Janelle Rodriguez Photography 2 Photo Credit: Janelle Rodriquez Photography

Gay and Lesbian Wedding Attire

There are many wedding traditions that are easily adopted, adapted, or simply rejected when planning a same-sex wedding, especially in this era of increased recognition of marriage equality. Choosing attire, however, can be complicated for some brides, grooms and bridegrooms; especially for those whose fashion and gender expression is outside of bounds of the generic clothing rack. Thankfully, however, LGBTQ-friendly attire is increasingly available from designers with vision and there is more visibility of queer wedding fashion for those couples seeking inspiration.

Lesbian Wedding Attire Options

Lesbian couples enjoy the opportunity to wear the combination of ensembles that best fit their personalities. Do you both want to wear a grand white ball gown? Or maybe you both want to wear slacks. Or a tux. Or a suit / dress combination. Whatever you want to do: go for it!

Wedding Dresses & Gowns For Lesbians

Do keep in mind that, for whatever style best suits you as individuals, it is well-advised to make an attempt to coordinate length and general style so you complement each other. Even so, you are still welcome to observe the “she doesn’t get to see the dress until the wedding” tradition if it is important to you. In that case, consider purchasing your gowns at the same shop so the consultants can help guide you both toward a beautifully coordinated ensemble. Or, make sure you are working with a planner or friend to help keep the details of your wedding attire in sync.

Tailored Wedding Suits & Queer Fashion

For the queer-identified couples, there are several designers who make gorgeous wedding suits for women, often in white and light ivory, or tailored tuxedos. Some are feminine, some are sleek and contemporary, and some are dapper and lean masculine; these days you can find wedding suits to flatter every body type and form of expression. You may have to select from LGBTQ-friendly designers online if you live in a smaller market as some regions will have fewer brick-and-mortar shops that carry these specialty suits and tuxes. Designers to consider include Tomboy Tailors.

Gay Wedding Attire for Men

Men also have options when choosing their wedding attire. If you are planning a formal event, you can both wear matching or complementary tuxedos. Linen suits, or slacks with vests and coordinating ties are great for beach and garden weddings. For informal outdoor events, some couples have even been known to wear shorts and short-sleeved, button down shirts. Establish the formality of your wedding first, and then determine what you are both most comfortable wearing.

Attendants, Guests, and Attending Other Couples’ Weddings

Not all same-sex weddings will have attendants, but if yours will, you are under no obligation to require them to dress exactly alike. You might suggest that the men in your party wear coordinating tuxedos or suits, or give them a general color guideline (black, tan, light gray, or navy, for example) and provide them with stylish coordinating ties. Female attendants will appreciate the freedom to choose their own style of dress or suit. Give them a color or colors to which they should try to adhere, a formality guideline, and let them choose an outfit that best flatters their physique. By staying flexible, LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ attendants alike will feel comfortable as they support you on your wedding day.

Your guests are likely to include gay and lesbian friends and family members who have attended at least one– if not more– same-sex weddings, as well as those who are less familiar with LGBT wedding customs. There are plenty of guests who don’t know what to wear to any wedding, let alone one where the traditions are less familiar. But, though listing attire guidelines on your wedding invitations is still discouraged, you can include suggestions on your wedding website and via word-of-mouth. Let your guests know if you expect black tie or cocktail attire, beach-chic sundresses and linen suits, or uber-casual backyard BBQ style. Your time of day and venues will hint at appropriate clothing, but your guests will definitely appreciate additional guidance.

When you are a guest at either a straight or gay wedding, what are the expectations for your attire? Do you have to wear a cocktail dress, even if you are completely uncomfortable in clothing that is that traditionally feminine? While you should make every attempt to honor the formality of the couple’s wedding, you should wear what makes you feel most comfortable. Instead of a cocktail dress, wear a stunning pantsuit or slacks and blouse combination that make you feel good. Men may be required to wear tuxedos to black-tie weddings, but you have a ton of options at more casual affairs. Don’t lose sight of your comfort level and identity, and your attire will fit the bill.

When you begin your search for your wedding attire, consult with the wedding professionals listed on GayWeddings.com to find professionals who have identified themselves as ready, willing and able to meet the needs of today’s LGBTQ community. 

Looking for more? Check out our section on same-sex wedding style!