So you’re engaged, congratulations! Now comes the fun, but slightly daunting task of actually planning your dream wedding. Between choosing the right venue and finding the perfect wedding attire, it may seem a bit overwhelming. And if you’re a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, things may seem even more strenuous because your wedding may not follow the template of a “traditional” wedding. We also are very aware that the wedding industry still has a ways to go in getting with the times.
But, don’t stress, we’re here to help you enjoy the process because, no matter what, your wedding day will be magical—we want the journey to be fun as well! Now let’s get started with some basic pointers.
1. Who Should Pay for the Wedding?
Ok, so, historically, the bride’s family is expected to pay, but that’s an outdated notion. Many millennial couples are paying for their own weddings, and the number goes up when it comes to same-sex couples. Really what it comes down to is the wedding should be paid for by someone who can afford it. Yes, it’s a special day, but don’t go into debt because of it! If your familes are supportive, talk to them about how they imagined the wedding would be paid for and, if they were planning on paying for some, discuss how exactly you’d like the split the cost.
2. How Do We Find Inclusive Vendors?
You can find wedding pros on lovestoriestv.com! Start by watching wedding videos from your wedding location, or venue if you already have one, and see which vendors have worked at those locations. You can even contact them directly from lovestoriestv.com.
Important note: If during your search you come across any vendors who refuse to work with you because you are a LGBTQIA+ couple, please contact us and let us know, so we can ensure these businesses are not listed on lovestoriestv.com. We do not endorse vendors who are not inclusive of all couples.
You may not want to reach out to vendors directly to see if they work with or specialize in LGBTQIA+ weddings because who wants to put a damper on the joy of planning by contacting a vendor only to have them refuse you? Instead, here are a few ways to research yourself before you even send a message or pick up the phone:
Watch the wedding videos on their lovestoriestv.com channel and see if they have any LGBTQIA+ weddings
Peruse their website photo galleries and social media to see if they proudly showcase work from a past same-sex wedding of theirs.
Check their “About Me” page to see if they use gender-neutral language or stick specifically to brides marrying grooms—same with any forms on their site. If they’re equality-minded, they’ll make an effort to show this in their wording.
Browse vendor guides on sites that specialize in LGBTQIA+ weddings like Love Inc., where every vendor featured has been personally confirmed by the blog’s editors for their inclusiveness.
You can quickly scan the vendor’s site to see if they mention having taken either of these courses or have the badges to prove they completed them.
3. What Should We Call Our Wedding Party?
So, yes, traditionally, there are bridesmaids and groomsmen, but, these days, more couples are having mixed-gender parties and, of course, more same-sex couples are getting married. Here are just a few alternative terms to consider: I Do Crew, Friends of Honor, Adventure Party, Bridesminions, Matrimony Homies, Honor Guard, Commitment Crew or simply, entourage, attendants or posse.
Of course, if you have a themed wedding or inside joke with these honorees, you can think of something even more unique, but those are just a few that make us smile.
4. What Should We Wear?
Are you really asking this question?? We’re kidding, there are no wrong questions here! But, seriously, what do YOU want to wear? Have you both always dreamed of a massive princess ballgown on your wedding day? Amazing! We suggest you go to the same bridal salon (on different days if you don’t want to see each other’s look!) so that the consultants are aware of what each of you is wearing. That way you can have a cohesive look, while still keeping your dress a surprise.
If you’re not a dress type of gal, that’s cool too! There are so many great jumpsuits, pantsuits or even rompers out there! Take a look at our event playback with David’s Bridal for some inspiration. We love an all-white suit—so chic!—but if you don’t love the color white, don’t feel limited. You can wear black, purple, splashy florals, any kind of print or color that speaks to you and makes you happy. As long as you feel comfortable and confident, that’s all that matters.
5. Who Should Wait at the Altar?
We spoke to New York-based vow coach and officiant, Tanya Pushkine, aka The Vow Whisperer, to get her expert advice based on weddings she’s officiated and vows she has helped write. Probably the most well-known and documented moment in a wedding is the moment the bride walks down the aisle toward the groom. There are movies created around this moment. However, what if you’re a same-sex couple? As Pushkine says, “This is a fun opportunity to make an entrance, and a good time to involve your families in your special day. In same-sex ceremonies, there are a few ways you may want to approach this:
Both partners walk up the aisle together or with the officiant.
One partner walks first, escorted by one or both parents. The other partner and his or her family follows.
One partner approaches with the officiant, as in a traditional heterosexual wedding, and the other partner follows.
Instead of one aisle, you have two or even three. You both approach at the same time, with or without your families.”
You can get so creative when it comes to your processional, and really your ceremony. We love the idea of a ceremony in the round so all your guests are in a circle around you and this gives multiple entrance points so you can enter at the same time, as Pushkine noted in that last point!
6. How Should We Say Our Vows?
Once again, The Vow Whisperer, is here with her tips on the readings she would suggest and any other vow-based advice. “The top three readings I’ve used in weddings are: Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Hodges v. Obergefell, ‘The Art of Marriage’ by Wilferd Arlan Peterson and ‘i carry your heart with me’ by ee cummings,” she said.
She also noted that a majority of same-sex couples choose to write their own wedding vows compared with about a third of opposite-sex couples. This likely comes with the territory of not having many “traditional” weddings to look to for inspiration. We love her tip on swapping the traditional “to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband.” “For gender-neutral vows, this wording can be changed to something like, ‘to be my partner, my best friend.’ If ‘partner,’ sounds too much like you’re establishing a law firm together, other words to consider are ‘better half,’ ‘life partner,’ ‘lover,’ ‘other half,’ ‘significant other,’ ‘soulmate,’ ‘spouse’ and ‘sweetheart.’ ” she said.
7. Is There a Difference in Wedding Speeches?
Not really! However, as with every wedding, it’s worth noting the uniqueness of the couple. So, in that regard, you may want your speakers to acknowledge that this is a different and special relationship and to announce it to the world. Some of our favorite speeches we’ve heard have gone along the lines of: “The rest of the world is finally realizing what everyone in this room already knows—love is love.”
8. Who Should Change Their Name?
Umm, whoever wants to! You can also hyphenate your names or create your own new last name together, or maybe no one wants to. You can quite literally choose whatever names you feel most comfortable using and the one that you are proud to live with.
In case you haven’t caught on yet, a wedding is YOUR day, which means you get to do whatever you want, however you want! Do you like the idea or a more conventional wedding, go with that. Would you prefer a drag queen officiated your wedding? Do it!
Yes, there will be a lot of pressure from loved ones who think you should do something one way or another but, listen, thank them for the advice and, ultimately, do whatever you want.
Watch some of our favorite lesbian weddings for inspiration below:
If you are still having trouble planning your wedding, email email@example.com and we can reach out to our network to find your perfect vendors to match your ideal style, budget and location!
Once your wedding is over, don’t forget to share your wedding video on lovestoriestv.com to inspire couples who are planning their wedding and to show your appreciation for the talented videographer you end up hiring.
Need help finding a videographer, venue, vendors, or ideas for your wedding? Browse our massive library of real wedding videos tagged with all of the pros who made the big day happen to find your wedding dream team. Here are a few popular categories to get you started: New York weddings, California weddings, boho weddings, rustic weddings, South-Asian weddings, etc. Still can't find what you're looking for? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your wedding questions or to get personalized vendor recommendations.