WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com Celebrate Two Years of Partnership with Education for Wedding Professionals

CHEVY CHASE, MD - March 5, 2013 - WeddingWire, the nation's leading online wedding marketplace, is excited to celebrate two years of collaboration with GayWeddings.com, the pioneering online boutique and planning resource for same-sex couples. In 2011, the two companies formed a partnership to provide the most comprehensive database of LGBT-friendly wedding professionals. WeddingWire continues to expand the local vendor directory and reviews available on GayWeddings.com, which features over 50,000 LGBT-friendly vendors across the country.

In 2013, GayWeddings.com and WeddingWire look forward to strengthening their union by providing even more education for wedding professionals who look to serve engaged, same-sex couples. To celebrate two years of collaborative success, WeddingWire hosted a webinar, Wed We Can! Extend Your Services to Better Serve Same-Sex Couples on Tuesday, February 19. The one-hour educational webinar was presented by Kathryn Hamm, President of GayWeddings.com and author of the new book, Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography, and hosted by WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly. As of January 2013, nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage, and, later this month, the Supreme Court will hear two landmark cases - on California's Proposition 8 and the federally enacted "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA). The outcomes of these legal advances will have a significant impact on thousands of same-sex couples, while creating more opportunities for LGBT-friendly vendors to reach engaged couples. According to a recent survey of WeddingWire's vendor community, 86 percent of respondents already offer their services to all couples or are planning to in the near future.

The Wed We Can webinar was designed to help vendors learn more about the legal landscape and how to effectively serve all couples. Below are three key takeaways from the online event:
Before reaching out to the LGBT community, vendors are advised to educate themselves by following headlines and knowing the legal status of partnership recognition for same-sex couples in states where they offer their services.
First impressions are imperative, from the language used on vendors' websites to how they approach their couples; it is important to be mindful of word choices and to not make assumptions. Vendors will benefit from understanding that, like all groups, the LGBT community is diverse and each couple will have different perspectives and needs.
Vendors who are LGBT-friendly can increase their business by expanding their network and making it known that their services are inclusive. Effective methods for marketing to same-sex couples include receiving referrals or reviews from LGBT couples and gaining exposure on industry-leading sites like GayWeddings.com.
"The WeddingWire team is dedicated to empowering wedding professionals with tools to grow their business, while also supporting and celebrating the planning process of all engaged couples," said Sonny Ganguly, CMO, WeddingWire. "Our partnership with GayWeddings.com has not only enabled tens of thousands of same-sex couples to select the best LGBT-friendly vendors for their special day, but it has also provided event professionals with information on how best to serve their clients and be inclusive of all couples."

"It has been an incredible honor to work and partner with the innovative WeddingWire team," says Kathryn Hamm. "We are so proud to have developed the most comprehensive list of wedding pros who are ready, willing and able to serve same-sex couples, but even more so, our educational efforts are allowing all wedding pros to reach and embrace same-sex couples - not just through our niche site, but throughout the entire WeddingWire network, which includes many popular mainstream sites. Together, WeddingWire is helping us to achieve a dream that same-sex weddings will continue to be as special as they always have been, but they will also be fully embraced and included as one small essential part of a big, happy mainstream market."

For more information, please visit vendors.WeddingWire.com or gayweddings.com/wwvendors.

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire™, the nation's leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists , all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility, manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on WeddingWire.com, ProjectWedding.com and other leading sites, including MarthaStewartWeddings.com (NYSE: MSO), Brides.com and Weddingbee.com.

About GayWeddings.com
While planning a wedding for daughter Kathryn in 1999, Gretchen Hamm was frustrated by the lack of resources available to same-sex couples and thus founded TwoBrides.com and TwoGrooms.com - the first such online boutiques to cater to the GLBT community - that same year. In 2005, the mother-daughter team acquired GayWeddings.com , solidifying its position as the largest resource of its kind at the forefront of the burgeoning same-sex wedding industry. Based in Dallas, Texas and Arlington, Virginia, GayWeddings.com serves the under-served LGBT community with its community forum, national gay-friendly vendor directory, wedding planning seminars, consultation services, free planning articles and "Wed Pages," personalized customer service, and its online boutique, which features hard-to-find gay wedding items including certificates, invitations, cake tops, albums, guest books, personalized accessories and more. Through advocacy, relationship building and education, GayWeddings.com continues to affect change in the wedding marketplace.

Contact:
Kate Hoffman
WeddingWire, Inc.
press@weddingwire.com
301.231.9473