GayWeddings.com Announces Gay & Lesbian Planning Seminar in DC


Pioneering Online Resource and Wedding Boutique, GayWeddings.com, Announces Gay & Lesbian Wedding Planning Seminar at The Sheraton National Hotel As Momentum Builds for Legal Recognition of Same Sex Marriage in Nation’s Capital

Seminar scheduled for December 9, 2009 from 7-9 pm and is free to all same sex couples who wish to attend

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 18, 2009) – GayWeddings.com today announced the return of its gay wedding planning seminar series, with a special session dedicated to marriage laws and wedding planning in the District of Columbia, to be held at The Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, VA.

“Though more resources than ever exist to support same sex couples with their wedding planning,” said Kathryn Hamm, President of GayWeddings.com, “challenges and questions still remain for gay and lesbian couples.”

“Every day, we answer the typical questions about how to get started and how to go about planning a gay or lesbian wedding, but we are increasingly called upon to answer questions about where one can get legally married and how to plan a ceremony or reception in that context. As you might imagine, this can be incredibly complicated for couples who live in Virginia or Maryland, but consider the District to be an ideal place for a wedding.”

Since 1999, the year that GayWeddings.com was founded, seven (7) states have legalized same sex marriage, but two states – California (2008) and Maine (2009) – reversed the original legislation when the question of gay marriage rights was put to voters. The five (5) remaining states which currently recognize same sex marriage – Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Iowa – may soon be joined by the District of Columbia, which has already passed legislation recognizing same sex marriages performed out-of-state, and is currently debating full marriage recognition.

To help same sex couples prepare for the potential shift in marriage recognition in the Nation’s capital, The Sheraton National Hotel will open the doors of its marquee event space — the Galaxy Ballroom, with its sweeping views of the DC skyline – on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, for this educational evening.

Says event co-host, Betsy Jones, Sr. Catering Manager at the Sheraton National, “We have always welcomed same sex weddings and we are excited to introduce newly engaged couples to a select group of the area’s most talented and experienced wedding vendors.”

In addition to drawing upon the expertise of gay wedding guru, Kathryn Hamm, attendees will have the opportunity to learn valuable tips from several gay and lesbian wedding veterans who will also be on hand. The team of experts includes: seasoned caterer and event planner, Ms. Jones of the Sheraton National; award-winning celebrity make up artist, Carl Ray; the nationally recognized husband and wife team of Regeti Photography; the floral design artisans of Fields and Chambers Floral Events; certified celebrant and interfaith minister, AC Warden of Capital Ceremonies; and, gay family law expert, Kirstin Gulling, Esq. of Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev.

“Quite simply put, our goal for the evening is to help our engaged couples get the very best start they can when planning their weddings,” says Ms. Hamm. “It’s an absolute thrill to be able to do this in our own backyard and we want to support as many same sex couples as we can who wish to tie the knot – legal or otherwise – in the DC area.”

About GayWeddings.com

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 GLBT 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 GLBT community with its community forum, national gay-friendly vendor directory, wedding planning seminars, consultation services, free planning articles and “Wed Pages,” personalized customer service and its online boutique, which features hard-to-find gay wedding items including certificates, invitations, cake tops, albums, guest books, personalized accessories and more. Through advocacy, relationship building and education, GayWeddings.com continues to affect change in the wedding marketplace. Visit us at GayWeddings.com.

About The Sheraton National

Located just minutes from Washington, D.C., the Sheraton National Hotel offers a central and historic backdrop for DC weddings, banquets, and social events. With stunning panoramic views, contemporary accommodations, and first-class service, the Arlington hotel is the ideal choice for any memorable occasion. Visit us at SheratonNational.com.

About the GayWeddings.com Seminar Series

GayWeddings.com co-founded this groundbreaking seminar series, Gay Weddings 101, in 2006 with Bernadette Smith of 14 Stories (formerly called It’s About Time Events). The course, designed to guide couples in beginning the wedding planning process, served engaged couples in Boston, MA, Chicago, IL and Arlington, VA. The latest workshop is free for all same sex couples who are interested in planning a wedding or union and is scheduled for 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at the Sheraton National in Arlington, VA, located at 900 South Orne Street. Pre-registration is requested by December 7, 2009.

Event Details:

What: Gay & Lesbian Wedding Planning Seminar

Where: The Sheraton National Hotel / 16th Floor / 900 S. Orne Street / Arlington, VA.

When: December 9, 2009 from 7-9 pm

Cost: Free

Click here for more info.


Kathryn Hamm, GayWeddings.com


Betsy Jones, The Sheraton National Hotel