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LGBT wedding expo held at Holiday Inn
by Jon Putnam
2012-03-28

This article shared 2 times since Wed Mar 28, 2012
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With increasing numbers of same-sex couples taking advantage of the Illinois civil union law, many businesses that previously catered only to straight clients are now marketing themselves to the LGBT community.

Hence the 4th Annual Chicago LGBT Wedding Expo, which took place March 25 at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza.

Co-presented by RainbowWeddingNetwork.com and Equality Illinois, the expo featured more than two dozen vendors offering a variety of products and services to marriage-minded couples—from balloons, flowers and wedding rings to modified Tupperware parties that substitute flavored lubricants, massage oils and edible body powders.

Louie and Tom, a couple from west suburban Addison, have not decided on a venue or even a date for their wedding. In their early thirties, the men have been together for four years but are in the beginning stages of wedding planning.

"Coming to the expo is where we're trying to get our ideas," Tom explained.

One thing the couple know they want is an interfaith ceremony: Louie is Catholic, while Tom is Greek Orthodox.

Crystal, 26, was not able to lure her fiancée to the expo ( "Too girly for her" ) , but she did bring her future maid of honor, Sarah. Crystal is looking for someone to officiate at the ceremony, which will take place February 1, 2013 at the historic Joliet Union Station. About 120 guests have been invited, including the families of both women.

"We're looking at [ a ceremony ] that's non-faith-based but has a lot of emotional significance for us," Crystal explained, while adding that "for all intents and purposes, it's very much a traditional wedding."

The lesbian-owned Rainbow Wedding Network has produced more than 50 "Same Love, Same Rights" expos in 19 states.


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