Wedding Unveiled bridal magazine rejected an ad from photographer because it contained a photo of two brides getting married, rather than a bride and a groom. Photographer Anne Almsey, a straight women, shot the photo of the two brides hoping to help the wedding industry in evolving towards acceptance of the LGBT community.
After the ad was rejected from Wedding Unveiled, the photographer spoke up about her reasons for the photoshoot and why she chose a lesbian couple as her subject. She also expressed her disappointment in Wedding Unveiled’s choice to turn down the advertisement. Almsey wrote a blog post in response to the ad rejection, claiming that she did not want to advertise to the “gay community” but she wanted to normalize the act of marriage for gay couples. She stated “I wanted to publish a photo that says something about me as a photographer; about my philosophy; about my heart for photographing these momentous (and often wonderfully ridiculous) celebrations.” She did not think that that meant choosing between a gay or straight couple, but rather a picture of love, joy, and comfort. Although other publications could have picked up her ad, she explained, “But I chose Weddings Unveiled because I’m not trying to advertise to “the gay community.” I’m advertising to couples who are getting married. This couple didn’t get “gay married.” They didn’t have a “gay wedding.” They got married. They had a wedding. They share their lives, their joys and sorrows, and all the mundane daily things that we all share with our partners. They are just people. In love. Committed to one another.”
Since the blog post was submitted, the ad has gained a vast amount of attention. A recent study showed that over 68% of the American Population supported same sex marriage. So why is wedding advertisement for the “gay community” still an issue? For many in the wedding industry it is hard to market to same sex couples without alienating the straight audience. The balancing act of the advertising industry allows for executives to make hard decisions that may, like this instance, cause a backlash. Wedding Unveiled responded to the blog post with a formal apology, “The issue is very sensitive and it is also very divided. We knew that it was possible that people would be offended if we published the ad and we knew that it was possible that people would be offended if we did not. We are so sorry that we acted out of fear and uncertainty. We had never been faced with such a decision and we should have acted with our hearts.”
Although the issue of same sex marriage is disintegrating within our own generation, still, there are examples of businesses that would rather not support gay weddings. For example, the bakery in Oregon that refused a wedding cake to a lesbian couple. The exclusion of the LBGT community within the wedding industry is sensitive subject that exposes the discrimination still present in our society.