Category Archives:

The Wedding Project: Episode 3
February 5, 2013

Have you been following this couple as they plan and prepare for the big day? Watch Episode 3 of The Wedding Project today as we continue to take a first hand look at how this couple is getting ready for their special day! Get a behind-the-scenes look at this couple as they answer the questions most engaged couples want to know!

Episode 3 shows that even though non-traditional, tradition persists in how friends of Ashley and Erin refer to their wedding, and it feels right!

To watch the entire series unfold, STAND UP Website
Follow STAND UP on Facebook

Equality Friday’s, Become a Member of STAND UP
September 14, 2012

If you have not already heard, we are huge advocates of the new organization, STAND UP, Business Professionals for Marriage Equality.  Yes we know in part it’s because I, Anthony, am the Co-Founder of the movement, but I will tell you, I had my entire team of planners right there supporting me through the creation of this organization.  
We are wedding planners.  We help couples from all over the country get married about 40 weekends a year.  At Liven It Up Events, we believe that no matter who you are or who you love, you should have the RIGHT to be wed.  That is why not only am I dedicated to this cause, but so are the planners at Liven It Up!
The organization is for business professionals who want to put their business on trend with supporting marriage equality.  The huge out pour of support we have had already is astonishing.  It’s so easy to become a member that will receive to show your alignment with the cause.  
Visit today and join the MOVEMENT for only $50 per year or watch this video to learn how you can STAND UP today! 


Wedding Professionals STAND UP for Marriage Equality
August 8, 2012

I have to share this story.  After President Obama came out and supported Gay Marriage, I had this little idea that the Chicago Wedding Industry should do something.  I had this vision of mobilizing the masses and create a viral video that would show our support.  We are the ones who make weddings happen every weekend so why should we not support the cause.

It was a larger turn out than I ever thought!  We had over 100 wedding professionals come together to create the first STAND UP video.  From there, I knew it was more than just a video, we had to do more.

I was already working with Cher Garrett of Loft on Lake & KGA Garrett & Associates and together we wanted to do more!  Now, we have created an online platform for business owners & business professionals to become members and show that they STAND UP for marriage equality.

One little idea has turned into an organization that is spreading like wildfire!  After launching the website on July 24th, 2012, we have reached of over 25,000 people on Facebook and thousands of views on YouTube already!  We are hoping to get more members and sponsors to make an impact on creating equality for all!

Take a look at our website at

LIKE us on Facebook at

Tweet us at @istanduporg

and become a member at to show your support for marriage equality.

It’s amazing what a little idea can turn into!  Whatever your ideas maybe, do not forget to follow through with them!  You never know where they will lead too!

Chicago Wedding Professionals were the first professionals to STAND UP!
July 26, 2012
STAND UP is a platform for business professionals to unite and STAND UP for equality and acceptance of same-sex marriage.  
The STAND UP Project launched Tuesday, July 24th, releasing it’s first creative work to spread the message equality!  The first video project was created with the Wedding Industry from Chicago.  See the video below on how they all STAND UP for marriage equality!

To learn more, become a member or to STAND UP with us, visit today!

Wedding Professionals STAND UP for Marriage Equality
July 19, 2012

On May 24, 2012, one hundred Chicago wedding professionals gathered to STAND UP for marriage equality. Planners, venue owners, caterers, bakers, photographers, dress designers and others from every sector of the industry gathered in the West Loop for a video and photoshoot that had them say “I Stand!”
Starting with the wedding industry, but open to all fields, STAND UP asks businesses of all sizes and the professionals within those businesses to “come out” in support of same-sex rights. Anthony Navarro, wedding planner and STAND UP Co-Founder says: “I came up with the concept after President Barack Obama stated his personal support for same-sex marriage rights. Whereas The President had a global, televised platform from which to voice his support, I realized that even though my peers and I overwhelmingly support marriage equality, we had no common forum from which to speak.”
Anthony brought the “I Stand” theme to Cher Garrett, marketing professional and owner of Loft on Lake, an event venue in the West Loop. Cher embraced the concept and set her design and branding team at KGA, Garrett Associates into action developing the STAND UP identity and forming the organization.
Cher and Anthony are turning STAND UP into a nation-wide platform where thousands of wedding and other professionals can share their support, create a fresh dialogue and bringing much-needed positive discourse and perspective to the discussion surrounding same-sex marriage rights. This platform will allow individuals, as well as businesses, large and small, to show their support by becoming a member, sponsor or volunteer.  STAND UP members that elect to become Ambassadors can organize work groups and team members to submit photography and video which will post to the STAND UP website. Corporations can sponsor the cause or submit content & features. STAND UP small-business members will receive a profile on the website and decals to post on their shop windows or autos. There will be recognition for organizations that gather the most individuals together.
We encourage supporters to “make a statement with our fashion”, says Cher Garrett.  Merchandise featuring the STAND UP logo and iconic equality symbol will be available for purchase on the website.  Previous efforts, such as the wildly successful, “No H8 Campaign,” allowed people nationwide to show their personal support, and now there is a means for businesses to do the same.
“Although marriage is a highly personal arena, the fact remains that an estimated 1,400 state and federal benefits are denied to gay couples. Even as some states move toward equality, many overwhelmingly vote to deny rights. It just made sense to gather the people who maintain the wedding industry to say to the world: “I Stand!” said Navarro.
In only a month since organizing, the STAND UP team has seen a tremendous response from wedding professionals in Chicago. Dozens of professionals have taken part – and as the STAND UP Project nears its launch, it is building noticeable buzz in the wedding community.
The project is slated to launch on July 24th, at a town-hall style meeting at Loft on Lake.  To become a member or learn more about STAND UP, visit
STAND UP is an organization formed as platform for business professionals to unite for acceptance of marriage equality. Through website content, video and other creative forms of communication they hope to educate, enlighten, and illuminate. Changes to legislation which provide all the same rights and legal benefits of marriage, regardless of gender, is at the heart of the STAND UP mission. By uniting in groups, representing a multitude of industries they hope to show that no matter who you are, or what you do, it is time to STAND UP for equality.
Anthony Navarro is owner of Liven-it-up Events an award winning Chicago based Event Planning Company. Cher Garrett is owner of KGA, Garrett Associates an award winning strategic marketing and branding firm and also owner of Loft on Lake, the quintessential Chicago Loft Venue.

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