5 Helpful Tips for LGBTQ Weddings
— By Raashka Mannie
09 July 2019
Pride month may be over, but love never has to end. LGBTQ+ weddings have tons in common with straight weddings, but there are factors that just as easily differ. We’re here to share 5 pieces of gender- and orientation-specific advice and inspiration for your wedding.
Whether you're thinking about what to wear, how to style your wedding to reflect your pride or even seating plans, LGBTQ+ weddings tend to approach marriages with their very own spin. For this reason, planning your wedding can throw you for a loop if you haven’t got all your ducks in a row. We already have an introductory list on having your own same-sex wedding, featuring a list of LGBTQ+-friendly vendors to help you along, so we’re here to share 5 pieces of gender- and orientation-specific advice and inspiration for your wedding.
Image by The Celebrant Directory
1/ Make your own traditions
It should go without saying that you don’t have to think inside the box of traditional marriage when planning to wed your partner. Even things that we consider to be fundamental to marriage aren’t necessary, whether it’s choosing to sit on the bride or groom’s side of the venue or having to use the labels of ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ at all. You can do what makes you comfortable — and should, seeing as it’s your wedding.
‘Traditional’ aspects of weddings, such as vows, can be entirely heteronormative. Go ahead and write your own. Watch videos of other gay couples for inspiration and write from the heart when penning your own vows. You can also stray from the usual path of having bridesmaids and groomsmen by having whoever you want support you at your side as you plan to get married, be it a bridesman, a groomswoman or simply someone you can’t be without.
There are so many facets of weddings that are all about being straight, so don’t hesitate to challenge them. As you forge on with your partner, it’s important to set the tone of your married life with your wedding day, including the option of having one at all.
Image by Paul Grace Photography
2/ With flying colours
Some of the most fun you can have with planning your wedding is theming. There are endless options for adding pops of pride and LGBTQ+ love to every corner of your wedding. We’ve got the usual options, such as rainbow cakes, pride flags flying high, music specific to same-sex love and gender-specific detailing, but there are a good few things that you can do to be a tad more unique.
Why not base your wedding palette on a pride flag specific to you and your partner? For instance, the soft blues and pinks of the trans pride flag makes for perfect flower options, from hydrangeas and bellflowers to roses and tulips. You can find a catalog of the pride flags online. If you do want to go all out with the traditional rainbow but can’t commit to the entire spectrum, then pick a handful of your favourites from the flag to work with.
Don’t rule out bursts of colour, too! You can opt for a bright show of pride with showers of rainbow confetti or hundreds of colourful balloons to celebrate your love. Not only does that make for gorgeous photo opportunities, but it’s such a pretty way to highlight your pride.
Image by Paul Douda Photography
3/ Walk this way
Another one of those ‘traditional’ aspects of a wedding is walking down the aisle to one another. It can be pretty confusing to choose who does what when you’re a same-sex couple or simply don’t like the idea of doing it. We’ve got good news: you don’t have to. Some LGBTQ+ couples meet one another halfway down the aisle, others walk down the aisle together, and some toss the whole aisle aside completely.
There’s no real reason for you to have an aisle besides the fact that it’s been done for so many years. That’s not much incentive when you really consider it, so think about how you and your partner would like to meet one another. You can get married in a cosy circle of loved ones, rather than have an aisle at all, or walk towards one another in full view of your guests as a nod to equality.
If your parents are super keen to walk with you and you love the idea, include them in the walk! Mix and match tradition and progression in one go, because it’s your party and you can do whatever you want to.
Image by Getty
4/ Exercise that passion for fashion
If you love fashion (or even if you don’t), choosing what to wear for an LGBTQ+ wedding can be a little tricky. When we think of weddings, we automatically think of pretty girls in white gowns and men in well-pressed suits — but why is that? There’s no reason that it has to be that way. Anyone can wear a nice gown no matter your gender; the same can be said of a well-pressed suit.
Before any decisions are made, however, discuss what you’d like to do with your partner. Maybe you want to abandon that ‘tradition’ of white, or maybe you’re totally over dresses and want to wear a fancy pantsuit. What you choose to wear and why needs to be an open conversation with your partner, whether you both end up in flowing gowns or not.
A nice little touch to your choice for the day can be the colour purple. It’s been the signature shade of LGBTQ+ solidarity and pride for so long that a swathe of purple eyeshadow or pair of purple earrings can be all you need to show off your pride. In fact, you can dress in purple from head to toe if you really want to. Power to the people and to purple!
Image by Wedding Day Story
5/ Stand by me
This is important for any wedding, but is especially important when it comes to LGBTQ+ weddings. Choosing to have the right people at your wedding can make a world of difference for how the day proceeds. You need to surround yourself with people who truly love and support you in your decisions. It’s vital that you and your partner go through the guest list to make sure you’re inviting the right people to your wedding.
Your guests set the tone for your wedding. If anyone is going to be awkward, standoffish or outright upset, it can ruin what should simply be a celebration of love. If there is someone you really want at your wedding but you’re not sure of how they’re going to comport themselves, consider meeting them well before the wedding to brief them on how to act. You might end up having to have a number of frank conversations about your wedding, which won’t necessarily be easy, but never lose sight of the fact that you deserve to be loved and respected.