3 Do’s and Don’ts for Planning an LGBTQ+ Wedding
Although there are admittedly some parts of the world that still have some catching up to do, it’s truly wonderful that we finally live in an age where LGBTQ+ marriage is accepted the way it should be.
In many ways, LGBTQ+ weddings are pretty much the exact same as ‘traditional’ weddings. There are guests, a location, vows, celebration, and of course, the happy couple themselves. Some of the finer details, however, can be very different. There are certain factors that go into consideration when planning an LGBTQ+ wedding that opposite sex weddings don’t typically worry about.
So, whether you’re a certified wedding planner searching for helpful advice to give your clients, or you’re looking for tips to plan your own wedding, don’t worry – we’ve got you! Below are 3 invaluable Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when organizing an LGBTQ+ wedding.
DO: Start organizing in advance
Regardless of the type of wedding it is, it’s going to require lots of hard work and contain dozens upon dozens of tiny details. Planning ahead of time is essential! Leaving everything until the last minute will only serve as a recipe for disaster.
(Plus, think of all the headaches it’ll cause you!)
We’re not saying you need to have every last decision made from the moment the proposal is announced. Rather, once you get an idea of when-abouts the wedding to take place, that is the time to start getting the ball rolling. There are no rules for how to properly organize a wedding, LGBTQ+ or otherwise.
All we know is that, from experience, the more time you give yourself, the better off you’ll be in the long run!
DON’T: Overlook the services of a certified wedding planner
Some couples like to take the reigns and pilot these types of situations themselves. That’s okay! But it can’t be overstated how helpful a certified wedding planner can make the whole endeavor for you.
Remember: they’re not there to lessen the overall experience for you. They’re there to shoulder the heavy load, so that you don’t have to worry about all that stress! A certified wedding planner’s job is to make YOUR life easier. That way, you can sit back and truly soak in the awesomeness that is your wedding day!
Research into the certified wedding planners operating in your area (or wherever you plan to hold the big day). Check out their website, their portfolio, and their reviews. These days, there are TONS of professionals available who support LGBTQ+ weddings and would be happy to lend their expertise.
It’s all just about finding the planner that fits best with YOU!
DO: Invite the people you want
For ‘traditional’ weddings, this may sound like a given. However, for LGBTQ+ couple, it’s not always that simple. Of course, it goes without saying that you should figure out a reasonable budget for your big day, and base the number of guests around how many people you can afford to have in attendance.
But once you have that figure in mind, set a firm boundary about who you are and are not comfortable inviting.
It sucks to say, but sometimes, LGBTQ+ weddings can still be a sensitive topic for certain people involved. This can often include some family members. If you come from a wholly supportive family, then that’s fantastic!
Unfortunately, there are other who aren’t quite so lucky. These are the people who may become pressured by outside influences to include the wrong people in their special day, such as relatives who don’t necessarily support you.
This is why it’s important for you to remember: this is YOUR day! It’s only going to happen once. You’re not selfish for wanting it to go exactly perfect, or have you and your partner call the shots. Don’t shy away from putting your foot down and saying no.
You’re allowed to reserve this day for the people in your life who love you and support you. Don’t feel you need to waste a chair by filling it with someone you don’t want there in the first place.
DON’T: Feel you need to conform to specific wedding attire
Personally, one of the stereotypical questions that always gets my blood boiling is: “So, who’s the ‘man’ and who’s the ‘woman’?”
For starters… Ugh.
Fact is, gender roles and constructs are a product of our society. Whether it’s about color schemes, roles within the relationship, clothing, or what-have-you. There’s quite literally NO need to feel you have to abide by gender stereotypes.
If you and your partner both identify as women, there’s no law forbidding both of you from wearing a beautiful wedding gown! On the other hand, if you and your partner both identify as male, and one of you doesn’t want to wear a tux, who says you need to?
Wear whatever you want! If you want to wear a suit, suit it up! You feel like slaying the big day with a stunning princess ballgown? You do you!
(Just don’t go in your birthday suit. That’s probably taking it a step too far. Unless, of course, you’re hosting a nudist wedding with a fully-informed audience.)
DO: Research into LGBTQ+ friendly vendors, venues, and suppliers
The same as you would when looking into a certified wedding planner, do some research into the other local services you’ll need to make your big day come to life. While you may come across certain vendors and/or suppliers who don’t support LGBTQ+ weddings, there are plenty of other professionals out there who are allies!
If you happen to live in a forward-thinking, progressive area, your challenge may actually be having to narrow down your options. If your area is a little more conservative, don’t worry, you’ll still have options! It just may require a bit more patience, time, and searching.
But the right vendors, suppliers, and venues are all out there, waiting to hear from you!
DON’T: Feel you need to divide the wedding parties by gender
This all goes back to the idea of ‘traditional’ wedding protocol. Typically, one side of the wedding party would be all women; the other, all men. But it’s 2020, for crying out loud! Even for ‘traditional’ weddings, there’s nothing wrong with straying away from this.
Of course, if you and your partner want to stick to this wedding tradition, do it up. Ultimately, it’s your call, because it’s your wedding.
But if you have a varied group of friends, feel free to mix up the lineup of your wedding party. If you identify as female and have a male best friend, there’s nothing stopping them from being your Man of Honor! If you identify as male and your ride-or-die is a woman, don’t think you can’t appoint her to be your Best Woman!
Gender stereotypes are going out the window with each passing day. All it boils down to is this: love is love. So long as you’re happy, your nuptials should be 100% about you and your partner.
When planning your big day, approach each decision with the simple question: “Is this going to make us happy?” Embrace the choices that will, and know you have the strength to turn away from the choices that won’t.
When it comes to your wedding, make your own rules.