Wedding ceremonies are amongst the most memorable events of our lives, even ones we attend as guests. Now the ceremony is your own!
Same-sex civil partnerships, and more recently marriages, have been legal in the UK for 15 years. Throughout the first decade, the vast majority of LGBTQ+ couples managed their own ceremonies, footing the bill themselves. Many had no choice, as families were frequently unsupportive. Unencumbered by familial expectations and untied from tradition, they could plan their party as they saw fit.
Heady days indeed! Those pioneering partners were working with no blueprint, making it up as they went along.
The situation now is quite different. Queer couples are getting hitched more frequently and at a younger age than ever before. In even better news, families are increasingly supportive and eager to participate. This state of affairs brings tradition back to the table, but as just one set of options among many, many others. It has also presented some interesting and unexpected challenges. Managing one pair of Parents of the Bride can be a daunting task. Imagine managing two pairs! And Parents of the Gay Grooms can be even more high-maintenance!
For many Pride partners, it is important to coordinate attire, and dress and/or suit shopping is done together. Fun, right? Unless the shop assistant is clearly uncomfortable working with a same-sex couple, or worse, refuses to. The risk is the same for every aspect of the preparation process, from arranging for the venue, the transportation, the catering, and even the cake. (Remember the infamous case in the US that ended up in the courts, which found in favour of the company’s right to refuse service?)
Finding a decent DJ should be no problem, right? Picture this: “Ok, now it’s time for the First Dance! Everyone welcome the Bride and her father to the floor!” But which bride? And perhaps neither bride’s father is present. With so much to manage, neither newlywed had thought to discuss this with the DJ beforehand. Or this: “Ladies and gentlemen, take your places on the dance floor!” But a hefty percentage of your guests identify as neither. This is at the very least awkward, and it is potentially offensive, exclusive, divisive.
This is no way to start your wedded life together.
These are the things that your Wedding Planner thinks of, prepares for, and looks after. They are ready for what you couldn’t even imagine. They know the vendors, purveyors and providers. They have the necessary conversations, even (and especially) the difficult ones, so that you won’t have to. Same-sex ceremonies are still exploring uncharted territory. A Wedding Planner who is experienced and competent and knows the lay of the land – especially for a destination wedding in another country! – is always a boon, but for us LGBTQ+ folk, it is indispensable.