Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Open Arms: More Wedding Venues Welcome Same-Sex Couples

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Open Arms: More Wedding Venues Welcome Same-Sex Couples

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - Emily Richard and Kayla Alkire have been engaged since 2012. They are in the midst of planning their big day. The event will require a venue, which Richard said was initially challenging.

When she first reached out to some wedding facilities, she never received any responses from their operators.

"They just didn't reply," she said. "They didn't say yes or no. I just didn't get anything back. I found other vendors that were more than happy to help."

The couple will tie the knot at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel on May 24. The hotel joins a statewide list of wedding venues ready to welcome the more than 3,200 same-sex couples who have attained marriage licenses since it became legal on Oct. 6.

"We have no problem with (same-sex weddings)," said Kenny Jones, owner of The Lodge at Bridle Creek in Sperry. "To be truthful, I've been talking to my wife about how we can get into the market. We have no problems with it."

The Meadowlake Ranch in Sand Springs hasn't hosted any same-sex weddings, but is not opposed to the idea, event coordinator Alex Pfalmer said.

"I think everyone deserves to be happy," Pfalmer said. "My owner - I don't know his opinion (on same-sex marriage), but I know we won't turn away money."

Other venue operators who said they would open their doors to same-sex marriage include The Whispering Pines in Norman, The Hamilton Event Center in Edmond, and The Arbuckle Wedding Chapel in Davis. Joan Bratcher at the Arbuckle said she has had many couples look at the venue, and expects to receive a deposit for upcoming nuptials this week. In Edmond, Hamilton Event Center owner Jennifer Hamilton said she has already hosted several same-sex weddings.

Not all the facilities were as open to the newly recognized unions, however. A wedding coordinator with the Ashland Gardens and The Ashland Chapel in Oklahoma City said the facility would not host same-sex weddings because of its affiliation with Boulevard Church of Christ. …

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