Planning a Lesbian Wedding: Tying the Unconventional Knot
Getting married is complicated, stressful and a lot of fun. The idea of being with a person you love for the rest of your life is invigorating, but the conventional wedding now has many facets. Lesbian weddings are a lot of fun, but planning a Lesbian marriage is a little different than what most couples expect.
Before we jump right into a checklist and a few of the considerations you’ll have to make during the planning process, let’s discuss a few details.
Difference Between Gay and Straight Wedding Planning
Same gender couples will find that their plans are different than those seen in a straight wedding. A few of the main differences include:
* Planning duties are evenly split.
* Men tend to not follow the traditional wedding ceremony. This includes:
* No normal proposal.
* No walk down the aisle.
* No adopting a spouse’s last name.
* Women are often more traditional. Last name adoption, proposals and a walk down the aisle are often included.
* Pre-wedding events, such as bridal parties and bachelor parties, are significantly lower with a same-sex marriage.
There are also a slew of other considerations. Will one party act as the bride or groom, or will both parties remain their respective designation?
Straight wedding planning has been streamlined in a sense. While couples can sway from the normal ceremony, everyone is accustomed to the “I pronounce you man and wife” that is said after vows are exchanged and both parties say “I do.”
Planning Basics for a Lesbian Couple
A hectic time in a person’s life, same-sex couples have more considerations to make than straight couples when planning their wedding. A few of the most important considerations are:
Who Performs the Lesbian Marriage
Many religious institutes will not perform same-sex ceremonies. Since this is the case, you’ll need to either:
* Ask a justice of the peace.
* Ask a judge.
Some religions, such as Buddhism and Protestantism, are more lax in their beliefs and will perform a ceremony. When in doubt, ask the minister at your church if they’ll perform the ceremony.
Ceremonies are very similar to that of a traditional wedding with the following included:
* Ring exchange
* Pronouncement of marriage
The ring exchange and joining are often the problem areas during a ceremony. A few points to note are:
* Rings are worn on the left hand, but many gay couples will wear their rings on their right hand.
* The joining can have the wording rearranged. Obviously, “husband and wife” will not suffice in this case. Many couples choose “I pronounce you partners for life” for their ceremony.
You can still have a traditional wedding party. The terms bridesmaid or groomsmen can be thrown right out of the window. Instead, you can have your nearest and dearest friends and family at your side.
The changing of a person’s last name (normally the bride’s) is a common concern. This is a personal preference, but one that most couples decide to ignore when planning a marriage with the same gender.
Lesbian Wedding Planning Checklist
You’ll need a checklist to help you prepare when planning a same-sex wedding. A few of the items that must be on your list are:
* Start a guest list.
* Find and reserve a venue.
* Book florists and photographers.
* Purchase/rent a dress or tux.
* Register with retailers.
* Purchase and prepare invitations.
* Shop for dresses or suits for wedding party members.
* Decide on ceremony details.
* Send out save-the-date reminders.
* Arrange transportation.
* Schedule hair and makeup artists if applicable.
* Finalize vows.
* Purchase rings.
* Speak with a planner.
You can also choose to have a reception where all guests will be able to eat, relax and enjoy this momentous occasion. Receptions are completely optional, but they are also a big part of most couple’s weddings. In this case, you’ll also need to:
* Find a reception venue.
* Hire food caterers.
* Taste test food and decide on the available meals.
* Decide if an open bar or any bar will be present.
* Decide on a wedding cake.
* Hire a DJ or musician.
* Review a song playlist.
The throwing of the flowers or garter belt portion of the reception can be excluded as necessary. Arrangements, such as flowers and speeches can also be tailored to what you like best. Remember, it’s your wedding, and you get to make all of the rules.
With Lesbian marriages swelling in numbers, professional planners will be able to help you along the way.