There are more and more LGBTQ destination wedding events being planned than ever before!
We love love at Invitations by R Squared! Now is a really great time to take stock of how we can be of service and benefit to these couples with their LGBTQ destination wedding plans.
We’ve spent a lot of time speaking to our past couples, new couples, friends, and our community of LGBTQ wedding planning professionals about LGBTQ destination wedding planning, and we’ve learned that a lot of people have misconceptions about what really goes on at these fabulous celebrations.
The subject we’re talking about today is information that our LGBTQ couples already know. This is information that perhaps a LGBTQ couple could use to help keep things calm during their LGBTQ destination wedding planning process. Or, heck, you could just print it out, and hand it off to anyone who looks at you cross-eyed.
So, without further ado, here are the top myths about planning a LGBTQ destination wedding:
Myth: In a same-sex relationship there are gender roles (e.g., one “bride” and one “groom”). The “bride” in a gay relationship wears drag at his LGBTQ destination wedding, and the “groom” in a lesbian relationship wears a suit to hers.
We know this isn’t true, and sometimes we shake our heads – often collectively – at some of the misconceptions we hear about how some folks view LGBTQ couples, same sex marriage and even LGBTQ destination wedding events.
Actually, only 4 percent of gay male couples and 36 percent of lesbian couples have one partner in a suit and the other in a dress. Four percent.
A traditional wedding is full of gender roles, like the fact that the groom is forbidden from seeing the bride before the ceremony and then has to lift her veil, but there is no need for those elements in a LGBTQ destination wedding. In short, you and your fiancé can do whatever the heck you want!
Myth: A civil union is good enough.
We don’t think so.
Not only are civil unions not federally recognized, but they carry little weight for same-sex couples.
LGBTQ couples are spending three times more on their weddings than they did on civil union or domestic partnership ceremonies. And these couples deserve to have all the magic that every couple deserves on their wedding day. LGBTQ destination wedding events are the perfect tableau to celebrate your love and your future.
Myth: Gay couples have huge, over-the-top weddings.
Oh, please. Some of the most amazing LGBTQ destination wedding events were elegant, intimate, and uber-romantic.
Sure, there are some LGBTQ destination wedding events that WERE practically the party of the century. But there are weddings everywhere that have an air of “Carnival” about them, not just LGBTQ ones.
By and large, the weddings LGBTQ couples are having are much smaller than those of our straight friends. Not only are these couples generally not inviting their parents’ random friends, neighbors and co-workers, but they are often limiting the number of extended family (and unfortunately, sometimes that includes nuclear family too) at their LGBTQ destination wedding events.
Only 28 percent of same-sex weddings have more than 100 guests. And only 4 percent of same-sex weddings have a budget higher than $96,000. That number is 5 percent for straight weddings, by the way, so roughly the same proportion of each community is having luxury weddings.
Myth: Gay men spend more than lesbians. And older same-sex couples with money are spending more than young ones.
We know. <insert a BIG eye-roll at this one!>
That age-old stereotype of rich gay men having over-the-top weddings. Well, guess what? All LGBTQ couples like to party too, and they actually spend 15-percent more than their gay brothers.
Meanwhile, you would think that a couple that has been together a long time and is financially independent and settled would be spending more on their LGBTQ destination wedding, but it’s just not the case.
Myth: A gay wedding is the same as a straight wedding.
Well, a wedding is a wedding is a wedding. We are all looking forward to the day when a LGBTQ destination wedding is a wedding. A celebration of love and commitment.
LGBTQ couples are just not very traditional, and that’s especially true of gay men. Less than 15 percent incorporate traditional wedding features such as wedding showers, ring bearers and flower girls, a garter/bouquet toss and a receiving line. Even first dances aren’t the order of the LGBTQ destination wedding day.
Only 35 percent of gay men and 58 percent of lesbians do them. And only 20 percent of LGBTQ couples dance with their mom or dad. We’re finding that gay and lesbian couples like to skip traditions altogether or invent their own.
Myths: Parents of same-sex couples don’t support them.
Thankfully this has changed drastically, and Omigosh! – We’re so happy about that!
Of the same-sex couples we surveyed who are already married (where we helped design vow-renewal or re-commitment invitations and specialty stationery), only 47 percent had the emotional support of parents.
The good news is that 62 percent of engaged LGBTQ couples do. About one third of lesbians have some financial support from parents, as opposed to about 14 percent of gay men. Years after we were blessed to see the first legal marriages starting to occur, we’ve seen a big shift in public opinion, and this extends to parents of LGBTQ kids.
Myth: Dads walk their gay and lesbian kids down the aisle.
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the couple walks together, sometimes on their own. Sometimes they saunter in with their best girl- or guy-friends accompanying them.
It’s really up to the couple holding the LGBTQ destination wedding.
Who’s the bride at a gay wedding? Well, sometimes there are two, and sometimes there are none, and sometimes one doesn’t feel like a bride. This gives LGBTQ couples so much freedom in how they approach the ceremony space, and most of them aren’t being escorted by anyone!
In fact, 78 percent of gay couples and 59 percent of lesbian couples enter that space together, unified, and many other couples walk down two separate aisles. Nobody has to be “given away” at a gay wedding; that’s just another silly gender norm.
Myth: LGBTQ couples only hire LGBTQ-owned businesses.
We used to get this question all the time from some of the wedding planning professionals, especially when the US finally recognized marriage equality as a nation. “Will a LGBTQ couple hire me if I’m not gay?”
Of course! Just because someone is gay doesn’t mean they are good at their job. Only 46 percent of same-sex couples really care about your sexuality. Personality, connection, and ability are the most important factors for LGBTQ couples when choosing wedding professionals.
In short, same-sex couples have the ultimate freedom to do whatever the heck they want within their LGBTQ destination weddings. There are simply no rules, and we are loving every minute of helping LGBTQ couples in being nontraditional and making their own traditions.
We know that – sometimes – you need a little kick-start of inspiration. We’ve put together some stellar collections of images over here.
And we’re here to help! If you’ve questions about “the whole LGBTQ destination wedding invitation thing,” PLEASE get in touch with us! You know Fran? We’ve talked about her before. She’s the owner and designer at Invitations by R Squared. She’s amazing, and we KNOW she can help with papers, colors, design and fonts.
Look … this LGBTQ destination wedding you’re planning? It’s going to be amazing. Memorable, magical, and everything you ever dreamed of. Make it your and your fiancé’s statement about love and commitment. Throw tradition out the window, if that’s what feels good. Trust your instincts; that’s why you have them – to help you two find your path together.
Make it truly your Best Day Ever.