For the first time, the Rainbow Wedding Network will host two LGBT wedding expos in Pennsylvania in one year.
The organization, spearheaded by partners Cindy Sproul and Marianne Puechl, will present the Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expo 12:30-3:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Sheraton Bucks County, 400 N. Oxford Valley Road in Langhorne.
Sproul and Puechl, who staged an expo at the location in March, decided to bring it back for a second time this year largely because of the May ruling that allowed same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
“The show in March was well-received with over 300-350 in attendance, so once marriage equality was passed, so many couples contacted us to see if we were coming back,” Sproul said.
Sproul said the Sheraton Bucks County was gracious and excited to host the return event.
So far, 25 vendors have signed up, and the pair is expecting about 35; exhibitor space is still available for interested vendors. Out attorney Angela Giampolo will present at the exhibition and Sproul said she is also looking to get Equality Pennsylvania and William Way LGBT Community Center on board for presentations.
“We are expecting a really nice crowd and a lot of couples are really excited that they can now seriously plan to get married in Pennsylvania,” Sproul said. “And some already have their dates set so it is the perfect opportunity for businesses to reach out.”
Sproul said Rainbow Wedding Network is also planning a second expo in Oregon, which legalized marriage equality the day before Pennsylvania and right after the pair hosted an exhibit there.
While Sproul noted all of their events are high-energy, regardless of the laws of the respective states, this expo will be especially celebratory.
“Marriage equality is now a reality for LGBT couples in Pennsylvania. It is really important if couples are planning a wedding [to attend] because we won’t be back in the state for a while and we will have all these wonderful LGBT-friendly wedding and travel professionals that can assist them in planning their special day.”
Despite the marriage-equality win, not all vendors, or other wedding expos, are LGBT-friendly, Sproul said.
“The thing we do so well is that couples even in wonderful areas like Philadelphia are still nervous going to straight bridal fairs,” she said. “They walk in and if it is two women, sometimes vendors assume or ask which one is the bride,” she said. “Ten years from now we will still be a necessity, even in progressive areas. We want to give that sense of walking into a room filled with businesses that are excited for them.”