It’s a miracle to find your soul mate in this crazy, busy world, so we must congratulate anyone who has been lucky enough to find ‘the one’.

As more countries continue to legalise gay marriage, gay couples can still be faced with many issues when planning their wedding. To any same-sex couples planning their wedding right now, here is our guide to ensure the smooth running of one fabulous celebration…

The Guest List

The most difficult decision you are likely to be faced with is whether or not to invite friends and family who don’t approve of your “lifestyle”. Many heterosexual couples are also in relationships that aren’t approved of by their friends and family and have faced this issue. Of course, almost everyone wants their parents at their wedding, if you do decide to invite family who haven’t been supportive of your relationship to this point, be prepared for either response on the RSVP. Ultimately, you should decide how much you would regret not sending the invitation.

The Wedding Party

If you want your closest friends at your side during the ceremony, by all means, ask them! Traditionally, the maid of honor and best man are “witnesses”, they sign the legal marriage document, along with you two and your officiant. And remember that the terms “bridesmaids” and “groomsmen” are totally optional.

Wedding Attire

Just like any bride or groom, wear whatever you like! Some lesbian couples walk down the aisle in traditional wedding gowns and veils, complete with bridal bouquets, and some choose “tuxedas” (tuxedos designed for women). Men might choose traditional formalwear or designer suits purchased especially for the occasion. You can wear identical ensembles or choose separate outfits that complement your individual styles. The bottom line – whatever style you choose, make it your own.

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The Ceremony

Your ceremony itself is a binding ritual so make it truly personal. Start with the basic outline of a traditional wedding as a starting point, and personalise it from there. Writing your own vows is a great way to celebrate your commitment to each other and it’s uniqueness. You can draw what you like from traditional religious vows, or start from scratch and express your feelings in your own words. For your readings, you don’t necessarily have to address gay issues, you could read about love, friendship, companionship, trust, growth, or whatever tickles your fancy. One unique element that you can add to your big day is that instead of one partner waiting for the other at the altar, both of you can walk down the aisle together.

The Rings

Perhaps you’ve already given each other rings, and maybe now you’ll add bands to go with them. Your wedding ring will not only symbolise your love, but will also showcase your everlasting commitment towards each other. So take time to ensure you have chosen the perfect ring for your partner. You may not want to wear your rings on your left hands, which might suggest that you’re married the “traditional” way. Many gay and lesbian couples choose to wear commitment rings on their right hands.

The Reception

Some couples plan a relatively traditional reception with dinner, dancing – the works! Others choose a beach barbecue or a fabulous meal at their favourite restaurant. You could have a cocktail party in a penthouse suite, champagne and cake on your roof terrace, or even consider an art gallery or club. Work with caterers, florists, and DJs, or hire a Wedding Planner to do all the hard work for you. 😉 The only limits are your imagination and personal taste.

Gift Registry

Like every newlywed couple, you deserve gifts. If you’re thinking about a store registry (a department store, such as Debenhams or Harrods), go for it, but prepare to deal with a registry consultant who’s potentially unclear on the concept of same-sex registering. Even once you get past the comprehension stage, there may be another dilemma, for example, some computer systems only have one place for the bride’s name and one place for the groom’s. Until these programs become more flexible, one of you may have to do a little role-playing. Tell guests to check under both bride and groom for each of your names. You could also choose a nontraditional registry, or work with a manager to create a registry from scratch at your favourite homeware store, wine store, or bookstore.

Honeymoon

Every newly married couple should run away for a little R&R. If you decide to celebrate your commitment privately or with a few close relatives or friends, you might even want to consider a destination wedding. Hawaii is a wonderful place to exchange vows – the islands are very open to commitment ceremonies. You’ll find plenty of packages to choose from, and you could do worse for a backdrop than a beautiful, palm tree-lined beach!

We’d like to leave you with a mood board we created, dedicated to all the same-sex couples, celebrating equal rights, right now! :)

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