2017 Event Calendar
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WHY ATTEND AN LGBT WEDDING EXPO??
Following the SCOTUS decision in June 2015 regarding marriage equality for the LGBT community, most couples in the United States found themselves breathing a sigh of relief. After a decade of vacillating legislation in states throughout the nation, couples within our community finally felt at ease with enjoying a leisurely engagement and planning their dream ceremonies with a more relaxed timeframe. But now in 2017, with the recent election results and talk of future Supreme Court appointments that will likely lean toward the conservative, LGBT couples find themselves again facing an uncertain future with regard to marriage rights and family equality.
“The potential passage of legislation like the First Amendment Defense Act has many couples feeling very uneasy,” says RainbowWeddingNetwork.com co-founder Marianne Puechl. “It’s not so much the fact that certain wedding professionals might soon be able to openly discriminate… it’s the precedent that legislation of this kind sets. To write discrimination into law is a dangerous thing, and the LGBT minority is wise to what kind of backlash this kind of bill might create. So couples and our allies are finding ways to take action in ways that are personally meaningful to them.”
Puechl and her partner Cindy Sproul launched RainbowWeddingNetwork.com in 2000, and began producing a national tour of LGBT Wedding Expos in 2003. To date, the company has brought over 175 signature events to 32 states, and continues to expand its circuit each year.
“We’ve seen a spike in RSVP’s for our upcoming 2017 events ever since November 9th,” Puechl continues. “Couples aren’t frantic, but they’re wanting to take real action. Moving ahead with their plans to marry is one way they can empower themselves.”
RainbowWeddingNetwork’s tour of LGBT Wedding Expos will visit at least 25 cities in 2017, to help couples find the resources they need to move ahead with their ceremony plans, honeymoons and lives together. The festive, informative Expos are smaller in scope than traditional "bridal" fairs, providing an atmosphere that's welcoming and personable. Alyssa Harding and her fiancee Bethany, who recently attended one of the Expos in Texas, commented that they "felt immediately like we didn't have to translate ourselves to these vendors. Everyone knew we were two brides, and they were so genuine in their respectfulness and happiness for us. Plus, there were not hundreds of vendors, like some of the wedding trade shows: this was more intimate and Beth and I thought that was a lot more comfortable. We didn't feel overwhelmed... we felt truly supported."
Food & Cake Samples, Trendy LGBT Planning Ideas & Raffle Giveaways are also highlights of every 'Same Love, Same Rights'® event. The Expos are free for couples to attend, and all budgets are welcome. Friends, family, hetero- allies & other advocates of equal rights are welcome to join in the fun.
“Couples, their wedding party & LGBT allies gather together at these Expos,” says Puechl. “Couples are planning their ceremonies & honeymoons, and wedding professionals are meeting new clients. But more than that, these signature events offer an afternoon for everyone to join together & envision the next steps for the LGBT community in the local area as well as throughout the country. The more cohesive our community becomes, the sooner we’ll achieve lasting equality throughout the nation."
Don't see an Event near you? There may be soon - we add new dates every month or two! Keep checking back! In the meantime, share our current calendar with friends who may be able to attend. And thanks for posting the event date on your social media outlets - we want all couples to know about these exciting and unique resources!
2017 Event Dates and Locations