What LGBTQIA+ Couples Should Be Aware of When Booking Their Weddings and Honeymoons

Safety is of utmost importance for all couples celebrating their love.
photo collage of couple in front of rainbow flag and map
Images by Getty | Design: Tiana Crispino
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Deputy Editor
  • Esther is the Deputy Editor of The Knot. She currently leads all content on The Knot Wellness, focusing on financial, relationship, and mental wellbeing.
  • She oversees The Knot's travel vertical (honeymoons, destination weddings, bach parties), as well as overarching features and trends.
  • She proudly serves on the Advisory Council of VOW For Girls, focusing on ending the injustice of child marriage around the world.
Updated May 22, 2024

This piece has been reviewed and fact-checked by Kirsten Palladino, an inclusivity consultant and the cofounder of Equally Wed.

The landscape of the law is changing across not only the US, but the rest of the world. For LGBTQ+ couples, this means that their love is either widely accepted and celebrated, or scrutinized by government officials, policy makers, corporate entities, civilians and entire destinations (including countries, states and cities). The lack of tolerance creates a layer of stress for those directly affected, as well as their loved ones, especially as policies and local laws evolve globally.

For those planning their weddings and honeymoons, the last few years have been especially fraught: the Supreme Court's July 2023 decision to side with a Colorado website designer now may protect creatives, like her, who refuse services to LGBTQ+ couples based on asserted First Amendment rights. This could cascade across the wedding planning experience. Other vendors, like the designer in 303 Creative, who preemptively filed a suit to prevent the state of Colorado from forcing her to create wedding websites for LGBTQ+ couples, could withhold their services to couples based on their sexual orientation, their physical abilities, their religious beliefs, cultural backgrounds and more.

In our rapidly changing world, even states and local government officials have made their voices heard. In some instances, the outright booming dialogue of bigotry is received loud and clear, prompting recipients of intolerance to reconsider decisions, like where they reside and where they choose to visit. One example is former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, who recently made the decision to move their family from Florida to California. Wade, a Hall of Fame basketball player who committed his professional athletic career to the Miami Heat, and Union elaborated that they no longer felt as though their home state protected their teenage daughter, Zaya, who in 2020 came out as transgender.

Like other families, the couple's decision has been fueled by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' since-settled "Don't Say Gay" law and comments disparaging LGBTQ+ people. The evolving and polarizing political atmosphere in states like Florida (and other parts of the US) continue to spark concern, not only among voters and civilians, but entire corporate entities. Florida is one of many examples among destinations that have created or are now creating a hostile atmosphere for LGBTQ+ couples. Some nations ban same-sex marriage and dozens even ban same-sex relations. According to Human Rights Watch, 67 countries currently have laws criminalizing same-sex relations among consenting adults. Nine countries criminalize transgender or gender-fluid expression.

When it comes to equality for all, The Knot believes love is love and supports all marriages. Not just certain marriages, but love for all.

What Every Couple Should Do Before Booking a Destination or Vendor

If you're engaged and wedding planning with your partner, we encourage you to research destinations and vendors prior to booking your nuptials and/or honeymoon. If you've experienced a vendor engaging in suspected discriminatory behavior and this business is listed on The Knot Vendor Marketplace, email help@theknotww.com to report a suspected violation of our non-discrimination policy.

In addition, our team does our best to stay on top of restrictions and the changing legal landscape, but we cannot guarantee that every article and piece is updated to reflect these rapidly evolving policies. As public sentiment and legal repercussions continue to evolve globally, we encourage all couples to explore the Equality Index before booking a trip, elopement, ceremony or reception at a given destination. This resource lists the most LGBTQ+-friendly destinations in the world, based on laws and rights; it also points out the most hostile nations toward LGBTQ+ people.

Read more about The Knot Worldwide's commitment to inclusivity.

The Knot Worldwide welcomes all people and stands by our core value of inclusivity.

By partnering with The Knot Worldwide, our partners are agreeing to serve all people to the best of their ability. As a private business that is open to all, we strive to promote services that are also open to everyone. We believe that The Knot Worldwide community can foster empathy and understanding across all cultures. We are proud to facilitate a community representing a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and customs.

We believe celebrations can serve as a force for good, by bringing people together and building connections across cultures and geographies. In order to do this, we must advocate for inclusivity, ultimately strengthening the future of celebrations.

Varying Legalities:

The Knot Worldwide recognizes that laws vary around the world and may require distinctions based on factors such as religion, birth-assigned sex, gender identity, [gender expression], marital status or sexual orientation. We do not require partners to violate local laws or take actions that may subject them to legal liability.

We are dedicated to powering all celebrations and serving as a trusted advisor by providing our users with resources and recommendations to preserve and defend their personal safety and fundamental human rights.

We encourage all users to explore the Equality Index before booking a service with a vendor.

Religious Services:

We deeply respect everyone's right to practice their religion. We understand that certain religious services provided by officiants or religious venues such as churches, synagogues, mosques and similar houses of worship may be limited to individuals who practice the same religion as that religious service. However, we believe that all couples should be served equally and do not condone discrimination based on factors such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, [gender expression], sexual orientation or other protected characteristics. Vendors are expected to clearly disclose when their services are religious and are required to serve all couples equally.

As a resource, we encourage users to reference the Human Rights Campaign Faith Equality Guide.

For more information, please reference the nondiscrimination policies contained in our Terms of Use.

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