I get frustrated with gay and lesbian clients who argue with each other over whether they should have certain traditional elements as a part of their wedding. They’re usually arguing about what other people will think of their decision. Forget that!
(main image credit: newly-weds Mr. & Mr. Garrett & David Enland-Rock, married on Vieques 10/11/13)
My philosophy is that if one of you really wants it and you can afford it (most of the time it’s not a question of money), then you should try to do it.
For example, if one half of a couple wants to do a traditional first dance, you should seriously consider doing it. And if not, you need to really consider WHY not. Do you never dance together? Do you really think people will be shocked to see a gay couple doing a romantic solo dance? You just got married for God’s sake. They know you’re gay already. Please have fun with your wedding and enjoy all the perks of being the kings and queens (no pun intended) for the day.
As the self-appointed “Queen of Gay Wediquette,” I have determined that you shouldn’t let anybody tell you that you can or cannot do anything you want to do at your wedding, within reason and good taste (directed at the client who is demanding glitter bombs at his ceremony). While this may seem like an easy direction to follow, there are a few sticking points that I run into over and over again with gay and lesbian clients.
Getting down that damned aisle. It shouldn’t be such a problem to plan your ceremony, but if your parents aren’t completely supportive of your union, I can understand the emotional insecurity. You certainly don’t want somebody holding you down instead of propping you up on your big walk to the most important step in your life.
Traditionally, the parents play a role in the ceremony, whether by walking you down (can be one or both of them) or participating in a unity candle or something like that. But they don’t have to. However, you should both either be escorted or both not be escorted if both sets of parents are present. When there is division in the ranks, camouflage it. Get it?
You can walk down the aisle individually. You can walk down the aisle together. I’ve had two sets of gay clients who approached the aisle from different directions and then joined hands at the end of the aisle to walk the final steps as a couple. Don’t worry – there are a zillion ways to do it and make it seamless and cool in photos. But it’s something that worries alot of my clients and I don’t want them to worry anymore.
First dances are another weird sticking point, but it’s usually the gay men who argue about this one. I already expressed by opinion above – if you would dance together at somebody else’s wedding, you should have a first dance at your own wedding that is just as special. Forget anybody else’s opinion. If they’re that opposed, they shouldn’t have been on the guest list.
Formal Cake Cutting. I’m actually surprised by how often gay couples have skipped this – although the ones who do it, usually do it very, very well. Again, when we’re planning the schedule together, this is one where I often sense dissension in the ranks through the phone. Somebody wants to smash cake and somebody doesn’t – and it isn’t about the mess. It’s about the pictures and the audience. For the last time today I’m going to tell you what to do – DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. You absolutely positively must stop thinking about how the choices you make for your wedding festivities will affect your wedding guests. If it’s that big a problem, it’s time to back up and think about that guest list one more time. Nobody who is not completely supportive of your marriage should be invited. Period.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!
Sandy Malone, guest blogger with Pridezillas.com, is the owner of Weddings in Vieques, a full-service destination wedding planning company based on Vieques Island, seven miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. She and her team have planned and executed almost 400 weddings and commitment ceremonies in the Spanish Virgin Islands. Sandy is a veteran event planner from Washington, DC, with years of experience planning large and small weddings, press conference, and corporate and political events. She has planned countless events on Vieques Island, beginning with her own wedding back in 2004. Since that time, her professional staff has executed large and small weddings of all styles, including elopements, vow renewals and fabulously posh events at multi-million dollar waterfront villas. She has also planned family reunions, destination baby showers, corporate retreats and a variety of other events for clients from all over the United States and Canada. Sandy is also the owner of Weddings in Culebra and Flowers in Vieques (a full service floral and décor firm). Visit her at www.weddingsinvieques.com.