Bernadette Smith – 14 Stories

Bernadette Smith’s life work is to integrate the global wedding industry to be fully inclusive of all couples, including LGBT couples. She is founder and president of 14 Stories and the Gay Wedding Institute and the nation’s leading same-sex wedding expert.

In 2004, when the marriage equality came to Massachusetts, Bernadette created a wedding planning company for engaged same-sex couples looking to navigate the traditional wedding industry. Bernadette and her team have produced hundreds of gay and lesbian weddings since then, working with couples from nearly every state and around the world. 14 Stories has planned more legal LGBT weddings than anyone else in the country — and was the first business to do so.

Bernadette is an experienced facilitator known for her candid, practical approach who has trained thousands of wedding and hospitality professionals on the nuances of LGBT weddings. The Gay Wedding Institute Certification course she created has graduated more than 500 students from 9 countries. She is the author of three books on same-sex weddings, including the new book, The Business of Gay Weddings: A Guide for Wedding Professionals. Bernadette is also a partner in Fourteen, a ready to wear clothing line of suits, tuxedos and accessories specially tailored for lesbian, queer and trans weddings.

Bernadette’s expertise has been sought after by the Today Show, BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, CNN, Travel and Leisure, among others. She is also the expert advice blogger on gay weddings for TheKnot as well as the Huffington Post.