In 2013, Parliament passed the Marriage Act, which introduced civil marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales. This historic law meant that couples of the same sex were allowed to legally marry and finally had the freedom to lawfully tie themselves to a significant other- an exciting and momentous event for lots of people throughout the UK. One of the best things about same-sex weddings is the fact that they are relatively modern and new, so tradition and custom are definitely not something couples need to feel they should adhere to in any way. There is an awful lot of freedom and innovation afforded to same-sex weddings that sometimes isn’t as equivalently received at more traditional marriages between a man and a woman. We have put together some of the popular fashions that seem to be trending when considering same-sex weddings, as well as some nice ideas that you might want to think about when planning.
When it comes to same-sex weddings, there really are no rules with regards to what you should wear. Whether the couple chooses to go for two suits, two dresses, or something entirely different altogether, it is wholly up to you as individuals. It might simply feel more natural for one of you to wear something more dressy, whereas one half of the couple may find wearing trousers more comfortable; equally, it might be that both partners want to wear the exact same outfit. And, why not? Choose your outfits based entirely on what suits you as individuals and what most flatters your own unique style- not what you feel society ‘expects’ you to wear on your wedding day.
The wedding ceremony itself is another aspect of a same-sex wedding that you can really play about with and ditch tradition. Conventionally, a bride is walked down the aisle and ‘given away’ by her father, to her groom who is waiting at the other end. It may be that one of you wishes to do this and stick somewhat with this traditional aspect. On the other hand, you might wish to abandon this completely: both halves of the couple could enter and walk down the aisle together, representing their union and love for each other. If the idea of walking through the middle of your guests fills you with a sense of nervousness, you could always be the first there and ask your guests to enter afterwards.
Your wedding party is another aspect of the wedding that can be truly unique and an area you shouldn’t feel is restricted by expectations. A same-sex wedding doesn’t have to include the traditional best man/woman and groomsmen or bridesmaids. It may be that the married couple are part of the same friendship group and so will ask a close circle of friends or family to make up their special wedding party for their big day. On the other hand, partners may have a best friend, whether that is a man or a woman, to act as their support for the ceremony- as a best man, best woman, or simply best person to stand by their side and help them through it all! Hen/stag parties can operate in a similar way: a same-sex couple might choose to go on one big joint gathering with both sets of family and friends, but equally may want to still have the more traditional, separate events. You just need to explore all the options on offer and think about what you would enjoy as individuals. Would both of you want to go for a jam-packed, fast-paced clubbing weekend away, or would one of you prefer a more laid-back spa break? Tailoring the events to the people as individuals, rather than aiming it solely based on gender, will ensure that both halves of the couple end up doing something extremely enjoyable and truly memorable.
Speeches could be another area where some discussion around convention or modernisation is required. Typically, a groom makes a speech about his wife, alongside the bride’s father and groom’s best man/men. Although, this tradition is becoming more flexible, with some brides choosing to make a speech on their big day (see our previous blog on this topic for more information!). Both members of a same-sex couple might want to say a few words during the reception, but it may fall more naturally to the more confident and outspoken of the two. Again, just exploring your options and discussing it all in detail will ensure that you end up planning something that represents who you both are, as individuals and a couple.
There are lots of websites where LGBTQ wedding venues and suppliers are listed and recommended, so don’t forget to check these out and explore the suggestions made by reputable, tried-and-tested experts. It is unfortunate that not all places and people –even in today’s diverse world- accept and acknowledge same-sex weddings, so it is important to check that you are going to be booking and arranging venues and suppliers who truly support the marriage of two people-regardless of sex- in all of its different guises. Your day should be a celebration of inclusion, accepting love in all of its various forms, so speak to other same-sex couples and read as many reviews as you can, to get a feel for what is really going to set your day aside from anyone else’s wedding.
Don’t be afraid to cast tradition aside and plan a celebration that represents your love as a couple, happy planning.
At BWR-London, we believe your wedding should be tailored to you, which is why we work closely with our clients to create the perfect wedding rings. We specialise in crafting bespoke wedding rings that you’ll love forever. We can make almost any ring so have a look at our portfolio for inspiration and get in touch for more information.