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    Celebrating LGBTQ Weddings

    By Erin Berg–

    When we opened Kipper Clothiers five years ago, we had one mission in mind: to make the high-end custom suit and shirt market available to the LGBTQ community. Since the birth of our company, we have been able to do just that, but with an additional bonus. We get to work very closely with clients to create one-of-a-kind items for one of the biggest days of their lives, their wedding day.

    We knew we had an opportunity to make our dreams a reality the day that Prop 8 was repealed. We had seen many of our friends struggle to find well-fitting apparel that matched their unique gender expression, or their body shape. To make matters even worse, frequently we heard horror stories about many members of our community being harassed by customer service representatives, or being kicked out of stores. With the repeal of Prop 8, we knew we had a responsibility to our community to give them a safe, accepting place for them to go shopping for their wedding apparel.

    After having the honor of taking part in styling hundreds of wedding outfits with clients from all over the country, we know the importance of being able to highlight a person’s true self for the big day. What we love about working with an LGBTQ clientele on their weddings is the ability to make their important days their own.

    Without the constraints of needing to uphold many of the traditional customs that are used in the wedding market, we often begin our process with a blank slate, allowing us to find unique inspiration when working with each individual client. From a formal black velvet tuxedo to a casual button down shirt with shorts, we have created outfits that allow clients to express their gender identities so that they can be seen as their truest selves in front of all of their family and friends.

    Our mission of LGBTQ accessibility and visibility has become essential during this hostile political time. We are seeing more clients than ever who want their weddings to be viewed as joyful, loving acts of resistance towards the current atmosphere around the country. We have seen a spike in the guest lists for our clients’ wedding celebrations.

    When we started Kipper Clothiers, we had a much larger percentage of clients having small weddings at city halls. Now we see clients holding much larger celebrations in destinations across the Bay Area. We believe that, collectively, these are a hopeful expression of resilience within the LGBTQ community.

    Erin Berg is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Kipper Clothiers. A neuroscience graduate from Oberlin College, Berg worked as a data analyst before meeting Kyle Moshrefi during an internship at a fashion start-up in San Francisco and ultimately partnering to create Kipper Clothiers. You can contact Kipper Clothiers at 415-890-4431 or via email at info@kipperclothiers.com

     

     

    1-PHOTO Fred and Jaime (1)Frederick Sullivan and Jaime Botello, who oversee the Weddings & Occasions page for the San Francisco Bay Times, are the talented wizards behind Sullivan-Botello Events (http://sullivanbotelloevents.com) and SnB Party Rentals (650 -877 – 0840 , www.snbpartyrentals.com). Both are Certified Wedding Planners with extensive experience in creating memorable, personalized events for special occasions. Their rental service is incredible, offering everything from beautiful gold Chiavari chairs to LED dance floors, and all at competitive prices. They are the creators of the Gay Vanity Wedding Show and are longstanding members of the Golden Gate Business Association, which is the nation’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce.