Vanity Fair meets needs of LGBT couples 

click to enlarge Gay Vanity Fair
  • Jaime Botello, left, and Frederick Sullivan created the Gay Vanity Fair, a new wedding show designed for LGBT couples.
Even though 17 states have approved same-sex marriage, the wedding industry remains geared toward heterosexual partnerships.

Frederick Sullivan and Jaime Botello, creators of the Gay Vanity Fair, are addressing the issue.

The one-day gay and lesbian wedding extravaganza — complete with a fashion show hosted by radio’s Joel Riddell, boutique vendors, caterers, hair and makeup stylists, venue representatives, tailors and giveaways — debuts Feb. 9 in The City at the Bently Reserve.

“It is our feeling that the LGBT community needs trusted businesses to work with for their wedding, and what we’ve done is to bring them all together,” says Sullivan, a party planner who runs Sullivan and Botello Events with his partner Jaime Botello.

“We have done many wedding shows in the S.F. Bay Area,” Sullivan says. “When we see same-sex couples at the show they seem lost, as if they can’t connect with anyone. That is why Gay Vanity Fair was created, as a place to have them feel warm, welcome and in a safe environment.”

One of the show’s vendors is Saint Harridan, an Oakland-based clothing company that redrafts traditional men’s suit patterns to fit female and transgender bodies.

Mary Going founded the business after, having trouble finding a properly fitting suit for her own wedding, she decided to have a custom suit made.

She says, “I felt so fantastic in that suit that I wanted to find out how to do this for other people. I happened to go back to school for my MBA, and this idea wouldn’t let go.

“Proportions are really important,” Going says. Besides adjusting for women’s hips, which are the widest point on the body, and shoulders, which are the narrowest, Going and her partners noted posture.

“We noticed that women stand differently from men, so we changed how the arm attaches to the suit. Every part of the suit had to be considered and reconsidered for our customers,” she adds.

Even though the LGBT market is growing, Sullivan believes mainstream vendors continue to neglect same-sex brides and grooms.

He says, “Gay Vanity Fair is important to me because sometimes you have to do the right thing — in this case connecting same-sex couples to LGBT-friendly businesses together. It is all about passion and creating relationships.”


Gay Vanity Fair

Where: Bently Reserve, 301 Battery St., S.F.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 9

Tickets: $25

Contact: (415) 334-7394,

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Lauren Gallagher

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