Now that the joyful flurry of midnight courthouse weddings that immediately followed the legalization of same-sex marriage in Florida is over, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is throwing a massive group wedding celebration on the beach in front of the W Hotel on Thursday, February 5th, at sunrise, to welcome the world to what may be the best wedding location imaginable for LGBT couples and their guests.
The CVB launched its “Love is Love” initiative in January, selecting 100 lucky couples from applicants across the nation. The CVB, JetBlue, W Fort Lauderdale and area partners have joined together to provide a spectacular wedding. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds will make the short walk to the W Fort Lauderdale for a champagne toast and reception to commemorate the unique occasion. In addition, one very lucky couple will receive an ultimate wedding getaway to begin their new life together.
"I'm extremely proud of the willingness and openness of our hospitality community to affect change for the better. And as we commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the founding of Broward County, we're excited to extend our never wavering support of the LGBT community, and provide couples gay and straight from across the country to be a part of this significant day in history," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the CVB.
Richard Gray, the CVB’s managing director, LGBT market, said, "Greater Fort Lauderdale has long been a pioneering advocate of the LGBT community in Florida and our ‘Love is Love' campaign is another example of how we hope to continue to positively impact our resident community and visitors by offering this special day to rejoice as now we all can say ‘I Do' legally.”
The newlyweds with their guests and families will not lack for ways to celebrate while they are in town. The CVB reminds us that this region is “home to the highest concentration of same-sex couple households in the country, and as one of the top LGBT vacation destinations in the world, Greater Fort Lauderdale is one of the most diverse gay capitals and continues to be a destination of choice for LGBT travelers with hundreds of gay-owned and operated businesses.”
Same-sex weddings are a huge source of revenue for popular LGBT destinations such as New York City and Provincetown. Florida businesses missed out on hundreds of millions of dollars spent in other states because of its laws prohibiting marriage equality. The CVB’s group wedding bash is a fanfare letting the world know what the majority of Floridians already know: this community and its businesses welcome LGBT couples and their dollars.
For more information on the “Love is Love” wedding celebration, visit www.sunny.org/loveislove.