The Best and Worst Cities in America for LGBTQ+ Weddings

There are a few factors that come into play

Updated 06/26/19

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Navigating the wedding planning process is stressful, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ couples often face more stressors and hoops to jump through along their journeys down the aisle despite the progress that has been made so far.

Further illustrating this is a study commissioned this past March by The Black Tux, which revealed some interesting and perhaps surprising data just ahead of the four-year anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States.

The Survey

In order to determine the best cities for LGBTQ+ couples to tie the knot, the survey assessed the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas and evaluated eight key factors: inclusive wedding vendors, presence of same-sex households, city non-discrimination ordinances, HRC municipal equality index, the average cost of wedding, inbound flight availability, precipitation, and LGBTQ+ hate crimes.

Each component was rated based on a five-point scale (with a score of five indicating the most positive) and then each city was scored based on the total of each one’s individual factor scores, which were also weighted for their significance for LGBTQ+ couples.

Sources of information included the US Census, Human Rights Campaign MEI from 2018, City-data.com weather pattern data, and the US Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation statistics.

The Best Cities for LGBTQ+ Weddings

The Northeast and West Coast seem to be the best places for a friendly wedding planning experience, as New York, Philadelphia, Hartford, Providence, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland all ranked within the top 15.

This was based on having the highest averages of inclusive vendors, city-wide non-discrimination ordinances, and equality index scores, as well as having a higher presence of same-sex households.

Based on the eight key survey factors combined, the Northeast is generally the best region in the country for LGBTQ+ weddings, with the top five cities overall being:

1. New York City
2. Philadelphia
3. Washington, DC
4. Providence
5. Hartford

The Worst Cities for LGBTQ+ Weddings

Earning the title of the “worst” places for LGBTQ+ marriages to take place, Oklahoma City, Memphis, and Tennessee all top the list.

These locations disappointingly had higher instances of hate crimes combined with low scores of inclusive wedding vendors, quantity of same-sex households, and city non-discrimination ordinance.

Hopefully, one day soon all cities will be considered LGBTQ+ wedding friendly.

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