Same Sex Wedding Business Symposium :: Presented by Life Design Event Planning

  Same Sex Wedding Business Symposium Invitation. Designed by Jill Lenius of Ali-Ink Designs

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a deep passion for marriage equality so with the recent changes in the laws federally Drew and I jumped on the opportunity to begin a conversation (as Angela would say) about how to work with same-sex couples when assisting with their wedding plans. We sent out a press release and were hit with dozens of calls from potential attendees and the media. Here's an example of one article written by FrontDoor News about us :: "Debunking the Myths of Same Sex Marriages" is here (photo in article by Largo Photography).

One of our first calls was to the awesome venue in old town Scottsdale, Arizona called The Clayton on the Park. Jane, the owner, jumped on the opportunity to offer the venue as a location for the symposium, for which we are so thankful. I hope that more people have more events there because Jane and her staff are amazing...not to mention their in-house caterer did a fantastic job!

Love the blank palate at Clayton on the Park in Scottsdale

Custom Drawn Chalkboard drawn by Jennifer Schmitt, calligrapher

So, in the almost 8 years we have been in business we've yet to truly document our thoughts and experiences working with the LGBT community. It took hours and hours of talking and organizing between me, Drew, and the Life Design Event Planning team. We asked that some of the words during our brainstorming sessions be thrown up on a chalkboard to show the similarities and the differences in the language used when planning a same-sex versus a hetero wedding.  We found it ironic (or perhaps, not) that many of the same words are used in the hetero and same-sex wedding planning communities. Catch my drift yet?

Beverage Station

The beautiful and big time supporter of the LGBT community, Kym Ventola of Kym Ventola Photographer arrives to soak in whatever else she can learn about serving the gay and lesbian community.

Presentation Cards Ali Ink Design

Floral donated by Fiori Floral Design

A little basic math.

Out of the many here are a few other beautiful paper products provided by Jill Lenius of Ali-Ink Designs.

Presenters, Cicely Rocha-Miller and Drew Coleman of Life Design Event Planning

With a lot of passion and a few laughs (and maybe a few...just a few cuss words...sorry mom and dad) we shared and talked with our guest attendees about working with the LGBT community when planning weddings.

Drew Coleman of Life Design Event Planning hitting the ground hard with facts about Same Sex marriage.

Cicely and Drew already getting laughs from the guests in attendance.

We showed films (including a preview to a short documentary we are filming with Vongspoth) which helped showcase some of the work that was being done in the community.  We even got the opportunity to show a video trailer of a gay wedding to our guests. There wasn't a dry eye in the room.

Chocolate covered potato chips and pop corn during movie time??? YES!

David Twigger, Angela Hughey, Nelson Villamon and Melanie Puskar-Blakely presenting and answering questions from our guest attendees.

So many questions were raised to our panel and it was exciting to see the spark ignited within our attendees.

Delicious food provided by Clayton on the Park,

Food by Clayton on the Park

The amazing list of sponsors.

Thank you so much to the sponsors that believed in our goal and supported us every step of the way. The room was packed and it seems that there is demand for us to present again. We are in the beginning stages of planning a location for the next symposium but if  you're interested in receiving communication about it email our Studio Queen, Molly Bryant at (or comment below) if you'd like to be on the invitation list. We maxed out at 50 guests for this round and in the future we will make these events even smaller. It's important for the experience to be intimate and comfortable for our guests and the participants.

Here are a few quotes about what the attendees said about the symposium.

"Thought provoking and informational" - The Clayton on the Park

"Do not miss this event" - Distinctive Event Productions

"Everyone was open + honest and answered even our newby questions! Thanks!" - Cyndi Hardy Photography

"The room was filled with so much love and support and I'm honored to be able to be a part of it." - Living Energy Events and Productions

"If you are wanting to be progressive in the LGBT wedding movement this is a great place to start." The R2 Studio

"The symposium really opened my eyes on how we can open ourselves up to embrace everyone in the wedding industry" - Social Station

"Enlightened + Inspired + Compassionate" - Anonymous

 "So important and so very necessary!" - Opus Fromus

"Very informative and educational. Helps you get an inside look from the couples point of few" - DeAtley Events + Design

"Education is important. This is a different market that as business professionals we need to be educated and open to." Anonymous

One last time I wanted to thank the attendees for making it a priority to attend this and for trusting us as the Gay and Lesbian Wedding Planning Experts! We are now coining ourselves as "Modern Union Experts" because we'll find out at the next symposium.

Vongspoth :: Cinematography of documentary, gay wedding and of the event.

Fiori Floral Design :: Event Floral (and shot the pictures above, THANKS GINA!)

Chameleon Chair Collection :: Chair Pad Covers

Classic Party Rentals :: Tables and Linens

Jennifer, Schmitt, calligrapher ( :: Chalkboard Design

The Clayton on the Park :: Venue, Chairs, Catering, Beverage Host, Awesomeness

Ali Ink Custom Invitations and Stationery :: Invitation and all things paper

Modern Wedding Scenes :: Projector

HERO :: Panel + Community Resource

One Community :: Panel + Community Resource

Also thank you to David and Nelson for being a part of the panel as well!

If you are a vendor and you'd like to support the next symposium please email me at We'd love any assistant possible to make this as amazing for all involved!

Alright, I guess I have chatted your ear off long enough. Thank you again for your support and we look forward to doing this again really soon!

With all that Life has to offer,


Cicely Rocha.Miller // Event Consultant // Life Design Event Planning // Phoenix + Minneapolis