Vancouver's first LGBT wedding show champions inclusivity

When two friends met at a wedding show last spring, they noticed something was amiss.

The Union LGBT+ wedding show is the first of its kind in Western Canada

Belle Ancell and Cristie Rosling said they decided to put on an LGBT wedding show after hearing from clients that not all wedding vendors are friendly to same-sex couples. (Sara Rogers Photography )

When event planner Cristie Rosling and photographer Belle Ancell first decided to put on a wedding show with same-sex couples in mind, they didn't realize just how unique their event would be.

The show, which promises to "showcase LGBT-positive wedding professionals in an inclusive and fabulous environment," is the first of its kind in western Canada.

"I can't believe no one thought of it before," Ancell said.

The two friends met at a wedding show in the spring and said they were surprised by the lack of the diversity.

They had also heard from clients that not all wedding vendors are welcoming to LGBT couples.

"We just listened to stories from people in our industries and from couples who had been planning their wedding, and we heard about them feeling uncomfortable in some situations where wedding vendors weren't entirely accepting, or just didn't get it," Rosling said. 

'Anyone can come'

Six months later and the two friends are putting on western Canada's first LGBT wedding show.

The Union LGBT+ wedding show at Vancouver Beamont Studios will showcase LGBT-friendly vendors and local designers, including  North Vancouver clothing company Peau du Loup, which specializes in designing traditionally masculine silhouettes tailored for women's bodies.

Peau du Loup will also debut their first wedding line at the event.

Rosling and Ancell said they hope the event will attract a diverse crowd, and that everyone should feel welcome. 

"Anyone can come to the show who wants to plan a wedding or even if they're just curious about it, one of our vision statements was to create a really comfortable, inclusive environment," Rosling said.

The friends — turned business partners — said they hope the event will become an annual Vancouver tradition.