The story of how we started Diverse Weddings, an LGBTQ+ wedding destination business
In the beginning of 2019, I was having coffee with Nikole Amerling (Diverse Wedding´s Lawyer and Notary Public) and we were talking of how much fun it was celebrating 2 or more weddings together on weekends. It had a lot of logistics and planning, but in the end of the day our clients were happily married and for us, we were proud and satisfied of every production…
Suddenly, I just thought “LGBTQ+ weddings will be legal on 2020, let´s use all of our wedding know-how and legal expertise by doing destination weddings, and create a business that´s focused in catering exclusively destination weddings for the gay and lesbian community”
A month later, Laura Villalobos joined us with and started creating the company´s corporate image as well as a marketing plan and roadmap. On May 2019, we started creating alliances and building a relationship with LGBTQ+ friendly vendors only.
We were part of Si Acepto, a national campaign that pretends to create awareness in terms of equality, respect and dignity with a series of television ads, billboards, radio spots and publicity. We participated in the launch at Cine Magaly and many other activities, were we had the chance to connect with friends and create significative partnerships, in order to support the LGBTQ+ community.
In the meantime, we still had some months to work on our business, until May 26th 2020 arrived, the day that same-sex marriage in Costa Rica was legal, so we focused our energies in creating brand awareness and increasing the vendor catalogue that includes hotels, properties, photographers, musicians and many more.
Two months before May, Coronavirus COVID-19 was confirmed in Costa Rica and we had to reinvent ourselves and act fast, we made the decision of obtain the LGBTQ+ Inclusive Certification from Equally Wed Pro. With this certification, we acquired more tools and knowledge to offer the best services, as well as a better understanding of our client´s specific needs and wants, their concerns and being aware of how privacy and respect are the key for a successful wedding. From this moment we realized that our goal as a LGBTQ+ destination wedding service, was not only to create a memorable moment, but to educate collaborators and vendors in order to build a more inclusive society.
This has been an amazing path, we have met lovely couples that showed us that love is strong and real, but mainly calm and grateful. We have witnessed the spark on the couple´s eyes, when they say “THIS is the place”. Also we have laughed together and created a bond through a honest communication and connection.
I was a wedding planner for more than 12 years and during the 4 years I was away from the industry, but to be honest, I have never stopped dreaming about weddings… definitely my comeback last year was a great decision, even though our business is affected and the word´s situation has put a pause in everybody´s plans (and weddings are not an exception), we have not doubt that soon we will be able to celebrate again and continue with the plans we left on hold… For now, let´s keep in touch, keep dreaming about your LGBTQ+ wedding and keep safe!