Hetero Traditions You Want to Keep

Bride by Barbara Ann StudiosGay weddings differ from straight weddings in many ways, but the similarities are more common than most people think. While many same-sex couples skip heterosexual traditions they see as out of date or sexist or just plain silly, here are five we love. Party on Dudes and Dudettes!

One: The Proposal. I’ve heard it time and time again: “We’re two guys/girls, it doesn’t make sense to propose, so we just talked it out and decided on our wedding date.” Makes sense to me, if you want to be the most un-romantic couple on the planet! For many gay couples, a proposal isn’t necessary or required, especially if you’ve been planning your affair for years. However, since the proposal is one of the most romantic components of wedding planning, and the first, I strongly suggest you find a way to implement it. Besides, it doesn’t cost a thing.

Two: The First Dance. Your song, if you have one, will stay with you like molasses on sugar wrapped in beeswax. Use it for your first dance, and, if you’re comfortable, get on the floor and strut your stuff. Dancing lessons are completely up to you, but everyone will love to see you take a spin, whether you’re two-stepping or doing the Cha-Cha. Many gay couples start alone and then have the bandleader or DJ invite the crowd to join you.

Three: Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties. No, you don’t need to go to Hooters or get hung-over in Vegas. Drunken nights are fine (just not the night before the wedding), but some of the other ideas include having one party for both of you, or each one of you spending quality, alone time with your former “family.” It’s a great way for them to wish you well!

Four: Cut to the Cake. It’s tres chic to have a tres trendy cake these days, but do cut it, folks. Once again, it’s not only a fun ritual, but people love to watch the two of you make that slice. It’s a great photo-op, and it signals to the crowd that they can now dig in. As for shoving a piece in your partner’s face, that can go the way of live-butterfly favors.

Five: Gift Wrapped Up. A lot of gay couples don’t want gifts, either because they’re older and have everything they need, or just feel it’s a “straight thing.” Keep in mind your friends’ wishes. No matter what you tell them, many of them are going to bring you a gift, and a registry gives them wonderful ideas. Keep it simple, and make it a charity if you wish. You don’t need to announce it; have a trusted wedding-party member spread the news.

Photo credit: Barbara Ann Studios via TwoBrighLights


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David Toussaint is the author of the Gay Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning, Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony, and TOUSSAINT!.