Second Annual Love is Proud Show
When Angie first explained the origin of the Love is Proud wedding show to me; I was surprised to learn that it is still so hard for LGTBQ+ couples to find vendors that support inclusion, and that there are still so many couples that are turned away by non-inclusive vendors. It was immediately obvious to me that I would be taking her up on the offer to job-shadow her in the week leading up to the event. I would never want to employ a vendor, or service that I couldn’t recommend to all of my friends, regardless of their sexual orientation or preference, and was honoured to be able to learn more about event planning, while supporting such an important event.
The second edition of the ITM Events Love is Proud Wedding Show kicked off with a bang on March 4th, 2017, at the Centurion Centre, when the event’s emcee Mz. Horizon welcomed the lively crowd, and introduced Special Guest Speaker Gay Groom Robert. Taking a page out of his own book The Gay Grooms Guide: To Planning Your Perfect Wedding Without Losing Your Mind; Robert charmed the crowd with anecdotes of planning his wedding, as well as the reactions from his conservative family and friends, all of whom described the day as “the best wedding I’ve ever been to.”
The day continued with a Newlywed Game, which saw winners Rachel & Kate going home with a private Tour and Tasting for 10 people from show sponsor, Mill Street Brewery. Lucky girls, that’s such a great treat!
Also going home with a little extra from the day were Pop-Up Weddings – Married in The Moment’s contest winners Adam and Jessie, who will receive a pop-up wedding ceremony in July 2017, and were presented their prize by Angela of ITM Events, Julie Keon Life Cycle Celebrant, and Elenora of J E M M A N | photography.
Up next was the Wedding Professional Speaker Panel featuring Special Guest Robert E. Blackmon (Gay Groom Robert), Elenora Luberto of J E M M A N | photography, Alan Viau – officiant, Jamie Roy of Acanthus Floral & Botanicals, Amanda Powell of The Gathering Event Company and KP Proulx of Centurion Conference & Event Centre. This speaker panel was such a great touch to the day, each of the professionals offered great advice and tips to guests, and thanks to technology – to those at home as well; the entire panel was live streamed on social media.
I enjoyed how each of the speakers included pointers for all budgets; with Amanda emphasizing the “day-of” coordinator that allows a couple to plan their own wedding – if they are on a budget, or enjoy the planning process – and still enjoy their day without having to worry about meeting vendors, or stressing about the décor and set up. Alan advised that a wedding planner is integral to the day because the planner has the couple in mind, while a venue coordinator will have the venue and vendors in mind.
Rounding out the day were Food Trends with KP from the Centurion Conference & Event Centre, and Cocktail Trends with Mixologist Katherine from Social Restaurant & Lounge. Both continued to entertain the crowd with the most popular food & drink trends.
Never to be forgotten are the 38 wedding professionals/vendors onsite, who created timelessly beautiful, and yet still innovative booths, and table displays. There were an array of photographers, venues, bakers, florists, designers, and so many more. My favourite part of the day was chatting with the mother of a groom who was raving about how much she loved the show, and that it is so wonderful to have a place where her son wouldn’t have to worry whether the vendors are inclusive. She mentioned that her son and his partner had been to other shows, but they were much more comfortable at Love is Proud, knowing that they wouldn’t be turned away, or feel uncomfortable talking to any of the venders.
Thank you to all vendors, and sponsors for making the second annual Love is Proud Wedding Show a rousing success. The word around the floor was how much fun everyone was having, and how stunning all of the tables and booths were. It was clear that all of the vendors brought their best work! I can’t wait to see how Year 3 grows and transforms in 2018! Remember to “Keep Calm and Love Who You Want!”