Salt Lake City, Utah LGBT+ Styled Wedding Shoot w/Inclusive Vendor List
I planned this shoot to be inclusive of the community and show representation where there is very little in my home state. I grew up in Salt Lake City Utah, it is very well known that Utah is a red state and is heavily populated by a religion that doesn’t always include those within the community. Every time you go to a local bridal magazine or blog here there’s hardly any representation of people of color, much less the LGBTQ+ community. As someone with immense privilege, white, cis gendered, & straight passing I recognized how easy it is to find people who look like me in these blogs but I also recognize the huge disparity there is when couples in the community or couples who are of color come to only find the blonde haired, blue eyed, straight couples represented and no one else. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” kept repeating in my head as I prepared to move back to a place that isn’t always considerate of those in marginalized communities. So I planned this shoot. I reached out to a couple who I thought would be the perfect match and low and behold they said yes!!! I was so ecstatic to work with Ray and Ky as they fit this theme perfectly. After meeting with them for this shoot we became friends and even attended SLC’s 2019 Pride Parade together! Love them so much, but let’s continue with our story.
At first when I was planning this shoot, I was wanting to do it rainbow themed but it never sat right with me. That theme was just way too…on the nose, if that makes any sense. I just hated having the theme so straight forward and obvious. I wanted to do something different, something that would truly stand out in every way but what could I do? I sat on it for a while and then went to Facebook and happened upon a post from a friend announcing that they had found out about the Broadway play “Wicked” being formatted into a new movie coming out in 2021! It was fate. After reading that it hit me that for years now, the character Elphaba/Wicked Witch of the West has been rumored to be a metaphor for being queer and coming out. Then I started to look into it even more and BAM, “Everyone Deserves the Chance to Fly” came into my google search for quotes and I couldn’t have thought of anything better to represent exactly what I want people to know in and out of the community. Everyone deserves the chance to fly, to be heard, to be seen, to be loved. What an amazing message to send!
The next step was to find vendors to participate in the shoot, I was so nervous to approach this topic in a conservative state but I knew I had to do it. I had to be vulnerable and brave enough to put the message out that I needed inclusive vendors for this shoot-vendors that not only wanted to support gay couples but vendors that wanted to support trans people, POC in the community, anyone and everyone I could think to be inclusive of was important that they were also inclusive of. To my surprise I was able to get four vendors almost instantly! I was off and running. This shoot was happening and I had to make it happen for every couple who needed to see that there’s people out there to support them, I had to.
Finding the rest of the vendors was a task here but I did end up finding them! It was a lot of getting ghosted by people or just them straight up telling me no. It was disheartening and spoke volumes to say the least. The silence from many was deafening. It made me sad to realize that this had to be many couple’s experiences living here in Utah and many other places around the country. What a sad realization to have when going back and looking over Pride last year in Salt Lake City, there was so much support yet the wedding community still hadn’t fully come around. The people who provided important services for people in love weren’t supportive of…well, love. It didn’t end up mattering all that much once I had found all the vendors I needed but I felt that it was important to say here. Couples in the community get it the hardest. I’m only a photographer and even I had a hard time getting support for the community here-I can’t imagine the rejection and hurt couples in the community must feel once they reveal that they are apart of the community. I only experienced a little myself and that in itself was hurtful. I am so happy I found some amazing vendors to share with you all for that reason alone. These vendors and myself are all here for this community and we won’t be silent. We will stand up and support those within the community with a loud voice. I’m so proud of my team and so happy to share the results of this shoot with you all.
I support LGBTQ+ people and their rights. I support love. #loveislove
Check this shoot out. It’s beautiful to say the least :)
Photographer + Coordinator: Marina Rey Photo
Florist: Simply Beautiful Blooms
Decor: The Shabby Chic Sisters
Jewelry: Anvil Agate
Dress: Fantasy Bridal
Flag Design: Danelle Cheney Graphic Design
Cakes: Something Frosted Bakery
Makeup Artist: Makeup by Katina
Hair Stylist: Bridal by Caitlin