Kirsten Palladino and her partner Maria live in Georgia, where same-sex marriage is prohibited. It didn’t stop her from creating the just-launched online gay wedding magazine Equally Wed, carving out a niche market that Conde Nast’s entire bridal unit has ignored. And if it can survive the usual plagues hurting the ad-supported content industry, this book has all the markings of a home run.
Quick: When you pick up the Sunday Times, what’s the first section you flip to? The Weddings & Celebrations section, of course. Sociologists have spent thousands of interviews explaining the appeal of hearing about other people — complete strangers! — getting engaged and hosting their dream wedding. Which is why Equally Wed, which is devoting plenty of space to fairy wedding tales, should also generate interest.
But no wedding magazine is complete without its service journalism: Caterers, wedding halls, photographers, cake wizards, and tuxedo and gown designers must all be represented. The magazine offers a directory for all the finest accouterments for your day of bliss. And it arrives as more states continue marching toward marriage equality, opening up an entire new market every few months; in its debut issue, the magazine breaks down for readers the current legal standing across the country.
And then, of course, there’s travel. Whether it’s a destination wedding or your standard honeymoon, Equally Wed can attract lucrative travel industry advertisers hoping to woo cash-flush gays.
Do the gays need their own wedding magazine? Not exactly. There’s already Brides, Modern Bride, and Elegant Bride (each of which usually devote a quarter- to a half-page for men’s attire), and gays planning their special day have made do with them. (There’s also Bond Magazine, launched in 2007 “to include unions of all loving couples, gay and not-gay,” though its latest news udpate is from May 2009.) But the luxury aspects of weddings have never been about needs; they’ve been about wants. And Equally Wed is definitely a publication for wants. Why else would they have an entire photo gallery devoted to simple sugars?