Legal Considerations

I’ve been known to say that same-sex couples are putting marriage back into weddings. And, that’s because of the host of issues that gay and lesbian couples historically have had to consider when choosing to get hitched.

Not only ago, we had no access to partnership recognition. But with the recent advancement of marriage equality, we have had the opportunity to celebrate our unions however we so choose. In backyards, in churches, on mountain tops. In courtrooms, in parks, and on the steps of city hall.

In all cases, we don’t just start by planning a party (although our unions do tend to be fabulous, heartfelt celebrations that represent many milestones), but instead we have to consider carefully what our legal opportunities are, where those opportunities are, and what they mean to each of us as an individual couple.

With us, the marriage consideration comes first; the wedding second.


More Legal Considerations

  • The Importance of Preparing a Power of Attorney

    The purpose of a Power of Attorney is to ensure that you identify the person you want to take care of you, the person who will “stand in your shoes” in the event you are unable to act on your own due to a serious illness, injury or incapacity. Learn more.

  • Protecting Your Union In A Complicated Legal Landscape

    Along with marriage equality comes the reality that not all marriages are forever, and the LGBTQ community must plan for this possibility in the same manner as the straight community. Bottom line: the importance of a pre-nuptial agreement cannot be overstated.

  • Why Every Couple Needs A Prenuptial Agreement

    Let's get down to a common misperception: most couples presume they’ll never need a prenup. So say it with me before we go any further: we are all human, we are all human. Ok, now go to the latest celebrity gossip rag and open it up. Et voilà.

  • Finding The Best Gay Family Lawyer For Your Relationship

    A lesbian reader from Florida recently asked GayWeddings.com if she and her partner could legally get married in D.C. Ahhhh, such a tricky question!

  • How Do I Legally Change My Last Name?

    There are two basic questions to answer as you contemplate this decision: (1) What are the pros and cons of changing your name? (2) If, after considering #1, you decide to move forward, how do you change your name?

  • Getting Your Legal House In Order

    We know it’s not the hottest topic but whether you are married, partnered, or single, there are a number of legal documents everyone should at least consider having in place.

  • Are We Married Here? Knowing Which States Recognize Your Gay Marriage

    Not to knock the romance out of your relationship, but marriage is a legal institution. Make sure you know what rights and obligations you’ll receive in your state, and what you won’t, and be sure to plan for the days and nights you pass through non-recognition states, too.

Wedding innovator Kathryn Hamm (@madebykathryn) is co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography (Amphoto Books, 2014), an Education Expert for WeddingWire and Publisher of GayWeddings.com