Kirsten Palladino

Educator + Co-owner - Equally Wed Pro

I educate wedding and event professionals how to be more LGBTQ+ inclusive. In 2019, I launched an online LGBTQ+ inclusive certification course at equallywedpro.com after publishing Equally Wed, the world's leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine for nearly 10 years.

What inspired you to start your business?

In 2008, I was a professional newspaper and magazine editor. My girlfriend proposed to me, and I quickly started to try to gather information on LGBTQ+ weddings to help us plan our wedding. I was crushed to see that there was very little available to us that contained images and love stories of people who looked like us. On top of that, Maria and I encountered vendors who didn't want to work with us and our wedding because we were two women getting married.

We decided to do something about it by putting our talents together (editing/writing for me and graphic design and web development for her) and create an online wedding magazine to provide visibility and validation to LGBTQ+ weddings and a directory of wedding pros who would actually celebrate LGBTQ+ couples and their weddings.

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

Believe in yourself. Understand that everyone has imposter syndrome at some point but you can do this! Nothing gets done if nothing gets done, y'know? I struggled with (and still do sometimes) having too many ideas and having to narrow my focus. Choose the idea that has the best possibility of you being the best person to solve it. And above all else, it must be something you're passionate about. Otherwise, the idea will fizzle out when the going gets tough and challenges present themselves, which they will because life.

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

My hobbies include meditation, reading and hiking. The causes that get me most passionate are LGBTQ+ equality, animal rights and ending sexual assault.

Image Credit: Heidi Geldhauser, www.ourlaboroflove.com, @heidiface