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I Want Those Using Their Talents to Participate in My Wedding to Celebrate with Us

“Thank you for letting us be a part of your special day!”

If you’ve planned a wedding, you’ve probably heard this phrase.

I recently got engaged, and as I’ve made preparations – from booking the photographer to the cake artist – each one has let me know they want to do everything they can to bring to life the celebration of our wedding. They’ve all expressed what a privilege it is that we would choose them to be a part of one of the most important days of our lives.

Not until I started wedding planning did I truly understand the situation our clients like cake artist Jack Phillips and floral artist Barronelle Stutzman faced when asked to provide their custom art to celebrate a same-sex wedding.

As a bride, it’s important to me that the creative professionals helping me celebrate my wedding are excited about my wedding and want to use all of their talents to bring me and my fiancé’s vision for our wedding day to life.

Many of these photographers, cake artists, and florists specifically advertise, and even require, a sit-down meeting to get to know me and my fiancé. That way, they can understand how best to tailor their craft to our wedding. In meetings with them, my fiancé and I have been asked about how we met, where we’re from, how long we’ve been dating, in addition to the general questions about our wedding ideas.

This is true of many creative professionals in the wedding industry, including Barronelle and Jack. If you look at their websites and read their advertisements and reviews, it’s clear that these artists specialize in celebrating weddings with their talents.

But artists cannot express every message and celebrate every event that is asked of them. That’s why when Barronelle and Jack were asked to use their artistic talents to celebrate a same-sex wedding, they had to politely decline. As Christians, they believe marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman and that using their artistic talents to celebrate something contrary to that would go against their conscience.

The people we’ve hired are a part of our wedding. I’ve shared with them my ideas and vision, they understand me and my fiancé’s personalities, and they’ve made suggestions and shaped our thinking about how to celebrate our wedding. That relationship is part of what will make our wedding special and unique.

The creative professionals that I’ve hired are going to be involved in celebrating my union.

Their art and craft exists to do just that.

Jack’s case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on December 5. And Barronelle’s case is also pending before the Supreme Court. To stay up to date on their cases and others like them, sign up for our newsletter.

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Natalie Wyman

Legal Assistant I

Natalie worked as a lobbyist at the Family Foundation of Virginia and a grassroots associate at Heritage Action for America before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

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