The Trainers

Marriage equality has arrived and we are the LGBTQ wedding experts.

14 Stories was the first firm in the USA specializing in planning legal same-sex weddings and the Gay Wedding Institute, launched in 2009, continues to be a national thought leader, researcher and educator on gay and lesbian weddings.  Our trainings are available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.  Our vision is for a wedding industry fully inclusive of all couples, including LGBTQ couples.

The company is a LGBTE-certified business by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce - and therefore eligible to provide training for your company using your supplier diversity budget.

Bernadette Smith

Bernadette Smith is founder and president of 14 Stories and the Gay Wedding Institute, and award-winning author of three books about same-sex weddings, including the new book, The Business of Gay Weddings: A Guide for Wedding Professionals.

An experienced facilitator known for her candid, practical approach, Bernadette has planned events for LGBT clients in top venues and has a unique insider perspective on reaching this market.  In 2013, 14 Stories was hand-selected by the W Retreat and Spa in Vieques, PR to partner on an exclusive wedding planning package for same-sex couples.  She and her team have produced hundreds of gay and lesbian weddings since 2004, working with couples from most U.S. states and around the world. 

Bernadette's expertise has been sought after by the Today Show, National Public Radio, the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington PostCNNTravel and Leisure among many others. She is also a WeddingWire education contributor.

Camelu Millan Vargas

Camelú Millan Vargas is Mexico City based and conducts trainings throughout Latin America.  She has a Communications Degree at ITESM CEM and has a Master Bridal Consultant from the Association of Bridal Consultants. Since 1994 started her company Diseño Nupcial has organized more than 1000 weddings. She has a degree in Destination Weddings and Entrepreneur Development by Fundación E.  

In 2005 she organized the first ABC Conference in México, which help her to be the Director of ABC Latin America Chapter. Since then she has dedicated her professional life to develop and educate all the Wedding Industry in Mexico and Latin America. She has trained her peers in the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and México. She has taught in several Univerities in Mexico such as TEC, CESSA, IBERO and Universidad Latina de Morelos.

Dagyi Rivera

Dagyi Rivera is Mexico City based and conducts trainings throughout Latin America. She has a Bachelors Degree in Management and a Masters Degree in marketing for small business with expertise in advertising, marketing, PR, event and wedding planning. For the last 11 years she has been planning and designing weddings in Mexico and Latin America.

In 2010, her book ¡WOW QUE BODA! A Wedding Planners Secrets for an Unforgettable Wedding, was published. Dagyi also created the first Latin America´s Wedding Planner Training Program which has now one hundred graduates. As a business coach, Dagyi helps entrepreneurs in wedding marketing to optimize their revenues and understand their clients.


Heather Vickery

Heather Vickery is part of the Gay Wedding Institute as a course trainer and event producer. She is owner of Greatest Expectations Special Events & Weddings, one of Chicago's most celebrated event planning and design firms. Heather has over 15 years of experience planning weddings of varying size and scale for all types of couples, including a large number of LGBTQ weddings. Her background in facilitating groups, mediating challenging conversations and teaching adults, combined with her wedding planning background, makes her a natural fit for the team.