After winning the right to marry last June, same-sex couples were faced with what may be an even more daunting task – wedding planning. But Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and the Brooklyn Community Pride Center (BCPC), made preparing for the big day a little bit easier. On Sunday, January 15th, Brooklyn Borough Hall opened its doors to the first annual LGBTQ Wedding Expo.
“I am thrilled that Brooklyn—proud home of everyone from everywhere is the location of the first ever major expo of its kind in New York City,” Markowitz wrote in a press release. “Marty’s advocacy is really the reason this came about,” said organizer Daniel Brooks of the BCPC.
At the Expo, future brides and grooms shopped for everything and anything wedding-related. Over 75 vendors were present, including jewelers, florists, bakeries, bridal boutiques, and more. Borough Hall was decked out in rainbow-colored banners and balloons for the occasion. “The community really rallied to make this space beautiful,” Brooks said. “Borough Hall got a whole new make-over.”
“I’m amazed by the spirit of the vendors,” Brooks continued. “They’re truly here because they want to support and help us.” Brooks noted that several of the vendors had histories of showing significant support for the LGBT community.
The majority of vendors were borough-based, including Sposabella Couture bridal shop, which hosted its grand opening in Park Slope only days after New York legalized same sex marriage.
“I thought if Brooklyn’s opening their doors [to gay couples], then why not me?” said Alice Sena, owner of Sposabella Couture. “So many other [wedding boutiques] aren’t interested in helping gay and lesbian couples. We welcome them with open arms.”
Besides watching the Expo’s transgender Fashion Show Gala, couples perused Borough Hall planning their futures together. They sampled wedding cakes, admired floral arrangements, and even spoke with a travel agent to design their honeymoon package.
“Everybody here’s been so welcoming—I hope it happens next year,” said Williamsburg resident Natasha. Although she and her partner don’t expect to marry for 2 or 3 years, she said, “Now is a great time to plan and get inspired.”
Proceeds from the Expo will fund Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s new capital building, to be located downtown. “We’re hoping to get a permanent space this year,” said President Tom Smith of the BCPC. “This is been a big day for the [LGBT] community and the Brooklyn Community Pride Center!”
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