Your relationship may be unconventional, but the premise is still the same. So why should your wedding be any different? Well, simply because planning a same-sex wedding isn’t exactly like planning a heterosexual wedding – and that’s where this guide comes in. This guide offers advice on those situations unique to same-sex couples that need to be addressed before diving into the rest of the wedding planning process. Consider this your starting point.
1. Budget for everything
No matter your sexuality, your wedding budget will always be an issue. So, before you book a site and start sending out save-the-dates, budget for everything and check with any possible contributing parties to figure out who can afford what. Maybe your parents will be willing to pony up for a certain portion of the wedding, or maybe not.
2. Let vendors know that you’re a same-sex couple
It’s not necessary to inform the vendors of the situation if you don’t feel comfortable, but rest assured that vendors are not hired to judge you. In fact, letting them know of your unique situation may allow them to infuse creativity into your grand celebration. You aren’t the first couple to plan this type of event, so your vendors may have some good ideas from other same-sex weddings.
3. Don’t make your wedding political
It’s important to stand up and align yourself with those who are choosing a courageous and right path. It’s important to remember those people who were unable, not only to marry, but even to publicly declare their love. However, as in any wedding, what’s most important is that two people make wedding vows that proclaim their intention to live together in love and understanding for the rest of their lives. So, keep your focus on creating a wedding ceremony that’s based on nothing but your passionate commitment to the work of marriage.
4. Keep your ceremony relevant to your situation and beliefs
There is no standard formula for any wedding ceremony, but there are a few key components that should/could take place: the greeting (“we are gathered here today”), vows, ring exchange, readings, and the pronouncement of marriage, sealed with a kiss. But this is your day, so do what your hearts’ desire to make it personal. For example, when it comes to the time-honored tradition of the procession, one partner can wait at the end of the aisle while the other walks or is escorted down, you can walk down together, or you can create a seating arrangement with two aisles that convene at the altar. Do whatever is most comfortable for both of you.
5. Wear anything that speaks to your style
When it comes to choosing what to wear, women may choose to don the traditional wedding gowns like a lace mermaid wedding dress and veils, but if lace isn’t your thing, another style of dress such as an A-line wedding dress will do. Men can wear tuxedos or a nice suit purchased especially for this occasion. You may choose to wear matching attire or separate outfits to complement your individual style.
6. Make it official
Marriage is more than just a piece of paper. It involves commitment, compromise, even a joint checking account. Aside from that, you may want to write up a relationship agreement that outlines your emotional expectations to each other and have it notarized, listing your partner’s name on medical paperwork as your spouse, and including each other in your wills. If same-sex marriage is not legal in your state, then your officiant need not be “official.” A judge or a justice of the peace can consent your union symbolically, or a close friend or family member can do the honor. If you so wish, a man or woman of the cloth can also speak at your ceremony.
The courts continue their debate on whether or not same-sex couples have a right to a legal relationship. It’s sad. It’s wrong. It’s also what it is. However, you should not let legal short-sightedness impact your decision to celebrate your love with your sweetheart. Give your relationship the chance it deserves to succeed wildly, against all odds. After all, you deserve it. Your relationship deserves it!