A couple weeks ago we had the absolute honor of sitting on a panel at the HRC’s Capturing Love press event. I was invited by the super amazing Kathryn Hamm of GayWeddings.com and I could not have been more touched to have sat amongst her and some other amazing people in the LGBT & wedding communities. I also got to meet two amazing photographers in person, that I had only ever known online (eKate and Kat Forder! whatsssss up?!). Thanks to Kat Forder Photography for sharing some amazing images of this event. Truly an evening I will not forget any time soon.

Let’s Get Personal: Capturing Love Panel at the HRC Event Recap

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In addition to Kathryn (and her lovely wife, that had to play Kathryn’s voice that nice, due to Kathryn losing hers) and her co-author, Thea Dodds, I joined Kyle Mihalcoe of WeddingWire and Noel Gordon from the HRC. The panel was moderated by Jay Brown, the Director of Foundation Program Strategies at HRC.

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Though the main focus of the event was the launch of Kathryn & Thea’s new book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Weddings,Jay also led the panel into a greater discussion about the limitations of traditional notions of gender roles in wedding rituals and photography; the ways in which understanding the dynamics of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) couples can open new doors for straight couples; and how the mainstream industry is receiving this niche market.

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[Oh hey, I see a Maggie Winters Photography photo above!]

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Click inside for the rest of our recap!

Each one of us on the panel brought a completely different view to the table and I was so enthralled by each panel members’ responses and story. But I think what I loved the most, was getting to answer questions from the crowd on how we can push the wedding industry in DC to be better. More inclusive, more educated, and more open to learning and accepting. There was a vendor in attendance that was brave enough to admit, that her own wedding business website did not include inclusive language, and that she would take that for immediate action.

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I think the most powerful thing I took away from the event, was just everyone’s willingness to be open to learning and accepting that none of us were perfect when it comes to the LGBT community and weddings. We ALL have something to learn, there is always something we don’t know, and we ALL need to work harder to make the wedding scene (in DC and beyond) a place that is welcoming and accepting of all couples.

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I was a bit nervous but my husband re-assured me that my responses to Jay’s questions were OK. I wanted attendees to know that it’s important to me that this blog be an open, accepting, and HELPFUL resource for all DC area couples.

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All in all, the event was really amazing and I can’t thank Kathryn enough again for inviting me to be a part of it.

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