Wayne Gurnick's 2016 Wedding Outlook
We took Wayne aside and asked him to update us on his view of 2015's monumental ruling, what to anticipate in 2016, and what to really get excited over.
Would you like to comment on the 2015 Marriage Equality ruling as a wedding professional?
It certainly has been an incredible year... one of many changes... great changes at that, but not without the long and hard battle. The ability for any two people to legally marry is a great thing for the wedding industry... but more importantly it is great thing for humanity. LGBT couples have waited a long time to be able to get married and their time has finally come.
We saw lots of exciting themes and trends this year, many celebrating the ruling through their wedding theme. What other themes have we seen this year?
The underlying theme for weddings of all types this year has certainly been one of LOVE and commitment! There have been themes such as Over the Rainbow, Vintage style, Classic elegance, etc. Really the most important theme throughout weddings this year has been one of sheer joy. It is not a theme that one can design a room based on but it is a theme that provides a guide in planning and directs one to make sure to remember the reason for the wedding and celebration. It is not in the flowers or the signs, nor is it shown in the invitations or the favors given out a the end of the night. It is a feeling and an inner emotion that is present throughout the planning process as well as the whole wedding day and celebration. It is a focus of the couple that make the wedding and celebration such an incredible experience.
The LGBT Community is known for having its own culture and trends. What trends do you see in the industry and do you see a thematic trend for 2016 for the community specifically?
2016 will be all about quality and the experience and not about quantity. LGBT weddings will continue to be smaller and more intimate experiences for the couple and their closest family and friends. Intimate wedding ceremonies and lavish but small dinner receptions to celebrate in the most private and personal ways. My experience has been that for those couples that have waited a lifetime for the right to marry the one that they love, it is all about the depth of their emotion and not at all about what the wedding society says is required.
For couples not using a wedding planner, how do you recommend they find friendly and supportive vendors and avoid the poor treatment so many have unfortunately experienced?
I truly believe that you just need to keep focused on your own goals. The wedding environment can be a frustrating place for anyone... not just the LGBT community. It is confusing and "noisy". Just tell anyone that you are getting married and they will provide you with unsolicited advice and "must haves" and "must do's." Then there are the myriad of service providers... the florist, photographer, cake baker, etc... and the list is never ending. Everyone has their two cents to put in.
Do your homework, ask trusted advisors or friends for their recommendations and go through the process as you would for anything that is important to you. Choose wisely, make decisions once you have enough information, but most of all, make sure to keep a level head. Don't spend more than you can afford and find ways to enjoy the process from start to finish!
Look for those services that are eager to work hard for the money that you will pay them... and in turn, you will have an incredible experience. Poor treatment of a client is not acceptable in any line of work... it is not acceptable in the "wedding world" either. Don't give it any credibility at all... just move on. Use the internet to source LGBT friendly companies that will work hard for the money that you will be spending with them. LGBTWEDDINGS.com is an incredible resource... USE IT!
What key advice would you offer to a couple to assist in their planning?
The most important thing that I always recommend... Make your guest list first and check it three times. Don't invite anyone out of obligation... because they will come out of obligation, and will enjoy the food, drinks and entertainment that you provide but the feeling at the wedding will be one of obligation! You will spend lots of money and your wedding should be a place filled with love!
If you could plan a dream wedding for a couple, what would the day look like?
This is a very difficult questions to answer... If I could plan a dream wedding for a couple, what would the day look like? First I would have to say that I really need to know the couple and what they are like. It is really all about the couple and not about what I would like to plan. Each couple has different dynamics, different likes, different wants and dreams. I would first get to know the couple both individually and as a couple. Once I understand what is important to the two of them, I would begin to build the wedding day from start to finish. I believe that the wedding day should start with a gift from each to the other. It should be something meaningful and sentimental. Something that will last the test of time. Something that will remind them of the day. Something special that they will look back to when times are difficult and it will remind them about all of the good and loving reasons that they were married. Then a wonderful meal... breakfast or lunch. A wonderful time for the couple to reflect on the times past and to enjoy the excitement of the future. A late afternoon ceremony and sunset reception with all the bells and whistles... what ever they may be in keeping with the couple's style.