Weddings require a lot of preparation and sometimes same-sex weddings require a bit more. There are some things you will want to take into consideration that you hadn’t thought of before. At the end, all the hard work will pay off! But before you start all your planning, take a look at these great tips…
1. Forget Traditions
When planning your wedding, forget what you may think weddings “should” look like… When it comes to your big day, do it your way. You can both walk down the aisle together, or do it one by one. With the right venue set up, you can also walk down separate aisles simultaneously, joining one another at the altar. You can also choose whether you would like to have a bouquet and if so who throws it, or if you want to throw it together. When it comes to bridal parties, don’t think for a moment that there’s one right way! Whether you have an odd number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, a best woman or a man of honor, or keep your party gender-free, your bridal party should be made up of the people you most want standing there besides you when you say your “I do”s. Some couples choose to not have a bridal party at all and keep the ceremony just about the happy couple.
Photo Credit: Lara Hotz
2. Have the Right People By Your Side
When you and your partner are planning your guest list, you want to be sure to invite only people you really want at your wedding. First and foremost, invite those who are most important to you. You may feel pressured to include distant family or friends of your parents but if you decide to keep your wedding relatively small, it is perfectly understandable to leave those groups out. When it comes to “plus one”, you may request no additional guest, in which case you should specifically address serious partners of your guests in the actual initiations. When creating your guest list, keep in mind your budget. The more guests attending, the pricier the celebration. If you want to keep your guest list small but budget is not an issue, you may also consider a destination wedding, however keep in mind that this may prohibit some of the guests you do want there from attending.
Photo Credit: Erica Nix
3. Find LGBTQ-Friendly Venues and Vendors
When searching for your perfect wedding venue, we recommend making it clear from the get-go that you are having a same-sex wedding. Disclosing this information right away will make it so that you don’t waste your time trying to coordinate with anyone who is not for marriage equality. If you have specific vendors you are interested in, approach them first. If you are starting with a blank slate, perhaps do research on some of the most loved LGBTQ-friendly vendors in your area. You want to be sure you are in good hands with your wedding vendors so finding professionals that you are comfortable with is key.
Photo Credit: Erica Nix
4. Wedding Planner
If it’s within your budget, you may consider hiring a wedding planner. That will help make the process of finding same-sex-friendly professionals and navigating your options easier. It will also help save you time.
5. What To Wear
When it comes to what to wear for your same-sex wedding, there are no rules. Whether you are on the hunt for two wedding dresses or none, the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable and beautiful on your big day. Some couples like to coordinate their attire even if they don’t see the other’s before the wedding. This could mean coordinating ties, dress styles, color schemes or lengths. Like all couples, you will want to start shopping early. This is especially true for woman who opt out of wearing a dress because sometimes the perfect outfit can be hard to find in stores. If you aren’t seeing anything you love, consider getting your ensemble custom-made or tailored. As for your bridal party if you choose to have one, it is entirely up to you whether you prefer deciding on a wedding dress code or letting your guests choose their attire with no theme.
Photo Credit: Parish House Photos
6. Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
When it comes to the bachelor/bachelorette parties, have your fun! Many same-sex couples choose to have separate parties. If you and your partner have different ideas of who to invite and where to go, your parties can take place on the same evening and potentially even merge toward the end of the evening. You can travel to great bachelor/bachelorette party destinations or keep it local at your favorite bars.
7. When In the Year to Plan Your Wedding
There are several factors that may help determine when in the year to have your wedding. Your guest count, wedding location and your budget play huge roles in this decision. While off-season venues tend to save a lot of money, it can also make it more difficult for all of your guests to attend. Depending on your location, some venues may require you to book far in advance so if you plan to do a destination wedding, you have to choose your spot early! Of course, there is also the option of planning your wedding around your favorite season. Depending on your priorities and what you want from your wedding, you will want to pick the timing strategically.
Photo Credit: Wesley Vorster Photography
The most important thing when planning your wedding is that it’s, well, you. Don’t worry about any traditions you aren’t interested in or guests you don’t want beside you. Enjoy having your closest friends and family beside you as you share this very special day with your love.