I never was the type to fantasize about my ‘dream’ wedding, but recent events have made me think how lucky I am, as a straight woman, to be free to marry the man I love. Gay marriage in the UK, has recently been made legal, and lots of progress (but still not enough) is being made in the USA. Kids growing up now will expect to be able to be married, whether gay or straight, but there just isn’t enough gay-friendly

advice out there about weddings. What do I know about gay weddings? Not much, other than, like straight weddings, it should be a special day, where 2 people and their families come together and witness a loving partnership. I was asked to be a bridesmaid 6 months ago, and since then, I’ve picked up a few ‘dos and don’ts’. If you are recently engaged, planning a wedding, or just curious, here are a few of my top tips:

1.Decide who to choose as your bridesmaids/groomsmen

This is an important one, since you need to know that the people you surround yourself with in the lead up to the big day are 100% supportive and willing to take that frantic phone call at 11.30pm about table runners. I don’t think the gender of who you choose really matters. These people should be your biggest fans, whether your brother, sister, or best friends. Choose positively, and don’t ask someone to take on the role if you are unsure, or worried about offending people. It’s your big day, so you get to call the shots.

2.Wedding Planning: Assign Tasks

You’ve chosen your crew – now what? Are your bridesmaids or groomsmen there just for the ride, or are you going to be barking orders at them from now until the big day?! Hopefully neither! Have an informal get together, perhaps over brunch or a leisurely afternoon. You know these people better than anyone, so assign them small wedding tasks to help you unburden. If you have a stylish friend – ask them to help you look at swatches and themes. Is one friend super organized? Get them to look over, or even create budgeting sheets. There’s always one who is the ‘party animal’, so get that guy or gal to set up your bachelor/ette. Ask for help from your bridal party – it’s what they are there for!

3.Wedding Planning: Menial Labor

If you are getting nervous at the sheer amount of stamps and envelopes that need sending, or need help with table plans, or even decorations – ask your bridesmaids! They love hanging out with you anyway, so give them a call!

4.On the Wedding Day

Brides and grooms should enjoy their big day and not worry about when the canapés are going to be served, getting your hair and makeup done, or moving Aunty Margaret from the dining area in to the marquee. Unless you have hired a wedding planner, I would suggest getting your bridesmaids to help. Hand out the order of the day to your bridesmaids (groomsmen) before the wedding day. They should be able to greet guests, let people know where they should be, and generally be your wedding day ambassadors.

5.Emergency Kit

Bridesmaids should carry all your extra kit with them on the day, especially if you are wearing a big dress, or fancy tux (you don’t want to ruin the line by stuffing things in your pockets). Bridesmaids should be on the lookout for any makeup or hair slips, so you look camera ready all day. I would also recommend emergency blister plasters, stain remover wipes, roll-up flats (if you are wearing heels), makeup, and tampons. You never know when any of these things could happen!

I hope you found my tips useful. I am yet to attend a gay wedding, but I am sure I will soon. I would hope that the way you plan and celebrate for any wedding revolves around a couple who really love each other, and if you are a bridesmaid, I think this should be true of the role.

Katie Jenner works in London as a digital media type, and blogs at www.beingthebridesmaid.com , where she loves discovering unique trends, independent brands, and wedding fashion. She is going to be a bridesmaid for her friends’ wedding next year, which she is very excited about. When she is not indulging her Pinterest obsession (hello mason jars), she enjoys running in the hills of her home county of Derbyshire, England, cooking hearty food, and talking to her cat in a strange squeaky voice that scares her boyfriend. Find her on Twitter @bridesmaidSOS , or follow her on Pinterest.

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