Many years ago, after a few years of being a Celebrant and having only done weddings for heterosexual couples, I received my first enquiry from a gay couple.
To say I was over the moon, was an understatement. I do believe, if my memory serves, that I actually moon-walked around my desk. Not just because they were a gay couple of course, but because from their email I could tell that they were a fab couple, who understood my vibe and my passion and felt I could give them the celebration that they wanted.
I excitedly checked my calendar, and yup, I was FREE. Cue: MORE HAPPY DANCING! So, as I did with all my couples, I prepared my response and attached my pre-written wedding brochure, ready to send out to this lovely-sounding couple.
But then, I suddenly went cold. It quickly dawned on me that everything I had prepared was aimed at brides and grooms. All my text mentioned brides and grooms and all the photos showed brides and grooms, and although my heart and mind were open and ready to welcome ALL couples, my business was not.
In fairness, my website was fully inclusive with its wording, but that’s where the inclusivity stopped. None of the rest of my business was LGBT-ready.
It was a massively silly oversight on my part to purport to be LGBT-inclusive but in reality when it came to it, my business was no where near ready. I was totally under-prepared for an LGBT booking and had to scramble around to make it appear to my couple that I was ready for them. Thankfully after a lot of hurried re-writing, I answered their call effectively. They booked me and went on to have one of my most memorable ceremonies to date. But it quite easily might not have been the case.
Nowadays it isn’t about being LGBT-friendly, it’s simply about being inclusive to all. If your heart and mind are open to inclusivity then this should show throughout all aspects of your Celebrant business. And being LGBT-ready means far more than just having a rainbow badge on your website or having photos of gay couples in your marketing. Inclusivity starts with your heart then works its way into your marketing right through to your ceremony practice.
At our retreat convention in November, Wedding Minister and Business Coach, Marie Burns Holzer will be leading a workshop on LGBT-inclusivity. No more faux pas, no more gender specific terminology, or misinformed assumptions. Her workshop will ensure that your approach to your work is 100% inclusive through and through.
Whether you’ll be coming to our November retreat convention or not, are you and your business LGBT-ready? What have you done/are you doing to ensure that you are? Tell us below in the comments section.
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Ps. Have you joined the Celebrants Collective Facebook group. Made up of over 1000 Celebrants worldwide, it’s a great spot for support, advice and camaraderie. Come and join us now.