Waite 1 of 11 With every union being unique, it's up to each couple to interpret the traditions of marriage to suit their celebration. But if you're running into conundrums as you plan your big day, these answers to common questions we've received regarding will be sure to help. Charlotte Jenks Lewis 2 of 11 Since there aren't traditional bride-groom roles in a same-sex wedding, how do we decide whose parents pay for what?
This is a question all couples face, not just gay ones. That's because the age-old custom of divvying up the costs between the bride's family who traditionally pay for everything reception-related and the groom's who historically cover the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon is just that: Today, many couples of all stripes are footing the bill themselves.
Still, bankrolling the wedding often comes down to who can afford it, and it's lovely when parents want to pitch in. Brian Hatton Photography 3 of 11 We want to avoid working with people who will make us feel uncomfortable. What's a good way to make sure vendors are okay doing a gay wedding? Start by browsing the vendor listings on dedicated same-sex wedding directories engaygedweddings. Not all of the vendors will use LGBTQ-inclusive language, but all have agreed to advertise on these same-sex wedding sites, so you can be sure they're on board.
If you're still having trouble finding a caterer, photographer, florist, or other vendor that reflects your vision, you can go the mainstream route. Once you see someone's work that speaks to your sensibilities, simply let them know yours is a gay wedding and ask them directly if they're cool with that. Scott Clark Photo 4 of 11 I have extended family who have made it clear they won't attend our wedding, but my mom insists all family must be invited regardless.
Do I have to invite unsupportive family just because my parents say so? As the saying goes, you can't please all of the people all of the time.
If you yield to your mother's wishes, you're compromising your own; stay true to yourself, and Mom and Dad will be the miffed ones. Neither is an enviable situation, but to be the most diplomatic about it, follow the who's-paying-for-what rule. If your parents are footing the majority of the wedding bills, you can keep the peace and invite Uncle Mike, even if he's made his anti-gay-marriage views known in the past.
On the plus side, someone that unsupportive probably won't show up anyway! As your parents, they ultimately just want you to be happy, but if they do still put up a fuss about it, you can always ask them to cover, at the very least, your stationery expenses so you're not shelling out for the extra invites.
That being said, in the end, it comes down to you and what you stand for. Don't let anyone ruin your big day. Jenelle Kappe 5 of 11 We're having a same-sex ceremony and are having trouble deciding on the processional order since there's no bride.
Couples of every orientation are bending the rules to customize their ceremonies, so feel free to take a route less traveled to the altar. You can ask a person of mutual importance to escort the two of you on each arm. Or walk one behind the other with your respective parents, though you'll still have to figure out who goes first rock-paper-scissors? Or consider an alternate floor plan—dual aisles.
Dividing the seating into three sections, separated by two aisles, allows you each a path to the altar. Just keep in mind: Separate, simultaneous routes require a second photographer. Swipe here for next slide Photography: Give your wedding party any label you like; it's your day, after all, and you can be as traditional or nontraditional as you want.
Plan your party as you would if it immediately followed the civil ceremony but with additional sentimental touches. For example, outfit the venue with images from your nuptials to let guests share in your first memories as a married pair. You can create a photo wall of framed shots, display pictures on your guest book station, or arrange a few images among the centerpieces at each table.
You could even roll a brief slideshow during cocktail hour complete with pictures, video clips filmed by a friend or professional , and audio from either the ceremony itself or you and your partner's reactions after exchanging "I do"s.
If that's too much technical trouble, ask select guests who attended your civil ceremony to stand during toasts and share a few words on what made the event special. Attendees who delivered readings could also stand to share them with your extended guest list during dinner.
If your reception will take place months after you become official, consider printing an image from the civil ceremony on the save-the-date or enclosing one in the mailed envelope. You can also pen a few lines on what the day meant to the both of you to display in an additional enclosure or on your website.
Most important, remember that loved ones are grateful for any amount of time they can spend with you to celebrate your happy occasion and are not keeping tabs on what events went missing.