Weddings With Pride Expo
The Outer Banks has been one of the premier wedding destinations in the United States for quite some time, and the January Wedding Expo sponsored by the Outer Banks Wedding Association has become one of the largest events for couples planning on getting married. The vendors at the Weddings With Pride Expo, though, felt it was important to be there for the business possibilities that same sex marriage offers and to make a personal statement.
“This is the largest emerging market,” Renee Landry of Renee Landry Events said. “It’s a fresh opportunity for everyone.”
Echoing Landry’s observation but giving added meaning to it, Belinda Anderson, Director of Sales and Catering for Sea Ranch Resort, said, “It should have been equal for everyone always.”
Although targeting a growing and emerging market, at heart this was just like any other wedding expo—lots of food from caterers, some officiants, great music, wedding planners and photographers. True, it was two hours instead of two days, but this was the first Weddings With Pride Expo and although although small compared to the January event, it was very well attended.
The couples talking to the vendors were much like any other couple thinking about marriage—excited about their future, curious about services and a having a good time while doing it.
For the vendors, there really wasn’t much difference between this and other events. Officiant Tanya Young did mention that there are some adjustments to working with same sex couples. “I’ve changed my marketing to couples from bride and groom,” she said.
And some things have remained remarkably consistent. Looking at the couples and their friends walking through the expo, Landry remarked, “It should be a joyful process. You’re going to have fun working with us.”