FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2006
Chicago Debut of Pioneering Gay Wedding Planning Seminar Announced for July 22, 2006 at NuptEquality Fundraiser
Chicago, IL – Two pioneering companies specializing in gay weddings, It’s About Time and GayWeddings.com, will share their expertise with recently engaged couples at a groundbreaking seminar, Gay Weddings 101, in Chicago. The course, designed to guide couples in beginning the wedding planning process, follows two fully-enrolled seminars in the series, which occurred earlier this year in Boston and Washington, DC. Gay Weddings 101 will run in conjunction with the 2006 NuptEquality Fashion and Vendor Showcase, a benefit for Lambda Legal, which will be hosted by Catalyst Ranch.
“Gay weddings are transformative for everyone who attends,” says Kathryn Hamm, President of GayWeddings.com, and co-producer of Gay Weddings 101. “We realize that there is a need for couples to get help in planning for their weddings, and thus take pride in offering this first seminar of its kind.”
“I’m often approached by people who are thinking about getting married, and ask questions like ‘who proposes to whom?’ and ‘what’s a gay engagement ring like?’ says GW101 co-producer, Bernadette Smith of It’s About Time, the first gay wedding planning firm in Massachusetts, which has coordinated thirty weddings since its founding in 2004. “The conversations we facilitate about topics in our seminars, such as planning interfaith ceremonies, finding a gay-friendly venue, and choosing wording for invitations, make a difference for couples seeking this kind of support.”
Forbes.com estimates that if same-sex marriage were to be legalized in the United States today, it would add $16.8 billion into the wedding industry.
Said one Boston seminar attendee who found that she was most helped by learning that her struggles are not so unique, “It was reassuring to hear that other couples were having the same issues with family communications, especially budgets. Wish my mom could have been here as well!”
“In this seminar,” says Smith, “we leave plenty of time for Q&A so couples leave with a greater peace of mind.”
“A seminar such as this certainly would have opened my eyes to the journey ahead,” says Jessica Lockwood, a bride who planned her own June 3 wedding. “It was difficult even defining a guest list and timelines.”
Gay Weddings 101 is open to all same sex couples who pre-register and who are considering marriage or a commitment ceremony. The seminar will be offered on Saturday, July 22, at 5:00 pm at Catalyst Ranch in Chicago, IL. To secure a spot in this groundbreaking seminar, couples should register at www.gayweddings.com. The cost is $35 per couple to attend. Space is limited to 15 couples.
Immediately following Gay Weddings 101, couples are invited to the NuptEquality Fashion and Vendor Showcase at Catalyst Ranch, celebrating fashion and services for same-sex couples. Ticket information on NuptEquality can be found at the Catalyst Ranch web site. Many of the proceeds from NuptEquality will benefit Lambda Legal, a nonprofit organization working to secure marriage equality for all couples.
About Gay Weddings 101:
Gay Weddings 101 is a groundbreaking seminar series developed by gay wedding experts Bernadette Smith of It’s About Time and Kathryn Hamm of GayWeddings.com. The Chicago seminar is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at Catalyst Ranch in Chicago, located at 656 West Randolph. The cost to attend is $35/couple. Space is limited to 15 couples and pre-registration by July 17, 2006 is required.
About It’s About Time:
It’s About Time opened its doors in early 2004 to help same sex couples throughout Massachusetts finally get married. It was about time, and the small company – the only one of its kind in the state – coordinated thirteen weddings in 2004, including one planned in 6 days! To date, It’s About Time has helped make the day special for thirty same-sex couples. The company has been featured in the front page of the New York Times Sunday Style Section, was named Boston’s Best by Improper Bostonian magazine, and was recently profiled in Passport, the gay and lesbian travel magazine. It’s About Time makes a donation to GLAD (Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders) on each client’s first wedding anniversary.
In 1999, Gretchen Hamm’s daughter Kathryn married her partner in a commitment ceremony amongst friends and family, inspiring “Mother of a Bride,” Gretchen, to start an online company, TwoBrides.com & TwoGrooms.com, to provide the gay community with the wedding products she hadn’t been able to find for her daughter. The company, which provided the first web sites of their kind in 2000, acquired GayWeddings.com in 2005, and is proud of its mission is to provide innovative, practical, and top-quality products and information networking for same-sex and other alternative weddings. Hailed by GLBT-friendly publications, such as Curve Magazine, the Dallas Voice, GO NYC Magazine, and The Washington Blade as an essential expert source for wedding help, GayWeddings.com has also made its mark in the straight world, finding some of its cake tops featured in O at Home Magazine.
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