Weddings. For straight couples, planning a wedding is a pretty daunting task. The traditions have been acknowledged and accepted over the centuries, rules have been set, experiences have been gathered and shared. However, for same-sex couples, it’s all an unchartered territory. There are no set rules and pre-set expectations. As scary as that sounds, that also means freedom to try new things! To set rules and make way for new traditions.
If you are reading this, we understand that you are looking for some LGBTQ wedding inspiration and same-sex wedding ideas. With the Supreme Court’s 2015 landmark decision to legalize same-sex weddings, America has witnessed a surge in the same! And we couldn’t be any happier for them! A true victory for love, LGBTQ weddings have been finally legally recognized in 30 countries and territories now. Did you know that the Netherlands was the first to turn the tide when it passed a law for same-sex marriage in 2001? And although the times have changed and trends are constantly evolving, it’s not a smooth ride for some LGBTQ couples. Navigating through the pre-set notions of a wedding industry that has historically catered to only one variety of wedding, does create a unique set of challenges for LGBTQ couples.
That being said, the LGBTQ couples are ready to take the plunge, breaking all the norms and strings of age-old (cliched!!) traditions. Well, the thing is, you don’t really have to forcefully fit yourself into a cookie-cutter of a traditional wedding. So, when it comes to wedding planning, the couples must understand that it’s their once-in-a-lifetime day and they should do everything to make it absolutely theirs! When you’re planning your wedding, you get a lot of unsolicited advice, especially regarding the guests and traditions, but you must understand that it’s totally important to keep your own desires in mind. If you and your partner like something or if there’s something that’s special to you as a couple, it should be considered of prime importance.
As much as we love same-sex weddings and our hearts go out for the couples. After all, it’s not an easy ride. Some couples do not like to experience the whole wedding journey with constant judgments and forced opinions by not only their known but also some wedding vendors. And in such a case, if a traditional wedding is too stressful for the couple or doesn’t guarantee an authenticism, they should consider eloping. Since there are no rules when it comes to an elopement, it’s ideal for couples who want privacy on the happiest day of their lives. However, if you wish, you can include your immediate family, your pets for an intimate elopement! At a wedding that’s anyways not governed by set traditions, you can very well add your own twists! Therefore, planning an elopement is an amazing option if you or your partner are constantly feeling overwhelmed by the opinions of others. It’s your wedding and there’s no need to get overwhelmed with the expectation of others.
Just like any other wedding, a same-sex wedding requires an equal amount of planning and preparation. You could begin by having a deep discussion with your partner and hit the planning stage by choosing a wedding date (or a couple of dates to choose from). Once that’s done, it’s time to select which of your friends and loved ones are going to be invited to your memorable affair. You need to consider who all to invite as you don’t want anybody who you know would be uncomfortable or would have a negative thought. It is your happiest day and you both matter the most, so you and your partner have to be completely comfortable with the guests. Basically, all weddings come with a certain amount of expectations from friends and family. And at times even the people you don’t know, especially in same-sex marriages. And that’s why we absolutely encourage you to try to ignore any kind of hindrance or disturbance and focus on what matters most to you as a couple. Whether it is an unwelcomed judgment of relatives who are unsupportive of your marriage or over-involvement of your family in the decision-making, you must remember that it is your love that’s being celebrated at your wedding. Your new life begins with your wedding, therefore, you mustn’t let anyone’s opinion dictate the planning process of your wedding.
Planning your wedding requires careful attention to various aspects of a wedding that you’d never know existed! From sending out invites to those fortunate ones to deciding on the perfect wedding exit that you both would love, planning your wedding is all about going into the details. And since it's a tradition-breaking wedding, it opens the gates and new avenues for many new traditions to be born. There is absolutely no need to keep a somber and simple celebration just because tradition dictates it. Just go out there and be yourselves, and feel free to craft the wedding of your dreams. Getting married is undeniably one heck of emotion and finally being able to tie the knot with the love of your life after being denied the right to do so for so long is a whole different level of celebration. LGBTQ weddings are simply just weddings, after all, but nothing can take away the ‘wow’ factor from them!
In most ways, same-sex wedding planning isn’t very different than planning a traditional wedding between a man and a woman. Just like any other wedding, there’s a wedding ceremony with vows, that’s followed by a reception party with toasts. However, some of the finer details can be quite different for LGBTQ couples than for straight counterparts such as who’s walking who down the aisle, or if you want to be ‘given away,’ or what parts of the traditional marriage ceremony should you keep?
But first, you need to choose that perfect wedding venue for your ceremony and reception. Make sure your wedding venue is LGBTQ-friendly as most venues, ranging from luxe hotels, restaurants to rustic barns, are now open to hosting same-sex weddings. Moreover, now that same-sex weddings are more common, you can find a great source of online reviews for venues from same-sex couples on the internet. Make sure you do vet your venues before requesting more information so that you’re sure they will enthusiastically accommodate your wedding.
As far as wedding vendors are concerned, if you can refer to a directory of resources, great! But beyond your own directory, the best bet is to search for professionals in your area who showcase diversity in their portfolio. However, it might help to know that many wedding vendors haven’t had the great opportunity to work with same-sex couples yet, though would be honored to do so! If you reach out to a wedding vendor whose portfolio doesn’t necessarily represent you as a couple, but whose work you enjoy, you can follow your heart! Well, the truth is, it’s your big day and you are paying them for their services so don’t let anyone make you feel less-than. Finding the right vendors like LGBTQ+ wedding photographers, florists, and others is almost like finding one of your soul connections! Let’s just say that you deserve to hire wedding professionals who make you excited about your day, who make you feel comfortable, and who can make your vision a reality, and not just someone who is offering their services. The key to vendor communication is by asking all the questions. As a couple within the LGBTQ community, you want to make sure you’ll be treated with respect, and the same amount of energy every other couple gets planning their special day. Ask all the questions and familiarize them with all the scenarios. And if you sense any hesitation, continue your search.
