Local businesses join to provide free LGBT wedding/reception.
WICHITA -- When Liberty Press editor Kristi Parker first heard the idea, she was sold.
"I thought an LGBT Wedding Giveaway in Wichita would be so fun!" Parker said. "The Liberty Press hasn't done something like this before. Most of our contests and giveaways have been for tickets to events, so I thought our readers would be really excited."
Parker was first approached with the idea of giving away an LGBT wedding/reception through the Liberty Press back in February. Local developer and co-owner of Bokeh Development, Michael Ramsey, dreamed up the idea and immediately offered his downtown event venue as a reception space.
Located at 1st Street and Market in downtown Wichita, Candela is on the first floor of The Lux, which also features luxury apartments and retail space. Built in 1954, the building has unique features and mid-century modern architecture.
"Candela speaks to a time when design and function were celebrated, embodying style and class," Ramsey said. "As such, I thought Candela would be the perfect wedding/reception space for a unique couple."
Along with Ramsey, other local business owners were excited for the opportunity to support what may be Wichita's first wedding giveaway of its sort.
Shay Chic Events & Design will be providing professional wedding planning services; Larkspur Bistro & Bar will be providing complimentary catering services and/or a significant discount on food costs; Images by Kelsy will be providing photography coverage; Sound Advice Premiere Entertainment Services will be providing DJ entertainment; Monica's Bundt Cake will provide a complimentary sheet cake and/ or discount on a full wedding cake; and Espresso To Go Go will provide complimentary coffee beverages for the wedding party the morning of the event.
Although the various vendors have years of experience providing wedding services to a variety of couples--including LGBT couples--many are motivated to participate in the LGBT Wedding Giveaway to send a message.
"I've actually had LGBT couples ask me up front if I'm comfortable photographing their wedding," said Kelsy Gossett, owner of Images by Kelsy. "I assure each couple I work with that I'm excited and honored to be a part of their special day."
"My goal is for each couple to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible throughout the planning process," said Shannon Boone, owner of Shay Chic Events & Design. "This should be one of the happiest times in a couple's life. It's my job to take the stresses of wedding planning out of their hands so they can enjoy their big day."
The couple chosen for the LGBT Wedding Giveaway will have their wedding/reception on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 29 at Candela, utilizing the various participating vendors' services.
Couples in the Wichita area who are interested in entering for a chance to win the LGBT Wedding Giveaway may visit www.libertypress.net and submit their information by Tuesday, June 30. The winning couple will be selected and contacted by Friday, July 10, as well as announced via social media and the August issue of the Liberty Press.
"We encourage as many who can to enter," said Ramsey. "This is an awesome opportunity for a deserving couple and we can't wait to help make their wedding dreams come true."