjoyed