Hallmark Channel is about to air its first LGBTQ wedding.
On Saturday night, the network will premiere a new original movie titled Wedding Every Weekend, in which two protagonists fall in love as they realize they keep attending the same string of nuptials.
Over the course of the movie, the two main characters experience diverse ceremonies, including one between two women — an on-screen first for Hallmark.
"It really reflects the world that we live in now," said actress Makayla Moore (who plays one half of the bride pair) in a behind-the-scenes look at the TV movie. "It's exciting to celebrate love in all its forms."
Responding to a tweet that criticized the new film as shoving an agenda "down out throat," Hallmark wrote that it's "proud" of the project. "Our priority at Hallmark Channel is to develop a broad mix of content, characters and stories in order to create a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome," the channel wrote on Monday.
The inclusion of a lesbian wedding comes a month after Hallmark issued a statement promising new LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors would be included in future programming.
“Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors,” a Hallmark Channel spokesperson told PEOPLE in July. “We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome."
Hallmark came under fire in December 2019 after pulling several commercials for the wedding planning website Zola that featured same-sex couples sharing a kiss at the altar. The ads were pulled after One Million Moms, a division of the conservative American Family Association, published a petition — although the network went on to walk back the decision.
“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused. Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision,” said Mike Perry, president and CEO, Hallmark Cards, Inc., in a statement to PEOPLE in December.
“Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions, and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives. Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused,” the statement continued.
The company apologized for pulling the commercials of the same-sex couples, announcing that Hallmark will be working with GLAAD to “better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands.”
Wedding Every Weekend premieres on Aug. 15, at 9 p.m. E.T. on Hallmark Channel
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