One thing for sure - wedding traditions are on the way out. In fact, they are already out for many zoomers, who want to ditch all the pomp and have a wedding with their own personal touch.
This goes for straight couples too. They just want creative freedom to plan their big day in keeping with their lifestyles. This doesn't mean that some couples don't want a traditional wedding. But more and more the wedding industry has come to realize that times have changed. And so, it has come up with all sorts of wedding ideas, including types of ceremonies, invitations, announcements, decorations, venues, wedding attire, and more that will allow any lesbian or gay couple to have the perfect wedding.
Let's take a look at some fabulous ideas and options for each and every part of your same-sex wedding. You can pick and choose from them, or you may get some unique wedding ideas of your own just by reading through this article. The most important thing is that you get the wedding that will give lasting memories of an amazing day.
Your same-sex wedding plans begin once you have proposed and/or accepted that proposal. You are living in the glow - after years of gay dating, the "deal is sealed" and you're ready for a lifetime with your partner. And now, welcome to the world of planning a wedding.
If you have already decided to have a simple civil or church ceremony and nothing else, then your plan is a no-brainer. You just pick a date, get coupled, and send out marriage announcements after the fact, if you want.
But if you are going the full wedding and party route, you need to make some early decisions before you move forward:
Create your guest list. Until you know the numbers you are dealing with, you cannot make any decisions about venues and costs
What about a wedding party, food, and decorations?
What is your budget and who will be footing the bill? Will parents be helping, or are you on your own for the costs? Make sure you have your budget nailed down before doing anything else.
Now, let's look at all of the ideas and options to make your wedding day memorable and fun.
Here's where you have as many same-sex marriage options (almost) as hetero couples. In most developed nations, same-sex wedding plans can include both church and civil venues. One exception is in the UK where they must be civil ceremonies. More and more, both hetero and gay couples are choosing venues outside of traditional churches anyway, even though they may have a religious officiate. So, go for whatever venue suits you and be as creative as you want. Here are some ideas for gay weddings:
Oh, the possibilities are endless. Parks, woods, campgrounds, rustic lodges and retreats, the beach, a cruise, a winery, a backyard. And both the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception can take place there. Guests don't have to wait around for photos to finish up and then transport themselves to someplace else for a reception. These venues offer convenience for your guests and, depending on the ambiance you want to create, they can run from totally casual to more formal. The key is that you feel comfortable with the setting and mood you are creating.
Again, the possibilities are just as endless.
If your idea includes a more formal climate, then you can choose anything from a hotel ballroom or a reception "hall" that caters to events. You can have your wedding ceremony there or elsewhere and simply rent the place for the reception.
For a more rustic and casual scene, rent a large conference room at a lodge
Where did you first meet? Think about how you could use that venue for the ceremony and/or the reception. If you met at a club, can you reserve it during off-hours? Did you two meet at work? How about using that during a time when it is normally closed?
Just remember this: no idea for your same-sex marriage is too off the wall. Toss around all the gay wedding ideas you both have, get creative, and have fun in the planning.
This is a tradition of boomers and Gen X'ers. Sometime in the week or so before the wedding, each partner is thrown a party, where booze flows, strippers are brought in, and things can get pretty raucous. The idea is to celebrate an end to the freedom of single life with one last fun event. Usually, these are organized by the best man and the maid of honor.
An LGBT wedding event may not lend itself well to this type of tradition. First of all, you both have many of the same close friends, so how do you divide them up for these parties? Even heteros are ditching these for a combination blast, maybe even a short trip to a casino/hotel where they can let loose and crash in their rooms instead of on the roads. These events thus become pre-wedding parties for all celebrants of an LGBT wedding or same-sex marriages.
A same-sex wedding has as many options as any wedding. Some opt for exchanging vows that have been around forever. But Gen Zer's often see this as outdated, stiff, and too formal. They have different wedding ideas, and that includes coming up with ceremonies that are more meaningful to them.
your wedding ceremony can be as formal, informal, or as unique as you want it to be. The two of you will first decide on the details and then meet with the person performing the union. One of the most popular wedding ideas today is to write your own vows, and many same-sex couples do just that. It's a good idea. When gay couples write their own vows, the wedding becomes unique to their love and commitment to each other - one of the most important same-sex wedding ideas that you may have.
