If you follow us on Instagram, you'll notice Pride Month is a big deal around here. Last month, the benton buckley books crew flew out to Denver for a book-signing event for Love Is Love. We teamed up with our author-contributors Wanda Bonner of Blue Linden Weddings & Events and Alison MacLean of Alison Rose Photography for a panel discussion at the LoDo location of the Tattered Cover. The panel was joined by other local wedding industry professionals, Lindsay Culkin of Fairytale Floral and Tony Cummins of Sound Master Entertainment, as well as married same-sex couple Aquino and Brian, previous clients of Alison's. Armed with some pre-written questions for our speakers, throughout the two-hour event we fortunately only had to refer to them sparingly—both our audience and speakers posed their own excellent questions and bounced topics and conversations off each other with ease. Rather than it being a stiff Q&A, it flowed throughout our panel forum, answers sometimes stemming new questions, audience members chiming in, speakers adding and contributing to another's thought. It was a safe space to discuss openly with members of a community, to find reassurance and acceptance.
Once we had run out of questions, it was time for the book-signing. It was something that felt partly like a celebrity event and the other part like signing yearbooks between best friends; those from the audience and the panel comingled together, discussing topics that hadn't been covered or generally gushing about the book and the beautiful weddings featured within. There was a giddiness bubbling out from everyone, a lightness in the air that caused everyone to have a smile on their faces.
Not only was this event eye-opening for some of our audience members, but, in some cases, for our contributors and even ourselves. In a room of people who didn't know each other or had only met via email, we were able to come together and speak on something we all believed in, adding our own voices and position; to grow and learn from the other. Certainly, the wedding industry is changing and adapting, and with it people's perceptions. If we learned anything at the end of the day, it's that we want to know how to address a person by their chosen pronouns, we want to know their appropriate wedding traditions, we want to learn and we want to be accommodating. At the end of the day, love really is love, and it showed that night amongst all our new friends.