Tag Archives: Same Sex Wedding

The Last Five Years in LGBTQ Wedding Planning

Photo: Megan Melia

To celebrate Pride Month in the US, Kate Schaefer, founder and editor of the fantastic LGBTQ wedding planning resource, H&H Weddings, is here to discuss how she’s seen LGBTQ planning change over her past five years in the industry.

The year was 2012. I was a 20-something-year-old intern, sitting at my desk in Brooklyn, essentially rolling my eyes at the Huffington Post piece I was reading. This bride-to-be was venting about how she, as a lesbian, had no resources for planning her wedding. “This is nuts”, I thought. And then I started doing some research because, let’s be honest, I wasn’t actually doing anything else.

As it turns out, the only part about the situation that was nuts was the fact that the bride-to-be was 100% right. The only same-sex/LGBTQ+ wedding resources looked like they had been designed in 1992. I decided to change that.

At the time, my knowledge of weddings was based off of the three or so episodes of Say Yes To The Dress that I had seen. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I was determined to get something going. LGBTQ+ folks deserved a beautiful, useful blog where they could go to see themselves, not just a straight wedding blog that occasionally featured a Ken & Ken/Barbie & Barbie-like couple.

Since 2012, I’ve seen many changes in the LGBTQ+ wedding space. People (on all parts of the spectrum) are choosing to make their ceremonies more and more personal. Five years ago, it often felt like a couple was just taking the hetero wedding mold and plugging themselves into the equation, which meant that, frequently, one member of the couple ended up being labelled the ‘bride’ and the other the ‘groom’ despite the fact that that (obviously) wasn’t the case.

The ceremony

We’ve featured hundreds of weddings on H&H Weddings and we’ve seen couples walk with each other down aisles, we’ve seen circular ceremony set ups, we’ve seen couples walk down aisles, simultaneously, towards each other. One of my favourite ever ceremonies we shared was Zoe & Lil’s outdoor ceremony. They set up a circle around them so that, while they said their vows, they were surrounded by friends and family!

 We’ve seen people dance and cry and laugh while walking down the aisle. We’ve seen people write their own vows and even sing their vows. The long and the short of it? Do whatever the fuck you want. It’s your wedding. No one knows your love like you, why not express it how it feels best?

The wedding party

We have also seen big changes in wedding party set ups. We’ve shared weddings with huge wedding parties and no wedding parties. We have seen wedding parties made up of all gender identities (straight couples, take note on this one! Why would a bride’s brother stand on her husband’s side of the wedding party?!)

The outfits

One of my favourite ways that couples get creative these days is attire! I used to feel like I saw a lot of uncomfortable brides in dresses because that’s what they felt like they were supposed to do. It was as if you had to options as a bride: 1. Wear a dress or 2. Wear an ill-fitting Men’s Warehouse suit that was frumpy.

Now, there are a ton of suiting companies that cater to people of all gender identities and expressions such as Bindle & Keep, Kipper Clothiers, Duchess Clothiers and Sharpe Suiting (just to name a few!). Another favourite of ours is House of Ollichon. They do wedding attire without a single dress in sight! Such a breath of fresh air! As well, couples are wearing a plethora of colours, jumpsuits, rompers, suiting combinations, shorts, dresses, skirts, really, whatever makes them feel their best, which is exactly what we like to see.

Photo: Rachelle Derouin Photography

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Faerie and Woodland Nymph Fantasy Wedding

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Dear internet, prepare to lose your collective shit over Mckenzie and Morgan’s beyond incredible, one-of-a kind, totally beautiful faerie/ woodland nymph inspired October wedding!

When you look at weddings day in, day out like I do, it can be all too easy to get a bit blinded by it all… But then a wedding like this one comes along, smacks you right in the middle of your forehead and forces you to pay attention! I am so excited to share this wedding with you today and I don’t think it’ll take long for you to realise why.

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The wedding took place at Sacred Mountain Ranch in Julian, California. “Our wedding theme was an ‘Autumn Fantasy Woodland Wedding'”,  began Mckenzie. “Think Lord of The Rings, fairies, satyrs. It was also LARP (Live Action Role Playing) inspired. We actually had a sword duel during the reception dinner.”

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Do-It-Yourself and Upcycled Barn Wedding

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Claire and Lou wanted a relaxed wedding that all their guests would enjoy. “The inspiration for our wedding came quite naturally”, Lou told me. “All we wanted was to feel comfortable in our outfits and for our guests to feel comfortable too. We wanted people to socialise as much as possible and for everyone to have an amazing time with us. We wanted a nice flow on the running order and our priority was to ensure that no-one was hanging around waiting for the next part of the day feeling hungry or bored!”

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The wedding was held at Southend Barns in Chichester. “The minute we saw our venue we knew that it was perfect”, she continued “I walked around the grounds and imagined certain props in certain places and got an idea of what would work and what wouldn’t. I got a lot of my décor inspiration by simply standing in the middle of the venue and looking around and thinking about what I could do.”

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Travel Inspired Wedding in Chicago

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Amy and Christina met online in 2008 and bonded over a mutual love of Kingdom Hearts, an action role-playing game. Their long distance relationship, and love of adventure, inspired their travel themed wedding.

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“We travel all the time”, wrote Amy. “We drive to anime and comic conventions everywhere from Los Angeles to Boston each year and we go abroad three to five weeks a year. We’ve travelled to fifteen countries together in seven years, and we are always planning our next trip. Travelling strengthened our relationship and taught us how to care for each other and stick together through anything, but we also LOVE our home and wanted our wedding to be a celebration of Chicago. We  had vintage touches in the wedding which came from the fact that I have a history degree, and our condo is vintage industrial and filled with antiques like Crystina’s numerous 1893 Columbian Exposition souvenir books and my WWII propaganda posters.”

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Small and Private Wedding in Wellington

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Laura and Toni wanted a low key wedding. After a ceremony at Wellington registry office, this kiwi pair had a small gathering at Logan Brown restaurant. “The whole point of the day for us was not to make a whole set of decisions for everyone else”, they explained. “All we kept hearing from other people was that they regretted making the whole day about keeping everyone else comfortable and ended up losing sight of the fact the event was supposed to be about them celebrating their love for each other. We debated eloping to Vegas (seriously) for about a year, before finally settling on doing something small, private and intimate, locally.”

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The couple definitely didn’t want a theme, they just wanted a casual but stylish day that was about them and their love. “Not having a theme was quite a conscious decision. Given we didn’t want to spend much, décor and favours weren’t on the priority list. We wore things we were comfortably in and picked our flowers (which were silk) because we liked the colours! It was seriously that simple. The cake was the same – we picked flavours we liked and colours we liked. We didn’t care that it was a different to the flowers either! Controversy!”

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Sexy Boho Winery Wedding

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Meg and Natasha met online. “Its our dirty little secret”, they laughed. “We are both super busy business women and were looking to find someone like-minded. Within a couple days of signing up we connected and then both ended our subscriptions. We both knew we had found our match.”

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They were married in Colorado at Two Rivers Winery & Château.” We are both well-travelled, we own a high-end salon, and wanted to do something non-traditional for our wedding”, they continued. “We really focused on having more of a celebration than a stuffy wedding.”

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