If you have the same religious affiliation, you may want to incorporate some readings from any of your holy books. in your wedding ceremony. If you have no religious affiliations, then a secular gay wedding is what you will opt for. This does not mean you cannot have spiritual elements. Many same-sex marriage ceremonies include these, and you will want to be sure that whoever is performing the ceremony is totally on board.
You and your officiant will want to develop the script for your same-sex marriage together. You don't want any surprises and you do want to approve of the entire spoken part of the ceremony, as well as how other elements will happen.
If one of your wedding ideas is to have someone officiate who is not legally certified, have a civil ceremony ahead of time and choose someone you want to run the show and confirm your bond. This might be the closest friend to you both or even your parents.
Your same-sex wedding should be all yours. In this respect, it is no different from any other, and your wedding ideas and wants are yours to demand. Any gay wedding must reflect the two of you and who you are together.
Traditionally, there are labels put on anyone who is standing up with the couple - best man, maid of honor, ushers, bridesmaids, parents. For your lesbian or gay wedding, feel free to ditch these labels as well as the people who may be performing the various roles. Same-sex weddings almost demand this.
Who are the people closest to you? You may have mutual friends or separate that you want to be a part of your same-sex wedding. It doesn't matter their gender - any LGBT wedding will have a mix.
You don't have to assign any traditional labels to your attendants. The only important thing is that you have decided what role each will play in your same-sex wedding preparations, the ceremony, and at your wedding reception. If you have a ring exchange, who will keep the wedding rings? If you have bouquets, who will assist with them? Who will keep track of the guest list as they arrive? Who will help with the dresses and/or the suits, making sure they are there and ready to wear? And what will you want your attendants to wear?
These are questions that you may want to consider or dump depending on the same-sex wedding ideas that you and your partner have decided on. Every lesbian or gay wedding will be unique. Couples whose wedding ideas include very casual settings and ceremonies may choose not to have attendants at all. Others whose same-sex wedding ideas have included a large crowd of fam and others may choose to have several of their closest stand with them. Whether you have attendants or not, just be certain the details are planned for. In a lesbian wedding, for example, there may be a bouquet toss; in a gay wedding, not so much, but there may be other rituals you two have decided on.
Here's where same-sex wedding ideas can be as creative as you want.
In traditional hetero weddings, the father of the bride (or a close male relative) usually walks the bride down the aisle and "gives her away" to the waiting groom. This may not suit your wedding ideas at all. So, think about your options - there are many for a same-sex marriage. Here are some possibilities:
For a lesbian wedding, both fathers can walk their children down the aisle
For a gay wedding, both mothers can do the same
One or both parents can play the role of attendants during the ceremony
Each partner can walk in separately, unaccompanied by parents or others
The partners can walk in together and parents can greet them with hugs and well wishes
How are you going to present yourselves to the officiant for your vows if you are not walked down an aisle or do not walk down the aisle yourselves? What if your same-sex wedding venue has no aisle? Your wedding ideas will need to plan for this ahead of time.
Suppose you have an outside venue and it's very casual. Your guests are arriving and one of the plans is to mingle with them until it is time for the ceremony. Maybe you have an old-time crier ring a bell and announce that your lesbian wedding is about to begin. One very cool thing you can then do is to lead your guests in. You two go up to the officiant while they take their seats or stand around.
Be a bit creative here and ask others for their same-sex wedding ideas. You'll come up with the perfect solution just for you.
You have your wedding ideas all mapped out. Now it's time to talk about wedding attire. Any LGBT wedding will present decisions to be made about clothing. Of course, if your wedding is totally without any pomp, you can just wear normal everyday clothing and ask your invites to do the same.
But the wedding industry has different ideas, for both you and your attendants (if any) on your big day. So, settle in, take a breath, and look at all of your options.
If you have definite male and female roles, then you have the option to choose matching dress and suit options. Do some research and take a look at what clothiers now have for lesbian wedding dresses. There are colorful gowns with coordinating suits, either sporting the same colors or accessories that match.
If you don't want to do the husband/wife thing, both of you can wear matching or color-coordinated dresses.
The thing about wedding gear today is that, while traditional white is still readily available, couples are opting for a more colorful look. This can apply to you and your wedding party dress as well.
Depending on your lifestyle and your dress preferences, you can go casual all the way up to formal for your lesbian wedding. Wear dress jeans and put flowers in your hair; wear a long skirt in brilliant colors; wear an all-white formal gown. The important thing is that you feel comfortable for both the ceremony and the reception/party afterward.
