An LGBTQ-owned and operated wedding-planning service is offering same-sex editorial look-books as inspiration for couples.
Zachary Connor, owner of Zachary Andrew Events, puts together a collection of editorial photographs for couples to envision what their wedding day can look like.
“When I was planning to get married to my husband, Sean, same-sex weddings were still kind of new. All the magazines and blogs we looked at for inspiration for our big day only showed very traditional, straight couples who looked nothing like me and my partner,” Connor said. “With my business, I wanted to highlight the diversity of weddings and give couples of all sexual identities and orientations an image in their mind of what their special day can be.”
The Delaware County-based service specializes in creating “unparalleled experiences using timeless designs,” Connor said.
“I want clients to look back on the wedding and not have it look outdated. I want to help couples create something that is elegant and classic,” he said.
Connor started his business in 2016 after being inspired by planning his own wedding. Along with detailed planning, Connor also provides wedding-design services that include color-palette advice and interviewing and working with creative partners and wedding vendors. He said that one of his main responsibilities is scouting LGBTQ-friendly vendors
“I seek out vendors and creative partners who are inclusive and willing to accommodate all couples,” he said. “It was tough for me planning my own wedding and finding vendors who were OK with working with me and my partner. I had to emphasize in emails repeatedly that we’re a same-sex couple. Each time felt like I was coming out over and over again. I make it a point to be that barrier for LGBTQ couples so that they won’t have to go through that.”
Connor also specializes in planning estate and destination weddings — the latter of which, he said, are becoming a trend he’s noticed in LGBTQ weddings. According to The Knot LGBTQ Weddings Study in 2016, an estimated 53 percent of gay men and 49 percent of lesbians are having destination weddings.
Connor attributed the increase of same-sex destination weddings to the international recognition of LGBTQ inclusion. “More countries are getting onboard with being more welcoming to the LGBTQ community as a whole, and same-sex couples are taking advantage of that.”