100,000 Wedding Pros Say ‘Yes’ To Marriage Equality As Supreme Court Declines To Hear Cases
WeddingWire & GayWeddings.com Announce Support of 100,000 Who are Ready, Willing & Able to Serve Same-Sex Couples
WedWeCan contingent of wedding pros walks with recently married lesbian couple in Capital Pride in 2014. Photo by Maggie Winters of Pop! Wed Co
CHEVY CHASE, MD (October 8, 2014) — WeddingWire, the leading online vertical marketplace serving the $100 billion wedding and events industry, and GayWeddings.com, the leading online boutique and resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999, announced that its directory of wedding professionals has surpassed the 100,000 mark on the day of the United States Supreme Court’s choice not to review the seven pending marriage equality cases of five states. Offering the most comprehensive listing of LGBTQ-friendly wedding resources since the partnership launch in 2011, WeddingWire & GayWeddings.com continue their commitment to providing all couples with planning resources, including over 100,000 self-identified wedding professionals who are willing to serve same-sex couples. This milestone represents 104% growth of GayWeddings.com directory from March 2013, the month the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for DOMA, to today.
“To think that the support for marriage equality and the access to so many willing wedding professionals has grown so quickly in such a short amount of time just boggles the mind,” said Kathryn Hamm, President, GayWeddings.com. “Together with WeddingWire, we launched this partnership with a specific goal of raising awareness for the needs of same-sex couples who wish to marry, while also striving to provide the most comprehensive resource of options available for all couples who wish to work with professionals who support marriage equality. With pride, I am pleased to say that we’ve achieved that, and then some.”
With the Supreme Court’s announcement Monday, Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Indiana all became marriage equality states. Within 24 hours, Colorado upgraded its civil unions to marriage, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced that bans would be overturned in Idaho and Nevada. As of this writing, 26 states and DC recognize marriage equality with more to come. Experts are predicting that count to climb to 35 states and the District of Columbia within a matter of weeks.
“I had sixteen calls alone and all before noon yesterday,” said Rev. Cory Newell, a Wedding Officiant of Hampton Roads, Virginia. “My phone has been ringing off the hook with couples seeking wedding services since the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday not to hear the pending cases. WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com have positioned themselves to be the leader online, empowering all couples equally to get married in Virginia.
A recent survey of wedding professionals revealed that 82% of all wedding professionals planned to serve same-sex couples in 2014. This overwhelming majority – many of whom are counted among the 100,000 wedding professionals in the GayWeddings.com LGBTQ-friendly directory – offers support that outpaces the strong support of millennials and the general population.
“Hearing the Supreme Court denied hearing the pending cases is a great triumph,” said Valerie Creitz, a Philadelphia-based newlywed who married her partner, Amy, in May 2014. “Having a directory of wedding vendors like WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com is also a victory for same-sex couples who are planning. Having to inform a vendor that our wedding would be for two women is anxiety provoking but because we had a large, curated catalog of vendors, we were put at ease. We’ve come so far and Amy and I are hopeful that Marriage Equality will lead to equal civil rights laws across the U.S.”
“LGBTQ-friendly wedding professionals and LGBTQ engaged couples are leading the way in modernizing wedding rituals,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “The goal of our pioneering partnership with GayWeddings.com was to help cultivate awareness and support for same-sex couples who are engaged to be married and alongside GayWeddings.com, we are proud to have built a market-leading resource for same-sex couples who are planning their big day.”
WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com’s joint campaign, Wed We Can, provides resources to help celebrate the union of all loving couples, both for wedding professionals and engaged couples.
For more information about WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com’s partnership, visit GayWeddings.WeddingWire.com.
About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire, the leading technology company serving the $100 billion wedding and events industry, is the largest online vertical marketplace connecting engaged couples with event professionals. With more than 1.7 million consumer reviews, it is the industry leader in consumer reviews. The site enables engaged couples to search, compare and book from an extensive database of more than 200,000 recently reviewed event professionals, from venues to photographers. Engaged couples also have access to a suite of mobile and online desktop planning tools – including wedding websites and checklists, at no charge. WeddingWire provides event professionals with the technology they need to serve their clients, including a SaaS platform, which powers advertising, marketing, and CRM needs of local wedding and events businesses nationwide. Additionally, WeddingWire offers the largest audience network in the industry, including WeddingWire.com, Project Wedding, Martha Stewart Weddings (NYSE: MSO), Brides.com (a Conde Nast property), Weddingbee.com and Celebrations.com (part of the 1-800-Flowers family of brands, NASDAQ: FLWS). WeddingWire has recently expanded into adjacent event verticals with the launch of EventWire.com, addressing the needs of corporate and social event planners and event vendors.
GayWeddings.com is the leading online boutique and resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples. While planning a wedding for daughter Kathryn in 1999, Gretchen Hamm was frustrated by the lack of resources available to same-sex couples and thus founded TwoBrides.com and TwoGrooms.com – the first such online boutiques to cater to the LGBTQ community – that same year. In 2005, the mother-daughter team acquired GayWeddings.com, solidifying its position as the largest resource of its kind at the forefront of the burgeoning same-sex wedding industry. Based in Dallas, Texas and Arlington, Virginia, GayWeddings.com serves the under-served LGBTQ community with its community forum, national LGBT-friendly vendor directory, wedding planning seminars, consultation services, free planning articles and “Wed Pages,” personalized customer service, and its online boutique. Kathryn is an Education Expert for WeddingWire and is also the co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography and she writes, speaks and consults nationally about why same-sex weddings are meaningful and why marriage matters.