We at Invitations by R Squared LOVE love. All love. And we love weddings. All weddings. Traditional, formal, straight, gay, casual, lesbian, hometown, transgender, queer, and destination weddings. Every wedding. And they are all equal. Once the question of, “Will you?” has been asked, and the deliriously happy, “Yes!” has been tendered, it’s time to start planning!
There are a lot of questions that come up when starting out planning a same-sex wedding. We talked with a number of fabulous wedding planners who all specialize in LGBTQ weddings. We found that there are five big questions that almost always come up. These are:
• Do rings still play a traditional part in LGBTQ weddings?
• What do we do about inviting non-supportive friends and family members?
• Who pays for what in LGBTQ wedding events?
• How can we have a great wedding on a small budget?
• How do we word our same-sex Save the Date cards and wedding invitations?
First, the rings. Find a jeweler that is affordable, reputable and possibly one that is a LGBTQ business. Ask for referrals from family and friends. Be sure to ask about their purchasing policies, such as return parameters, layaway, trading up and perhaps where they buy their diamonds – if things like blood diamonds are a concern and an issue. If you and your fiancé are shopping for rings together, fantastic! You two can totally share the cost. If you are going for the surprise factor, then you each will pay for the other’s ring individually. We love the idea of sentimental engraving on the inside of the ring or band.
Next, what are you going to do with those non-supportive friends and family? Invite them? Not invite them? Of course, you and your fiancé can and should invite whomever you wish to your special celebration. It’s your day and it should be everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Without being cranky or hostile about it, you would be well advised to make it crystal clear to anyone who might not be all that supportive. Your special and magical day should be exactly that – special and magical. THIS is not a day for judgement. This is a day of celebration of the love that is shared between you and your fiancé.
Our resources handed us some reasons why you should and some reasons why you should forgo these invitations.
Reasons why you SHOULD invite the non-supportive persons:
• Many people are fearful of LGBTQ weddings. Witnessing YOUR wedding will show them that there really is nothing to be fearful of.
• Your wedding can be the key to opening some closed minds.
• Diffuses a variety of misunderstandings.
• You and your fiancé rise above the hate by sharing a loving encounter.
Reasons why you might wish to SKIP the invite to non-supportive persons:
• Carefully examine the potential for taunting, hostile or aggressive behavior.
• Negativity can totally ruin your fabulous day.
• Will take the focus off of the couple who are wedding – and that’s NOT ok.
• Can cause emotional upset for the guests, the wedding party and the couple.
Let’s talk about money. I know, I know … no one ever wants to talk about that, but it always comes up. First, let’s look at parents. In traditional wedding situations, parents almost always pay for their daughter’s wedding. You should consider asking; you may be pleasantly surprised. Two grooms may encounter difficulty with this scenario. So, if your parents paid for your sister’s wedding, you may have something to leverage. For parents who are not fully supportive of the concept, it might be best to skip the conversation altogether.
We all know that – traditionally – the couple’s family either pays or kicks in some funding for their child’s wedding. As we’ve pointed out, this is not always how it works with LGBTQ couples. Most families view the marriage of their LGBTQ child as a happy and fabulous event. Some find it a difficult thing to accept. The big thing to remember here is that this event is about you and your fiancé. As we said before, they can keep their judgements to themselves.
Where LGBTQ couples are paying for their own wedding, there are two questions to ask yourselves:
How much can we afford?
How much do we really want to spend?
If you are looking for some ways to reduce the cost of your LGBTQ wedding, we’ve got some fantastic tips for you!
• The first thing to look at is the number of people on your guest list. Whittle that down and you could see some significant savings.
• Hold your ceremony and reception at the same location. This will reduce your costs significantly. Be on the lookout for a gorgeous setting – possibly a destination wedding – with a fabulous reception venue attached or very close by.
• The main event of your reception should be celebrating the wedding. A big fancy dinner doesn’t have to be the end all, be all of your wedding celebration. You can do a bar-style reception, perhaps with a luncheon, rather than a big fancy dinner.
• There is no written rule that you have to provide a full-service bar at your reception. Offering beer, wine and champagne is completely acceptable, with some drinks carrying a fee.
And finally, let’s look at your Save the Date cards and wedding invitations. The wording can be key. The basic information that is necessary is the time of the ceremony and reception, the date, the location of the wedding and reception, the style of the wedding and what to wear or what not to wear.
Some ideas for your Save the Date cards and wedding invitations might be:
When it is the brides or grooms sending the invites:
“Tiffany Jae & Melissa Johnson invite you to join them as they pledge their love to one another…”
Planning a LGBTQ wedding is a whole new world with a ton of flexibility. You and your fiancé are trailblazing a new path. Create new traditions, take a couple of chances, and make this celebration the perfect one for you and your fiancé. Making this day exactly the day you want will lift your hearts, and may be a source of inspiration for other LGBTQ couples who are treading this same new ground. Have the wedding of your dreams! We are behind you a thousand percent.
In considering your choices for Save the Date cards and wedding invitations, be sure to take a look at these adorable keepsake options. Also, our Pinterest boards here are packed full of inspiration and wonderful ideas for your special day.
Even as you begin to plan your same-sex wedding, know that you embark into new and gloriously unexplored territory. Consider yourself a trailblazer for the cause. Start new traditions, take chances, and show the world how it’s done! The rewards you discover will not only lift your heart and soul, but may inspire new Gay and Lesbian couples to venture where few have gone before. Wishing you the wedding of your dreams!