Couples newly engaged or married can meet with the best local wedding industry professionals and lifestyle experts to plan their big day or their life together.
Launched in 2012, the year same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington State, One Love has grown to become one of the longest-running LGBTQ-focused wedding shows in the country. It is locally produced by, in partnership with and for the LGBTQ and allied communities and creates a welcoming, safe and fun space for all couples in love to plan their big day. Attendees will meet and engage with a diverse range of LGBTQ-owned and allied businesses, from wedding planners, bakers, caterers and florists to venues, rental companies, DJs and other professionals. All vendors are hand-selected and fully vetted so that everyone in the room is a trusted resource for LGBTQ and allied couples.
In addition to showcasing wedding-industry experts, One Love takes it a step further to feature businesses that many couples need before and after they merge their lives including real estate, banking, attorneys and health & fitness.
“The vendor selection process is one aspect that sets One Love apart from other wedding shows,” said One Love founder and wedding planner Jenny Harding. “Even though same-sex marriage has been federally legal for over four years and legal in Washington State for nearly seven, not all vendors understand the nuances and priorities of working with same-sex, same-gender or queer couples. I also focus on choosing experts that support and are actively engaged in the LGBTQ community.”
“As a gay business owner, I’ve always looked for inclusive partners with whom to affiliate,” said John Gardner, owner of Aria Style and a One Love vendor since 2012. “One Love has offered a great opportunity for all couples to connect with inclusive vendors, and we appreciate being a part of this event!”
One Love’s experts can help couples forge their own marital path. Some embrace a more traditional wedding celebration, while others choose to create a unique experience that defies traditions. Whatever they choose, they can be assured that the One Love vendors will treat them with respect and professionalism.
Some couples still face obstacles when trying to plan their wedding. Regardless of state laws, couples have been discriminated against by businesses that refuse to serve them because of the owner’s religious beliefs. One of the most well-known of these cases was in Washington State, where a flower shop refused to provide the flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding. LGBTQ rights are being threatened in many states across the country, including most recently in Arizona, where the state Supreme Court sided with a calligraphy small business that claimed it did not want to serve the LGBTQ community (with wedding invitations) despite Phoenix’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
“Many people often ask me: This is Seattle—isn’t everyone supportive?” said Harding. “But it’s not only about being supportive but also understanding the details, such as how a DJ calls guests to the dance floor (‘ladies and gentlemen’ doesn’t always fit), respecting the preferred pronouns of the couple and guests, filling out forms that may only have space for ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ and understanding the term ‘chosen family.’”
According to Community Marketing’s 2018 LGBTQ Wedding Survey:
- 43% of participants said that it was important to bring some element of LGBTQ culture into their wedding, far more than religious or wedding traditions.
- 67% used vendors known to be LGBTQ friendly.
- 71% stated that it was important to them to select a wedding vendor that is inclusive or provides services to all couples.
- 20% reported some type of discrimination or negative experience during their wedding planning process.
- 61% of transgender and nonbinary-identified couples and 44% of same-sex couples fear rejection from wedding vendors.
“A place of our own is what comes to mind when I think of Seattle’s One Love Wedding & Lifestyle Showcase,” said Louise Chernin, president and CEO of the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA). “It is a day when same-sex and same-gender couples get to unabashedly browse and dream about plans for celebrating their life’s commitment to each other. Yes, members of the LGBTQ community can go to mainstream wedding shows, but at One Love, it is about us, our uniqueness, our culture and the very young recognition of our love. Whether to plan a wedding or simply a special occasion, it is a day that brings smiles and fills hearts of those who attend and get to meet the vendors who are there specifically to meet them.”
One Love will be hosted by Seattle’s own Gaysha Starr, who has been entertaining and captivating audiences with her quick wit, glamorous looks and memorable drag performances for over 25 years. Attendees will be treated to an array of delicious bites, creative cocktails, great music, giveaways, swag bags and plenty of inspiration.
If you are getting married to the love of your life in the near or far future, I highly recommend checking out One Love to help plan for your big day!
Sunday, October 20, 2019 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
AXIS Pioneer Square
308 1st Ave South
Seattle WA 98104
Pre-registration is free here or tickets are $10 at the door.
Lesley is the founder and editor of What’s Up NW. Prior to creating WhatsUpNW.com, she was the Seattle city editor for AskMissA.com. For both publications, Lesley has covered fashion shows, openings, and local charity events. She has written numerous articles shining the light on local businesses, encouraging readers to always shop local.