When I wanted to start writing this blog, I wasn’t planning to write the first post about the kind of wedding vendors couples should actively hire into their wedding. To be honest, it’s frightening to put such a bold blog post out, especially as the first one, but what matters most is making sure this is heard.

I started a wedding business years ago to provide a safe space for couples to be married with someone who truly cares about them for who they are, regardless of their gender, sexuality, nationality, or any other labels unwillingly given to them. I wanted to tell their stories as it was meant to be told, not from a differing viewpoint or copied from a generically Googled script.

As the world becomes a more tumultuous place to be alive, it’s important that those of us in the wedding industry express very clearly through our work what we believe. Each of us, from florists to wedding planners to calligraphers to officiants and every other vendor in between, play an important role in a monumental day. We communicate the love couples share through each role we possess and each of us touch the lives of couples, no matter how big or small the role is. We may be a supporting cast member, but without the support of an entire cast, it would be impossible for a couple to shine so brightly on their wedding day.

This is our responsibility — to make a stand for what is right, what is just, and what is fair to give everyone an equal chance to have that shine. Us personally at Liz Rae Weddings value honesty, diversity, and caring for others no matter where they come from or what they believe. We think couples should know this so they can have a deep trust to express their concerns and desires about their wedding, their lives, their dogs, whatever it is without feeling judgement. This goes so far beyond any one particular group of people constantly mistreated — this stands for all people in our society, whether they are categorized against their will or not.

We can promise you that everyday we’ll care about you, and I hope that every single one of the vendors you choose for your wedding does, too. Of course, all of us run a business because we need to make a living, but a majority of us do this because we’ve probably experienced some of the pain you might be feeling at one point in our lives. Maybe that pain was just the stress of wedding planning. Maybe it was the challenges of comparing and contrasting vendors to hire. Or maybe it was the inability to find a vendor that wouldn’t criticize based on who we loved. Whatever the reason, there are many vendors who choose to wake up every single day, pouring their hearts and souls into your cake, flowers, wedding script, timeline of events, to make damn certain that you don’t ever have to experience that pain again.

So go find those vendors. Do your research. Google them. Find out if they love what you love. Connect with them. Ask them how they feel about certain issues. Make sure your values align with theirs. Get dinner or beer or coffee or sing karaoke with them. Be best friends with them. There are a lot of vendors out there, and yes, it’s easy to compare them by price, but find the vendors who do their job because they want to make a difference in the wedding industry and the world simultaneously. You’re going to pay these people a lot of money, so you might as well find the people who are going to put every moment of effort into your day because they really, truly care about you.

I hope anyone reading this knows that there is a whole crew of wedding folks who will love you for everything you are and still love you for everything you are not. There are vendors who will stand by your side when your future mother-in-law has opinions about your wedding or when people look at you judgmentally during your wedding photos because they just can’t understand your love or even after your wedding when you’re going through difficult times. They will be the ones who will call you to get dinner, even when you are broken and crying, and they will be the ones who will be overwhelmingly happy for every moment of your life, including your wedding. They will also be the ones active in our communities, fighting for equality for all.

Those are the vendors you want in your wedding and your life, and those are the vendors who will cherish and remember you forever. This day isn’t about us, your vendors, it’s about you, and you deserve the best in the business to be there by your side, every step of the way.