After finalizing the wedding venue and vendors, you could move on to deciding on other important things like your wedding attires, wedding theme, menu, and reception seating. As far as your wedding outfits are concerned there are so many ways to rock your LGBTQ wedding look. You could wear the same colors or contrasting ones, grooms can wear tuxes of the same pattern (like checkered or textured!) while brides can make a similar style statement with wedding jumpsuits, boho attires, or even a tux! Let’s move away from the traditional wedding attires! Grooms are not obligated to wear traditional black formal wear and brides are not obligated to wear white wedding dresses! Same-sex couples are leading the wedding fashion industry with creative and unique wedding attire like bridal suits or shorts for grooms. Think about what makes you feel special and comfortable, then get shopping for wedding attires that match your desires and your budget! Instead of bridesmaids and groomsmen, same-sex weddings can have grooms-women, grooms-maids, and brides-men too! We recently came across this term ‘Babes of Honor’ and we’re loving it!
Once you’re done with your wedding look, how about moving on to the wedding ceremony and reception? Have you ever considered having a theme for your wedding? Is there a specific movie, a series, or a book that you and your partner feel particularly close to? Or maybe a holiday, city, or country that played a special role in your relationship? Personalizing your reception to a common theme is a great way to give your wedding experience a personal and unique touch. You could have a Gatsby-themed wedding or a fall-themed or a festive-themed wedding. Moreover, you have the freedom to incorporate various non-traditional elements into your LGBTQ wedding such as gender-neutral ceremony readings, writing your own same-sex wedding vows, love songs for same-sex couples, LGBTQ+ wedding attire inspiration, LGBTQ-inspired wedding decor, and subtle ways to showcase your LGBTQ pride on your wedding day. You can incorporate the LGBTQ pride in many ways such as wearing colorful cufflinks or color-blocked socks, choosing bright and bold wedding flowers, creating colorful ceremony backdrops using rainbow colors, vibrant smoke bombs for a perfect LGBTQ wedding photography, rainbow cakes, colorful favors, rainbow sparkles, fun accessories for wedding photos, or by incorporating lines from the Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage into your ceremony readings, programs, or signage.
Your bachelor or bachelorette parties can be the same as any other couple! It’s totally up to you and your partner to decide if you want to celebrate separately and throw individual parties where your future spouse isn’t invited or have your beach party as one big party before the wedding.
One of the biggest advantages of planning an LGBTQ+ wedding is that almost everything is customizable, even the finest and the tiniest! You are not bound by heterosexual religious customs just to please your extended family, you can throw the whole traditional thing out of the window and write your own history. That being said, a same-sex wedding should follow the same basic formula of procession-reading-vows-kiss-rings, however, you can tweak those moments as per your wishes. Same-sex weddings have always marched to the beat of their own drum so feel free to adapt rituals from straight weddings and create unique personalized ways to symbolize your union.
Let’s take a look at the various elements of a pride wedding ceremony:
This is the part of the wedding that involves walking up the aisle. Since the traditions in an LGBTQ wedding are modified, you are not obligated to forcefully embrace the tradition of walking down the aisle. Therefore, it’s a great time to make an iconic entrance. You could walk up the aisle with your partner or with the officiant, or walk one by one, escorted by one or both parents. Or!! .. Instead of one aisle, you could have two or even three, both the aisles covered by two wedding photographers. Imagine that iconic entry!
You gotta remember your wedding ceremony needs to be a reflection of you and your fiance. Don’t hesitate to include something personal just because you think it might be perceived as weird or non-traditional as whatever is authentic to you will be authentic to your wedding. The vows are the most significant part of your ceremony since this is when you and your partner are going to look at each other in the eyes and make lifelong commitments. Therefore, you and your partner may choose to write your own vows or add an interesting twist to the traditional wedding vows. Personalize your ceremony with vows, readings, and music that are significant to you and your partner instead of using forced words that don’t represent your love.
Once you’ve said your vows, your officiant will guide you through exchanging rings or other tokens of your love. Post that, the officiant will introduce you to the guests as a married couple.
The First Kiss
Your first kiss is another significant part of your wedding ceremony. Always remember, be yourselves and feel free to kiss without bothering about any judgments! You or your partner trying to hide your love would completely defeat the purpose of your unique wedding so be yourselves, keeping in mind that you are surrounded by people who matter!
After your first kiss, it’s time to walk back down the aisle together. You and your partner are officially married and it’s time for some iconic LGBTQ wedding photography! Strike a pose with your spouse as you both walk your way back amidst glorious shout-outs and cheery claps! You could even introduce some LGBTQ-inspired wedding elements here! Moreover, you could have your wedding photography in the most non-traditional ways by incorporating pride elements into your wedding photos.
The reception is the part that people really think about when they get invited to a wedding, and this is the part that they are going to remember. Therefore, take it upon yourselves to make sure your guests have a great time. It’s also a great way to thank your guests for all the support they’ve shown your relationship by being a part of your wedding. Set the perfect mood by incorporating pride elements into the wedding decor, floral arrangements, sexy music, table settings, cake toppers, wedding signs, and other wedding accents, even your wedding exit!
Same-sex couples have unparalleled absolute freedom to indulge in their creativity for their wedding day. You can totally do away with stuffy conventional wedding traditions and make the day truly your own in your LGBTQ wedding. We hope this has been a great source of LGBTQ wedding inspiration for your pride wedding!