Same-sex couples, your wedding planning questions answered
"We want to help you navigate the way to planning and executing a wedding that is perfectly you."
For many of us same-sex couples, navigating the wedding planning journey isn't the easiest of tasks, considering the majority of inspiration and traditions surrounding weddings are based on 'Bride and Groom' weddings, and so many of you have a number of questions.
We understand the challenges faced by a lot of same-sex couples as we've gone through this ourselves, and we want to help you navigate the way to planning and executing a wedding that is perfectly you in every sense of the word.
I constantly get excited about helping the LGBT+ community plan their wedding day, weddings have always been something that I have loved, ever since a young boy making wedding dresses for my toys. I lived with the fact that our community may never be able to have a wedding day, but now that that notion is behind us (well for Australia anyway) I am so thrilled that we can all have the wedding of our dreams.
Many of you have reached out and asked for advice, and it really excites me that you entrust Mr Theodore with your special day. Wedding planning is such an incredible journey, one that you will cherish forever and we owe it to you to help you with any concerns and questions you have.
So we’ve answered the top 5 most asked questions.
1. Who walks down the aisle?
Let me first say this, the great thing about weddings in this day and age is that you have complete freedom to do what you want. Couples have complete freedom to design their entire wedding in a way that is reflective of them without conforming to the norm that we've been exposed too.
So, how about not walk down the aisle at all. One idea that I absolutely love is when a couple gets to the ceremony before everyone so that they can greet their guests as they arrive, welcoming them personally to their ceremony, hand them a drink and once everyone has arrived proceed with the formalities.
I must say, I do love the suspense of going to a wedding ceremony and awaiting the arrival of the bride and/or groom. How about meeting your partner before the ceremony at a special and meaningful location, travel to the ceremony together and walk down the aisle together, hand in hand.
If you love a more tradtional approach of walking down the aisle with your parents, than a great way to do this is to make your entrance one after another with both sets of parents. We did this and it was extremly emotional and very special to include Nick's mum and dad. My parents didn't attend our wedding, so my beautiful big sister stepped in a played the role of mum.
2. Do you invite your non-supportive family to your wedding?
No, a big fat NO... absolutely not!!! You don’t have to invite them and nor should you feel obliged to invite them. Your wedding is a celebration of your love and what is important is having the people around you that support you, the ones that want to see you happy no matter what the circumstances, the ones that support you in the midst of everything you have gone through.
Don’t feel as though you have to invite non-supportive relatives to your wedding just to have them there, the last place you want to have any negative energy surrounding you is at your own wedding. I have vast experience in dealing with a religious and non-supportive family and Nick and I had to make the decision of not inviting them to our wedding. It is not a matter of not wanting them there, it is a matter putting yourself first and enjoying the most special day of your life with the ones that support your lifelong commitment. We sent out all my family an 'announcement' to be courteous in letting them know that we were getting married, but this was certainly not an inviation.
3. Do we need a bridal party, and if we have one, what do we call them? Can we also have an uneven number?
Bridesmaids, groomsmen, groomsmaids, or how about bridesmen or groomsladies, or as we did - 'Our Attendants'. Having a bridal party is a completely personal choice both for gay and straight weddings, but who doesn’t love being surrounded a little more closely by your best friends or siblings, especially those that have played such an important role in your life. Uneven bridal parties are completely acceptable too, so why not opt for the people that mean the most to you rather than ensuring both ‘sides’ are equally numbered. Don’t ask step-brother Robbie who you never speak to be a groomsman just because your partner has an extra important person on their side of the wedding party. Or diminish sides altogether, ask your closest friends to be your joint wedding party without distinguishing certain roles, have them greet all your guests and be waiting for at the front for your arrival. Too many people to choose from? don't have a wedding party at all. Ask one of your closest siblings on either side to be a witness and one of each of your best friends to make a speech.
4. Which set of parents get named on the invitation?
Like all weddings, it is generally the parents that host the wedding who get mentioned on the invitation, and more traditionally it was the bride's parents would always get a mention. Nowadays, most couples completely host the wedding themselves so including parents names on invitations is not a must. I personally find it beautiful to see both sets of parents equally mentioned but this can’t always be the case. Unfortunately, some same-sex weddings may not see both sets of parents supportive or in attendance, so be sure to mention the parents that are supporting. Or why not include the entire families, or your children, I've read many times 'together with our families, we .... & .... invite you to celebrate with us'.
5. Whose name goes first?
Another question we commonly get asked is 'Which name do we put first?' and this is not a silly question at all.
Most commonly the bride's name always went first, but there is no set rule to this. The way Nick and I decided was to repeat our names out loud, first his and then mine and vice versa, we agreed that Nicholas & Alexander rolled off the tongue better than Alexander & Nicholas, that's how we decided whose name went first.
Is there something we missed? Something you would like some more advice on? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sure to get back to you.