There are a few things as beautiful as a wedding! While there are sights of nature that will fill you with awe and beauty such that it takes your breath away, love in-display shall always take the cake! There is something about a couple announcing that they love each other in front of the people close to them and taking the oath to spend their eternities together which is truly an amazing experience. While the beauty of love lies in the fact that it is gorgeously unique in every case and comes in all forms, same-sex weddings still fight little battles every day to just be with the person they love! It is an astounding truth that even in the days of smart homes and both pets, two people still have to rage wars just to get married! This is exactly why every same-sex wedding is a win and needs all the celebratory confetti and cheers in the world- a little more so than less!
What remains the same in a same-sex wedding?
While the set of people getting married might not fall into the age-old representation of a bride or a groom, and there might be little (or big) changes here and there, but there are certain things which still remain constant in most weddings and are not as susceptible to changes. After all, a wedding is still a wedding, regardless of the structural makeup.
Wedding Planning: The wedding planning leading up to the day is still a very prominent phenomenon, whether yours is a straight or a same-sex wedding. The logistics still need to be handled, and the arrangements from caterers to wedding photographers still need to be made, no matter what your wedding dynamics look like. From deciding on the font for the invites to the right shade of wedding theme, everything still needs to be done, and the couple does it together, as in any wedding.
Wedding photography: The artistically captured getting-ready clicks, the posed captures by the romantic bridge, there are some things which never change! A wedding day is a day that every couple wants to cherish forever, and having the perfect LGBTQ wedding photography is the perfect way to do so. The key is in finding an lgbtq+ wedding photographer who has relevant experience in covering a same-sex wedding.
The ceremony: The walking down the aisle might look different, and so can the vows, but what never changes is the two people in love standing in front of each other, promising “forever” to each other, while being cheered by their loved ones. This is one part of the equation which remains common in all weddings!
The reception: After the wedding ceremony is over and pictures are done, the wedding reception is about gathering your closest friends and family around and having a time of your life. It’s about raising toasts and dancing till your feet tire out, about eating, drinking, and being merry! The spirit of togetherness and the shared joy in celebration of a union remain constant at all weddings, same-sex or otherwise.
What is different in a same-sex wedding?
While a same-sex wedding is based on the same general format of a wedding, we can’t undermine the glaring differences in a same-sex wedding. A wedding like this still manages to stand out uniquely in society and brings up striking differences of their own. There are some differences and issues which might crop up in an LGBT wedding which you won’t witness in a heterosexual wedding.
Legality: While marriage equality and right have been reformed significantly, still it is very true that a couple has to check whether their relationship and wedding is validated by the law of the land. While we believe that any two should who love each other be allowed to take the call of spending the rest of their life together, having the legality in your favor makes things a lot easier. However, we hope for a day when the legal allowance of the state law shouldn't be the first thought in the minds of two people in love, regardless of their genders.
Discrimination: Whether it is getting a bad deal from a wedding vendor or a snide comment from a guest, an LGBT wedding is no stranger to discrimination. While there are wedding vendors who can be great to work with, some can be a little unwelcoming towards LGBT couples. The same can be the case with guests, as there are people who will still turn up at your wedding to support you but will make unpleasant comments on it. This is surely a situation that is exclusive to same-sex weddings and can be a little difficult to handle.
Guestlist: While guest lists can be challenging in all weddings, it is especially so in LGBT weddings. While traditional brides and grooms might struggle with how they can fit everybody in, the same-sex couple might be battling a whole another problem, as they might be struggling to get a ‘yes’ to an invitation. As society holds conflicting opinions about LGBT weddings, many invitations might go unanswered or with a rejection of an invite. Which on one hand is frustrating, but it also means that the people who are there are truly people who wish you well.
Gender roles, who? A traditional straight-sex wedding has several roles cut out specifically for the bride and the groom. Be it in the proposal, the wedding planning process, or on the day of the wedding, there are specific roles that are implied to be performed by the couple. While the bride selects the decor, the groom takes care of the honeymoon plans, while the bride walks through the aisle, the groom stands at the end of the aisle, waiting for his bride. But with LGBT weddings, the traditional gender roles are shaken up, altered, and molded as per the couple's preference! This is a refreshing take on the flexibility of gender roles.
Budgeting: The traditional weddings have the budget broken down in a specific way, like the wedding gown or bridal suits for the bride might be more focused than the groom's tux, the cake is given specific attention, and so on. But at a wedding which is a little different from the usual, budgeting looks a lot different too. Much like the gender role flexibility, the budgeting also is broken down keeping equality in mind, letting both parts of the couple take the best call for their special day, keeping their priorities in mind. Who pays for what is something that should be talked about even before you start swapping wedding colors!
