I Do Dilemmas!
While gay and straight weddings are becoming more and more similar, there are still some major exceptions. Since there are certain questions I am repeatedly asked, I decided to put together a list of the five most common gay wedding dilemmas, and how to solve them. If you think I left one out, drop me a line!
How Do I Make People Take My Gay Wedding Seriously? This is the oldest (gay) wedding problem in the book, and an even bigger issue if your “marriage” is not legal. Your best bet? Make your wedding as traditional as possible. Have a wedding party, rehearsal dinner, registry, the works. If your parents, or another close relative, are on board, have them throw you one of the parties. People will understand the importance of your ceremony more clearly if Mom calls to remind them of the cocktail party in your honor.
How Do I Throw a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party? Times have changed, and so have the big pre-parties. While some couples still go to Hooters or Chippendale’s, bachelor and bachelorette parties have undergone major transformations. Since your wedding is guy/guy or girl/girl, feel free to have one affair for the both of you, or mix it up. (One rule that remains the same: Don’t host it yourself! A wedding party member or other friend or relative does the duty.) If you have a joint party, re-think the stripper. The last thing you need before your wedding is to witness your future hubby getting a lap-dance from an ex-boyfriend… of yours.
How Do I Find Gay-Friendly Vendors? When searching for gay-friendly vendors, be it a registry or a honeymoon suite, the most important thing you can do is tell perspective vendors upfront that you are a gay couple. If there is any hesitation, move on. There are always more LGBT-friendly vendors to be found through the growing number of gay-friendly directories (including our incredibly comprehensive directory!). If it’s a gift registry, find out if they have a same-sex listing for presents. For honeymoons, check out the IGLTA’s site; they will inform you if your hotel, and surrounding area, is gay-friendly. Remember, too, that your gay and lesbian friends tend to offer the best referrals ever.
How Do I Find Someone to Marry Us? Legal or not legal, finding your officiant is personal and sometimes confusing. If either one of you is religious, and want a clergyperson, talk to someone at your house of worship. Even if they can’t officiate, they might be able to lead you in the right direction. You can go online and search for non-denominational ministers in your area, who should be happy to include religious elements in your ceremony. Prices and availability vary from state to state. Finally, if you want your best friend to officiate, have him or her get ordained through the Universal Life Church. It’s an online process, and takes about ten minutes to complete the forms. Trust me…I’m a minister.
How Soon Can We Start Planning Our Wedding? Okay, this one’s not gay-specific, but it’s one of those questions I get asked all the time. There isn’t an exact time you need to start planning your wedding, so take in mind the size of your affair and level of extravagance. If you plan on inviting a hundred or more people and have your heart set on that cliff-side restaurant, start immediately; sites book up, bands book up, and caterers book up. Also, if you’re planning a wedding over a holiday weekend, give your friends as much notice as possible. For any big affair, try and get going at least a year ahead of time. On the downside, some vendors won’t commit early on, in case they’re holding out for a bigger client. So if you’ve got 40 guests and are celebrating your nuptials in the backyard, you can afford to wait six months before prep.
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!.