Gay Weddings

Cinci, Ohio wedding venues

My girl and I have been together 12 years, and she's mentioned getting married several times.  I've always resisted, citing the "it's not really legal, so why?" issue.  However, I love her and realize this is very important to her, so I'm beginning to change my thinking.  We live in Cincinnati, OH area, where it's not legal.  Any suggestions?  I'm seriously stumped on this one.

Thanks for all help,and good luck to all the couples at The Knot!

Re: Cinci, Ohio wedding venues

  • The first question is whether you want a wedding that is legally recognized in another state, even if it isn't recognized (yet) in Ohio.  The advantage of that is that if Ohio ever recognizes same-sex marriage, or if you ever move to a state that does, your marriage will be retroactively recognized.  The disadvantage is that so long as you live in a state that doesn't recognize your marriage, you can never get a divorce.  While no one likes to think of divorce as a possibility, it is something you have to bear in mind.

    If you want to get married legally, the closest state in which you could do it is Iowa.  What we (and several other couples we know) did was to have a very small ceremony in a state in which it is legal, followed by a much larger reception back home.  However, you could choose to have the whole thing in Iowa.  Or you could basically treat everything in Iowa as just paperwork, and have some sort of ceremony back in Ohio before or after your legal ceremony.

    As far as the Ohio part goes, I would check your local Ohio board (see "Local Wedding Boards" on the left).  In any area that does not have same-sex marriage, many vendors will never have been asked to provide services to a same-sex wedding, so you probably won't find a list of "gay friendly" vendors.  However, if you get recommendations of good vendors, you can call those people up and ask about their willingness to deal with a same-sex couple.  You can tell a lot from their reaction.

    Good luck, and happy planning!
  • I am also in Cincinnati and planning a ceremony for this October at the Bell Event Center downtown. They have been very welcoming although I don't think they get a lot of gay couples. They did say they've done gay weddings before, though, so at least we're not the first! I will say that we have been pleasantly surprised at the reception we've gotten from vendors so far. We want to the Wendy's bridal show at the Duke convention center this past weekend and again, I think it's safe to say we are not the typical customers by far, but people got it right away as soon as we introduced ourselves and said "we're getting married in October and we're looking at..." and so on. We just presented ourselves and confident and friendly and it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared it might be. After all, for people in the wedding business it's just not smart to ignore a whole potential demographic of customers. Even though it's not legal here yet, I don't see that as a good reason to not have a wedding if you want one. We're planning to get married legally in New York or California maybe, depending on where we choose to go for the honeymoon.
  • The Center would be a neat place to check out. They  are a brand new facility, very modern and their staff is very inviting. They are brand new to the event business so their prices are reasonable right now.

    They've only done a handful of events since they just opened in October - it would make the ceremony even more unique.

    Good luck!!

  • Hey everyone. I'm in the same boat too. I think we're going to have the ceremony and reception in the Cincinnati area and do the "paperwork" in a state where it is legal. Just an FYI, Illinois doesn't have marriage but the have civil unions with ALL of the rights given. (according to HRC).

    David's Bridal in Kenwood was great to us. Kinda scared how the rest of the vendor appointments go. I do have a makeup artist though! LOL
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Also, does anyone have photographer recommendations???
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • One of my favorite places I've photographed weddings at is the Leapin' Lizard in Covington! It's super goregeous and you wont have to worry about your guest traveling that day.

    btw, I know vendors aren't allowed here, but I am a Wedding Photographer who photographs LGBT Couples, bu since it's not legal in Cincy I've not had the chance to photograph a wedding here. Any questions contact me at [email protected]

    PLEASE DON'T FLAG! Other people may be looking for a photographer who supports LGBT couples too!

  • Hey ladies. I would try also posting this on the Cincy board if you have not. There are a lot of places that people may be able to recommend to you. Sadly our constitution says that marriage is illegal but there are great places to have a ceremony and you'll be able to find more wedding vendor recommendations!
  • sggeigersggeiger member
    edited July 2012
    Hey ladies! It's been a long time since I posted above but I just wanted to share that the planning has been going great and we've continued to get a great response from pretty much all of our vendors.

    For photographers I can recommend Nikita Gross (, who is not only amazingly talented and super gay friendly, but a very cool person too. We've booked Rachel from Brideface for our makeup and she was very excited to be working with two brides. Everyone from Brideface I've worked with has been great.

    But the biggest thing we discovered is that making a wedding website here on The Knot has helped A LOT. We made a very diplomatic FAQ/Gay Wedding Etiquette page and printed the web address and a short description on a fancy business card and included that in the Save-the-Dates. My finacee is a minister and so I think a lot of people (like family and more extended connections) weren't sure what to make of it, so the FAQ was a chance to do a lot of educating without having to have the same conversations a million times! There are also a lot of people who just wouldn't ask and would never understand otherwise, but they were curious enough to pull up the website and read what we had to say. As a result people are getting really excited, even more than we expected, and I think they think it's kind of neat that they get to go to a gay wedding.

    I realize how lucky we are and that a lot of people are maybe struggling in ways that we're not, but I just wanted to share a positive experience and to say that things really are getting better by leaps and bounds all the time.

    If you want to read the FAQ for ideas or even to share it as is if you think it would help, then by all means you are welcome to! We've had people forward it to friends and people we don't even know to help them understand.

    FAQ/Gay Wedding Etiquette:

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