February 7, 2016


Leading industry experts Kathryn Hamm of GayWeddings.com, Bernadette Smith of Gay Wedding Institute, and journalist Steven Petrow will serve as panelists with moderator and GayWeddings.com Content Manager, Whitney Teal, for a discussion at wedding industry conference, WeddingWire World. The discussion will focus on same-sex marriage and how the landscape has changed since the historic Supreme Court ruling last June at WeddingWire World.

Kathryn Hamm, Publisher, GayWeddings.com and Education Expert, WeddingWire
Bernadette Smith, Founder and President of 14 Stories and the Gay Wedding Institute (GWI)
Steven Petrow, journalist and writer of the “Civilities” column for the Washington Post,“Digital Life” for USA Today, Hilton’s Modern Manners Expert
Whitney Teal, Content Manager, GayWeddings.com

The panelists will discuss the leading perspectives on how marriage equality has influenced the wedding market, how the legal landscape effects how professionals reach same-sex couples, and what wedding and event professionals can do to personalize their services to same-sex couples.

“Following last year’s historic Supreme Court ruling, marriage and weddings represent a brave new world of unchartered territory for lots of LGBTQ-identified couples and wedding and event professionals,” said Whitney Teal, Content Manager, GayWeddings.com and panel moderator. “There simply are not more experienced, passionate and knowledgeable education experts than Kathryn, Bernadette and Steven to help guide these professionals in understanding these nuances.”

WeddingWire World at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (Hall D), Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 1:45pm

About Kathryn Hamm: Kathryn is the Publisher of GayWeddings.com, an Education Expert for WeddingWire, co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love (Amphoto, 2014), and contributor for the Huffington Post and WeddingWireEDU. Raised in Dallas, Texas, she received an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Princeton University and a master’s degree in Social Work from the Catholic University of America. Kathryn’s 1999 wedding to her partner, Amy Walter, served as a catalyst for her straight-mother’s inspiration for starting GayWeddings.com – the first resource of its kind in the market. In 2013, after twenty years together, Kathryn and Amy got legally married in D.C. with their young son serving as Best Man.

About Bernadette Smith: Bernadette Smith is founder and president of 14 Stories and the Gay Wedding Institute (GWI), and award-winning author of three books, including The Business of Gay Weddings: A Guide for Wedding Professionals. 14 Stories, the nation’s leading same-sex wedding planning company, has produced hundreds of gay and lesbian weddings with couples from around the world. Through the GWI, Bernadette has trained thousands of wedding and hospitality professionals on sales and marketing best practices to same-sex couples.
Bernadette’s expertise has been sought after by the Today Show, National Public Radio, the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Travel and Leisure among others.

About Steven Petrow: Steven Petrow is a respected journalist and the go-to source for modern manners, as cited by The New York Times, People, Time and NPR. Known as “Mr. Manners,” his insightful advice has made him a nationally recognized expert. In addition to his five published books (including “The New Gay Wedding”), Petrow writes the “Civilities ” column for the Washington Post as well as “Digital Life” for USA Today. He’s also Hilton’s Modern Manners Expert.

About WeddingWire
WeddingWire, Inc. is the leading global online marketplace connecting consumers with event and creative professionals. Operating within a $200 billion industry, WeddingWire, Inc. hosts 10 million monthly unique users across its mobile and web platforms. Consumers are able to read over 2.5 million vendor reviews and search, compare and book from a database of over 400,000 businesses. Globally, it provides these businesses the technology they need to serve their clients through advertising, marketing and business management tools such as websites, payment processing, invoicing and contracts. Founded in 2007, the WeddingWire portfolio of sites serves couples and businesses across 14 countries in North America, Latin America and Europe, making it the worldwide leader in weddings with brands including Bodas.net, Casamentos.com.br, Matrimonio.com and more. The company employs more than 750 and maintains global headquarters in Washington, DC and international headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

About GayWeddings.com
GayWeddings.com is the leading wedding planning resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) couples, dedicated to providing wedding planning information and inspiration since 1999. Originally founded as first-of-its-kind online boutiques by a straight mother who couldn’t find resources for her lesbian daughter’s wedding, GayWeddings.com has grown to include the industry’s most comprehensive database of over 130,000 LGBTQ-friendly wedding professionals and become a nationally acclaimed educational and media resource for same-sex weddings. In 2015, WeddingWire acquired GayWeddings.com. The same year, the site played an influential role in supporting its parent company in earning a perfect score and top rating as a “Best Place To Work For LGBT Equality” from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) *