Pridezillas is proud to announce that we are partnering with 14 Stories to promote their Gay Wedding Institute Certificate Program.

14 Stories, founded and led by Bernadette Smith, is a premier wedding and event planning company that was our nation’s first event planning company to specialize in producing legal LGBTQ weddings. Numerous Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Intercontinental and other hotels and wedding businesses have attended and trained their employees on not only how same-sex weddings are good for business, but how to market and the traditions and language same-sex couples use.

Bernadette Smith, Founder of 14 Stories, started her business in 2004, when marriage equality first came to Massachusetts. She wanted to be an advocate for same-sex couples that could face discrimination and challenges navigating a traditional industry. She started the Gay Wedding Institute in order to make sure all couples feel safe, welcome and included when planning their wedding.

Bernadette believes in equal rights for all people, including LGBTQ people who still struggle with a lack of basic protections in many places in the world and in our own country. While she is helping to change one particular industry (the wedding industry), it has a big ripple effect on people’s lives. She’s helping LGBTQ people while at the same time, helping businesses grow. We see this as a win-win for everyone involved and a synergy between what Pridezillas continues to create with our welcoming and thoughtful wedding vendors. While conversing with our vendors we receive many of the questions this program can answer and assist with when planning and working with same-sex couples.

Held at hotel venues but also at local galleries and other event spaces, her seminars typically consists of wedding officiants, wedding photographers, DJ’s and wedding planner and more. Besides live, in person courses, 14 Stories offers a webinar and self-guided course. These courses count toward 7 hours of the industry certification: NACE CPCE.

The course is taught live, as a webinar and in a self-guide course and covers the following content and ranges in price from $299-$449:

* The financial impact of the gay and lesbian wedding market
* Language and terminology
* Laws that affect same-sex couples
* Differences between straight and gay weddings
* How to be an advocate for your client
* Marketing to engaged same-sex couples
* Same-sex wedding traditions

When asked what she likes most about what she does and what inspires her, Bernadette told us it’s the emails from wedding vendors that thank her for preparing them to support same-sex couples in their community but that also help strengthen their own personal relationships with LGBT members inside their own families and network of friends. Bernadette loves making a difference in the world, not just for small businesses, but also for families.

For more info on how to get your organization trained and certified to work with same-sex couples, or to find out more, start here.