Hospitality Hive

Updates, opinions, and news for anyone working in Orlando's Hospitality community

Gay Marriage Orlando Style

Some might call this a ‘gay’ wedding, right?


So what exactly does that mean?  I wasn’t sure myself, so I checked with a few local wedding planners who have the matrimony event creed and years of experience to back up their comments, and one thing was made perfectly clear – a wedding is a wedding, and a nervous bride is a nervous bride, no matter the sexes involved.

If you are the type that wants a production for your wedding then this is your time because it seems that anything goes now in the world of wedding planning, and that’s NOT just due to the legalization of gay marriages.  No sir, not at all.  In fact, here in Orlando, gay wedding ceremonies have been taking place for quite some time now – legal or not – and in many cases they’re no different than a ‘normal/traditional’ wedding.

Except they’re not.

Now before you all start throwing those gorgeous be-ribboned purple bouquets at me for that last statement, let me explain.  I’m not here to judge what is or is not normal because we all know normal went out the window when it became apparent that half of the people on this planet think the Kardashian family is well, the new normal; and that was quite a few years ago.  What I’m referring to is that in the world of weddings, normal is taking on a new meaning, even blazing it’s own trail again, and it’s not just because of the legality of gay weddings.  Why? Because what’s normal for one family might include a whole different set of standards (or lack thereof?) than those of another family.

Case in point:  remember when My Big Fat Greek Wedding was released and millions of people discovered what is was like to experience, um, a big fat Greek Wedding?  That very year there were plenty of brides out there trying to replicate that very same wedding event even though they weren’t Greek.  Nor did they have a big family, big budget, or any long standing old-world family traditions that had to be incorporated into the pseudo BFGW. Go figure.


So, how will this new ruling on gay marriages effect the landscape of the new wedding normal?   My guess is subtly, because as we’ve already established, same sex unions have been around, and just like those between traditional partners, they are all over the church chart with levels of celebration.  High end, low end, full bar, no bar, live music, deadbeat music, over the top and under the radar, happy and not-so-much. Wedding planners have organized and seen it all with any combination of partners, so in the world of planning bridal bliss, last week’s Supreme Court ruling isn’t going to change too much on that landscape.  Especially here in Orlando because after all folks, we do live in the land of sunshine and make believe. Plenty of established wedding vendors have been standing at the ready to wave their wands – bibbidi-bobbidi-boo –  to make those dreams come true no matter who is walking down the aisle.

And, it appears the rainbow celebration has already begun in downtown Orlando where I snapped this picture while passing through on Rosalind Avenue Sunday afternoon.  A cheerful, classy tribute to a new found freedom.

rainbows in Otown June 2015


Has Orlando Embraced “Brooklynization”?

What’s that you say?  Never heard of that word?  Well let me explain:



BROOKLYNIZATION= a city/entity (Brooklyn) wanting to go in exact opposite of, for example, New York City (think capitalism, corporate imperialism, unchecked corporate greed and you get the full picture here, right?).  Turning instead to local artisans, hand-made/home-made anything, small batch [fill-in-the-blank], nurturing a successful environment for entrepreneurs, etc.  IN PLAIN ENGLISH:  empowering the creative class in your own area to help grow local identity.

Ah yes, now it makes sense!  But what’s the connection with the Hospitality Hive?  Glad you ask!

For some time now, we’ve all noticed an increase in the words or terms such as locally grown – locavores – farm to table – craft made and many more just like those.  These are all ways of referring to areas embracing it’s own local community by purchasing, using, and helping to spread awareness about products from your next door neighbors.  In the world of Orlando hospitality, the best example would be the plethora of hotels owned by Harris Rosen,  which can only be found locally, as opposed to those hotels also found here but that are affiliated with a national chain such as Hyatt, Marriott and so forth.  It’s not rocket science to understand this concept, but circling back to our hospitality community at large, there are just so many wonderful examples of establishments that do go out of their way to connect with the local community and I find it pretty cool that it all started with the ‘Brooklynization’ concept that began as a murmur a few years back but has since spread like free range chickens. (more…)