You also might want to let your invites know what dress will be the "norm" for the event. If your same-sex wedding ideas include an after-party that is filled with fun and games, they should know how to dress too.
You have as many options as any LGBT wedding dress does. But just as all same-sex couples should do, choices of clothing should be made together, both for the two of you and for any members of your wedding party.
You can choose formal suits if that fits the venue and the other same-sex wedding ideas you have decided to incorporate. Or you can go fully casual in jeans, shorts, and colorful matching T-shirts. And, of course, you can choose anything in-between.
Again, let your invites know. They want to celebrate with you in the same environment you have chosen and enjoy your wedding day with you.
In the end, this is your day; everything about it must be your choice. And that includes any type of dress for you, your wedding party, and your invites.
In traditional Jewish weddings, a wine glass is broken to symbolize several things from Hebrew history; in pagan weddings long ago, couples would end the ceremony holding hands, and members of the wedding party or attendees would tie ribbons around those hands; in many Christian weddings, a unity candle is lit by the newlyweds.
You might want to read about these traditions and how they might relate to celebrating your union. And you may even come up with similar ideas to symbolize your commitment to each other. Some couples pour red and white wines into a cup and drink; others pour two different colors of sand into a vase which they then keep and display in their homes; still, others have a book for everyone to write comments and well wishes. What symbol might commemorate your special day and the life you will have together?
It's an old saying, but still true. How will you remember your wedding years from now? There are so many options for visual memories.
When you do this, you are sure to get photos that capture all of the major moments of your ceremony - the preparations, the entrance, the exchange of vows and rings, your family, guests, and bridal party members, and all of the celebratory activities and fun at the reception. From that photographer, you can get hard copies in an album and a digital copy of every photo on a disc or flash drive. Your budget will drive what your photographer will deliver to you.
If your budget is tight, you can enlist help from attendees and their smartphones. These devices have the ability to produce professional-looking photos, with the use of filters and editing tools. Give your guests their assignments for different parts of the whole event so they can still enjoy themselves.
While this is totally old school, one couple placed a disposable camera on each chair at their reception. Attendees were asked to just snap pictures as the night went on. Such a camera will not produce a great photo, but this kept up the theme for the night - the 1950's.
No need to get fancy unless you want to. If you do, then it'll take a catered meal. You'll have a "tasting" to make choices. But if you are going for more casual, pick the foods you both love and offer them up in a way that fits the mood. Into BBQ? Bring in some grills and enlist some guests to man them. Chicken and potato salad? Italian? Catfish, greens, and grits? It's all doable with some planning. Lots of grocers and restaurants have carryout.
The bar: It's expensive if you foot the bill, but there are variations - open bar for a period of time, then cash. Or kegs of beer and boxes of wine. Even BYOB is acceptable.
Will you have a dessert table? You can have the traditional cake or cute cupcakes that friends can make. Hold a contest and let guests vote on the best of them.
You can go with the traditional rainbow theme - rainbow ribbons, rainbow sparklers, even rainbow accessories for your dress. But a rainbow theme is becoming a bit cheugy, so you may want to opt for other themes that go along with your general theme. BBQ? make some fun signs to tell guests what's cooking. Tropical? Tiki lamps and leis as table favors. Decorations don't have to be costly.
Any gay or lesbian wedding should incorporate music that fits their LGBT status. There are musical selections that have become "anthems" of sorts. Check out songs by Lady Gaga (Born This Way), Cyndi Lauper (True Colors), Madonna (Vogue), Diana Ross (I'm Comin' Out), Queen (I Want to Break Free), and more. These can be used during the ceremony, for the first dance, and throughout the reception. Think about projecting some videos on a wall or screen.
Same-sex couples have choices and decisions. But remember this: your wedding day is all about you two. Whether a gay or lesbian wedding, whether a traditional wedding or something totally unique, every same-sex couple deserves to celebrate in a way that is meaningful to them. Your gay wedding needs to make a statement about your special bond and commitment. Whether a bride, a groom, or anything in-between, your special day is up to you. Every gay couple (or lesbian) must make it their own. Let this even be a sign to the world (starting with family) that you are now a union.
Fact: The first legal gay marriage occurred in Mass. in 2004. Look how far we have come.
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