If it’s been said once, it’s been said a thousand times … At Invitations by R Squared, we love LOVE. Recently, it was brought to our attention that terms like “same sex” or “gender specific” are used to establish equality in a world where the LGBTQ community has had to fight for every right guaranteed to every other person on the planet, including the right to marry the person they adore. Won’t it be great when the day comes that weddings are simply weddings and the celebrations of love that we know them to be?
Destination wedding planning is not really all that different from one couple to the next, although the wedding itself is as individual as each couple … as it should be. Some couples live in cities and communities that are so LGBTQ friendly that they need not even leave home for their wedding. We have, however, asked several planners who have assisted LGBTQ couples with planning their destination weddings for advice on navigating these waters…
Lonelyplanet.com featured an article recently called “Top 10 Gay Wedding Destinations.” You can read it here. It’s a good piece, and most of the destinations are quite good choices, but the big question in our minds is: “How welcoming to gay couples are these destinations, really?” The destinations listed in the article include the standards of Hawaii, San Francisco, and New York. Missing from the piece are any destination in Florida, Palm Springs, California and Las Vegas.
One of the overseas destination locations LGBTQ couples might wish to consider is Tahiti. Same-sex marriage became legal there in 2013. Couples need a completed Tahitian marriage application along with copies of their passports, their birth certificates and a document known as a “single-status” form. If either half of the couple is divorced or widowed, proof of that is also required. Gaydestinationweddings.com has a lot of really helpful information available. You can visit that website here.
A search of the keywords “wedding” or “destination wedding” at OutTraveler.com will present you with an array of really useful information over here. OutTraveler includes a lot of information about where NOT to go. In spite of the very real legality of marrying the person you love, there are still those few holdouts who refuse to get with the program.
One theme that many of the planners we spoke with brought up repeatedly was wedding rings. There are lots of designs out there that make fabulous rings that reflect your pride in your community. You can see an example of that type of ring here, at Equalli. The rings and bands that come from Equalli could never be called “boring,” and the brand was specifically developed to be of service to the LGBTQ community.
Marrying away? This is one situation where hiring a planner would be a great investment. Choose one who is well versed in the rules of your location, can source fantastic vendors for your fete and is knowledgeable about the rules for your wedding country of choice.
Get as far outside of the box as you wish! Walk down the aisle together, if that’s what you want. Have two groom’s cakes instead of the big traditional white one. Your wedding is, well, YOUR wedding. Make it a reflection of the unique fabulousness that is you as a couple. Make it a reflection of the strength of your commitment. Make it entirely memorable and magical. Your life together will be all of those things!
You’ve selected your destination wedding location and your venue. Now is the time for the questions. Some of these will be more difficult questions. Please be sure to ask your booking agent or, if you’re using an all-inclusive venue, if ALL of the staff who will be serving at your wedding – right down to the food service staff – are truly LGBTQ friendly. This is important for you and your future spouse as well as your wedding party and guests. It might be advisable to bring your own photographer and possibly your own officiant so that you need not worry about sourcing those key vendors yourself. If you ARE using a destination wedding planner, he or she should be able to point you in the right direction with several vendors from which to choose. Our research team really liked the selection of LGBTQ-friendly vendors here and here.
It goes without saying that the folks who love you the most are the ones that are traveling a great distance to be with you and support your fabulous wedding. Be sure to arrange a couple of fun activities, like a group outing or a welcome party. Welcome bags or baskets in the rooms are always lovely. Check here for some added inspiration. Make provisions for transportation from the airport and ensure that they will be well taken care of during their stay.
We are so excited for you and this next step on your journey accompanied by the love of your life. Wedding planning can be a bit overwhelming and we’d like to help in any way we can. Do stop by our shop here and check out the wonderful selection of Save the Date cards and wedding invitations. Any of the stationary products can be customized to your specifications. Also, please stop by our wedding boards at Pinterest, here. We’ve worked hard to find just the right images and resources to help inspire you. We kno w your day is going to be just the best day ever!