Gay Vanity Wedding Show, launched in San Francisco last year, is the country’s firstÂ wedding show fully dedicated to serving engaged gay couples. This year, this “Stylish Gay and Lesbian Wedding Event,” whichÂ spotlightsÂ the top gay owned and gay friendly Bay Area businesses, returns to San Francisco’s gorgeous and newly renovated Bently Reserve on Sunday, April 19th.
The dynamic duo behind Gay Vanity Wedding Show are the foundersÂ of Sullivan & Botello Events, Frederick Sullivan and Jaimie Botello who were also recently married.Â We got a chance to catch up with Fred to find out more about their innovativeÂ show.
IDOPR: What inspired you to create the Gay Vanity Wedding Show?
FS: We felt that there needed to be a connection betweenÂ the LGBTQ community and the wedding industry. We also wanted to highlight LGBTQ businesses and allies after doing several wedding shows where the same sex couples just seemed to be ducks out of the water.
Did you encounter any obstacles when you first started?
FS: Our biggest obstacle was that we had no tenure when it came to doing a LGBTQ wedding show. Another issue was bringing on our strategic partners and vendors as well as gaining their trust along with the LGBTQ community within the San Francisco Bay area.
What surprised you and what did you learn from your first event last year?
FS: Our biggest surprise was the huge response we got right away with the outpouring of exhibitors and attendees and how wonderful they felt to be a part of this epic event. Our biggest learning curve wasÂ developing relationships with our locally owned LGBTQ business and strategicÂ partners.
What should we look forward to seeing this year?
FS: This year is going to be absolutelyÂ over the top! We are challenged because of the amazing show we did last year and how do we top that? Well, you will need to come to the show and see because I can’t spoil the surpriseâ€¦.
How do you pick vendors to participate in the show?
FS: We have reached out to LGBTQ owned businesses. Also, as a sitting board member of the Golden Gate Business Association (America’s oldest and first chamber of commerce) I had direct access to pull from this group as well as reaching out to Gay Allied companies.
Have you thought about bringing the show elsewhere?
FS: Yes, we are currently working on taking the show nationwide. This wedding show experience truly is a far cry from the traditional wedding expos.
You also have your event planning business. Do you ever sleep?
FS: Sleep? Who needs that when you have so much to share making a couple’s dream day come true!