• Chicago Loft Venues

How To Plan An LGBTQ+ Wedding (Getting Started)

Chicago Loft Venues’ creative director gets candid about wedding planning first steps—and offers up a list of local experts who can guide your dream day with style and sensitivity. By Joshua Yates

Planning a wedding can be daunting, especially getting started. And planning an LGBTQ+ wedding can call for a host of additional things to consider, including sourcing vendor partners who will be understanding of your unique wants and needs, from following preferred identifiers to creating special moments for non-heterosexual couples. Here’s my first piece of advice: The key to not getting overwhelmed is to create an organized task list and get after it early. But where exactly should you start? Good question. Step one: Talk to your family about a budget you can all agree upon. And if it’s just the two of you, then the same principle applies. You need to get on the same page about your budget right out of the gate. Your budget shouldn’t stretch you too thin or stress either of you out. Step two: Come together on a headcount for the number of guests said budget can accommodate—and be realistic about it. Trust us. You’ll be happier with a smaller wedding with people you genuinely care about than a wedding full of strangers you invited to make other people happy. Think quality over quantity when it comes to people and your wedding day details. Step three: Select a location you both love and subtract that amount from your total budget to see how much you have left for floral, food, entertainment and more. And then prioritize the wedding elements that are most important to the both of you. Great job! See, that wasn’t too hard. Honestly, it’s all about communication, especially between partners. And listening intently to each other so that your wedding will ultimately make you both feel happy, honored and represented. Below is a directory of some of our favorite industry pros and vendors (a.k.a. “fri-endors”) who boast beaucoup experience producing LGBTQ+ weddings. Take some time to check out their websites and social media platforms together as a couple, and stack your wedding dream team with people whose work and personalities you’re drawn to. And if you have the time to meet with them in person (fingers crossed), or over a Zoom chat, it’s definitely worth putting that extra time in. Having a supportive team of vendors that you vibe with will make your big day that much more special! Especially if expectations—and your tone—are set in advance. STATIONARY + INVITATIONS: Erickson Design & Lambert Letterpress http://www.ericksondesign.com/ Facebook: @ericksondesign Twitter: @ericksondesign Pulp & Ink http://www.pulpandink.com/ Facebook: @pulpandink312 Instagram: @pulpandink312 Smitten Boutique https://www.smittenboutique.com Facebook: @smittenboutiquechicago Instagram: @smittenboutiquechicago PLANNERS: A Perfect Event https://www.debililly.com Facebook: @aperfectevent Instagram: @aperfectevent Hospitable You https://www.hospitableyou.com/ Facebook: @hospitableyou Instagram: @hospitable_you A Great Adventure Events https://www.agreatadventureevents.com/ Facebook: @agreatadventureevents Instagram: @agreatadventureevents FLORAL + DESIGN: Indigo Floral Co. https://www.indigochi.com/ Instagram: @indigo.floral Art of Imagination http://artofimagination.com/ Facebook: @agreatadventureevents Instagram: @art_imagination Pollen Floral Design https://pollenfloraldesign.com/ Facebook: @pollenfloraldesign Instagram: @pollenfloraldesign CATERING: Libations Beverages & Bites https://www.libationschicago.com/ Facebook: @cageandaquarium Instagram: @cageandaquarium Beyond Events https://www.beyondcatering.com/ Facebook: @beyondcateringchi Instagram: @beyondcateringchi J & L Catering https://www.jandlcatering.com/ Facebook: @JandLCateringChicago Instagram: @jandlcatering Paramount Events https://paramounteventschicago.com Facebook: @paramounteventschicago Instagram: @paramountevents PHOTO + VIDEO: Maypole Studios http://maypolestudios.com/ Facebook: @maypolestudios Instagram: @maypolestudios Tuan B & Co http://tuanb.com/ Facebook: @tuanbco Instagram: @tuanbco Carasco Photography https://carascophoto.com/ Facebook: @carascophotography Instagram: @carascophoto MUSIC: DJ Firm https://www.thedjfirm.com/ Facebook: @thedjfirm Instagram: @thedjfirm Cage & Aquarium http://www.cageandaquarium.com/ Facebook: @cageandaquarium Instagram: @cageandaquarium Twitter: @cageandaquarium Toast & Jam https://toastandjamdjs.com/ Facebook: @toastandjamdjs Twitter: @toastandjamdjs