Make it yours: While the rule book does not exist when it comes to LGBT weddings, and the gender roles are skewed, each LGBT couple is left to their own devices to find that perfect wedding. While there is no norm, the couple is left to do whatever fancies them, maybe a combined bachelorette party for the brides? Perhaps having a combined wedding party than a matching set of bridesmaids and groomsmen? There are many things which can be shifted around to make sense to the specific couple, letting them make their wedding entirely their own!
Traditions-what to apply, ditch or change?
Proposal: There can be some proposal confusion in a same-sex wedding, but the best route to go is the way your heart leads you. This means doing dual proposals to each other, skipping the ring for something that makes more sense to you. While traditionally the groom asks his bride for her hand, same-sex proposals challenge this old-fashioned norm by doing things differently.
Wedding Party Labels: While it is very easy to put people in boxes and label them to be bridesmaids or groomsmen, same-sex weddings challenge this concept as well, most LGBT nuptials stay clear from wedding party labels, and go for "wedding attendants" or "I Do Crew" instead!
The Outfits: While the bride and groom outfits seem to adhere to a specific expectation, a same-sex wedding might narrow down the options for the two brides or two grooms, when it comes to outfits! While the spouses can go for a matchy or complementary bridal dresses or tuxes, they can also do contrasting outfits as per their preferences. You can go bright and colorful or carefully measured in terms of tonal balance, but either way, do things that feel right to yourself and your partner!
Vows: Every LGBT love story has stories worth telling, so go ahead and make your vows entirely your own. While wedding vows are pretty inclusive in their meaning, adding your own personal touch to your forever promise will make that much more special.
Walking down the aisle: While in a traditional ceremony, the bride is walked down the aisle towards her future husband, in a same-sex wedding ceremony, there are lots of alternatives to do this. Talk to each other openly. Did you always want to walk down the aisle, do you not care much about it? Be on the same page and discuss the perfect way to go about it. Maybe you want to walk towards each other to meet in the middle? Or you both walk down the aisle? Or not? Do what works best for your wedding!
Quick tips for a same-sex wedding!
Do “You”! If you can't identify with the normals of a more traditional wedding? Make your own traditions! Obsessed with the old-fashioned Elizabeth Bennet-esque feel for your wedding, even though it is not typically “gay-like”? Do what you want! It’s your wedding! You don’t have to conform or rebel or do what other gay couples are doing. Live your own truth!
Well-wishers only: Your wedding day is special and makes sure you surround yourself with people who wish the best for you. This means no toxic guests who might ruin your day or leave a bad taste on your wedding day. Be intentional about whom to invite and whether you trust them to be supportive. The world is hard enough for same-sex couples. You don't need to invite that vibe to your wedding day!
Symbolism: While a wedding day is totally your own, including symbolic touches as a nod towards the LGBT community can be a cool touch. This is something that needs to be talked about and normalised, and having your wedding as a platform for that can be just awesome! Whether this means carrying a rainbow bouquet or having a tell-tale cake topper, every bit counts.
Communicate- Being inherently a part of an LGBTQ community doesn’t mean you are not exposed to age-old gender expectations, and that will find a way to trickle to your wedding day. Talk to your partner about your expectations from the wedding day. If there is something that you always wanted on your wedding day, communicate, and you can work together to make it happen.
Celebrate! Let loose. We understand that hosting a wedding is not a walk in the park, and when it is a same-sex wedding, things can get stressful real soon. Instead of trying to ensure everything is going smoothly and well, relax! Kick your feet up and let your hair down and cherish this moment and your partner. Take it all in. It’s your wedding day, after all!
Love is love and can thrive between every two being capable of emotions. People are livewires, just waiting for the right person to come along, and when they do, gender should not matter! Do same-sex weddings need the label, as they are just weddings at the end of the day? Well, yes and no! No, because it should matter whether it is the same or different sex people who are getting married, as marriage still holds the same definition in both cases, and it doesn’t really matter, at least in an ideal world, it won’t! But also, it does matter! Because we are far from an ideal world, as one can be! It matters because so many people loved, fought, and died, without getting the chance of being married to their love, just because society deemed it improper. It matters because of the stares and the assumptions, the high-school bullying and snide comments of the relatives that one has to endure. A pride wedding should be labeled and celebrated a little more just for all the social conditioning for centuries alone, which not only resulted in deep-seated paranoia in the hearts of people but also internalized paranoia within the minds of even a person from the LGBTQ community. While times have changed, we will be naive to think the society is open-armed to all things they don't understand. So every time there is an LGBTQ wedding, it is a win! Because we still live in a world where this wouldn’t go down well! To count blessings! To love freely- and to small wins and big ones!