It was love at first latte for Becky and Char, meeting as baristas in Starbucks. They just wanted to enjoy themselves on their wedding day, doing all their favourite things – grabbing coffee and vegan burgers, taking photos and getting tattoos! They were married in July with a £5000 budget.
Instead of a big reception, they went out for the day in Bristol, focusing on what they loved, followed by the pub with 22 of their favourite people. They told us, “We laughed through the car park, stood in water fountains, threw the keys to our padlock into the river and stopped at Society Cafe for a bit of respite from the rain! Oowee Vegan provided our favourite burgers, and we got the best photo of the day swinging around in front of graffiti that we stumbled across. We then went to our local tattoo studio and it was the perfect place to chill, making our day extra special”
Clare and Amy had humanist ceremony followed by a big reception with all their family and friends at the start of December, but they didn’t get the legal bit sorted out at the same time. Just before Christmas, the couple needed to attend Warwick Registry office to sign the papers. However, they didn’t just want to go down in their wedding outfits or jeans, they wanted to make it fun and so opted to hire their photographer again and dress as Batman and Snow White, because why the hell not, right? A few of their theatre friends and besties came along, also dressed as their favourite Marvel or Disney characters and they got some truly memorable photos of the day.
“We are two lesbians dressed as Snow White an Batman getting married… I’m not sure you can get more alternative than that!” the couple laughed. “Although we had our more formal day, neither of us wanted to wear our wedding clothes for the second one. We didn’t conform, and just did what made us laugh.”
Amanda and Heather describe themselves as simple, down to earth folk. they both wanted to be at the beach or in a forest-like setting for their March wedding day – somewhere out of the city and away from the hustle and bustle of life. They found the perfect venue in Secrets on the Lake in Queensland, Australia, and based the rest of the day around there!
In terms of theme, again they wanted to keep things simple and be inspired by their surroundings, incorporating their favourite colour into their flowers, suits, table arrangement and sand ceremony.
I have a question – could Terriann and Brittany BE any cuter?! “We met 12 years ago,” they told us, “when we were young, wild and free on Birmingham’s gay scene. We went on one date but our lives took us on very different paths. Little did we know that we would meet again and oh what a meet it would be! It was love at first sight, we both never knew what love was until we found each other again. We had a lockdown date that turned into being locked down together indefinitely.”
They decided they wanted an intimate elopement so that the whole day was for them and no-one else. They wanted something cool and wild, where their love was the star of the show. “We were inspired by the line ‘Wild women do and they don’t regret it,’ from the Pretty Woman Soundtrack by Robby Cool, The Angel Singers. We didn’t have a plan for the day, letting love and excitement lead the way. From heart shaped glasses, posing in the streets, stopping traffic so our boots could do the walking to smoke grenades in the back streets of Shoreditch, surrounded by graffiti and sunshine.”
One morning in 2016, Allison and Tara saw a segment on the Today show about a new company that planned surprise vacations; ‘we looked at each other and at the same time Tara said “I would NEVER do that!” Allison said, “I would TOTALLY do that!”… and so, they booked their first trip for Valentine’s 2017.
“For us, love is about feeling safe to venture outside of your comfort zone,” the couple told us, “also how cool is it to have someone else do all the planning and neither of you have to be on the hook if the accommodations or destination don’t turn out right?!” The pair have used the Pack Up and Go experience as a tradition for Valentine’s day ever since. Fast forward to discussions about wedding planning, and neither of them had any interest in a formal affair.
Sam and Jay always planned to be married on Halloween – because every Halloween since they first met nine years ago on a dating site, they have played host to a fancy-dress party and people now expect it of them. Jay’s grandparents also got married on Halloween, so they wanted to follow the tradition.
Unfortunately COVID scuppered their plans for a big fancy dress ball where the theme would have been ‘anything goes’ (including both grooms in custom-designed wedding dresses!) but they were still able channel the Halloween vibes with autumnal tones, pumpkin centrepieces and hessian and lavender mixed in too – they even had burnt orange facemasks for the bridal party, so no detail was left unconsidered.
Richard and Melvin went all out for their July 2018 wedding. They hired beautiful Elmore Court, a grade II listed mansion in Gloucestershire, as their venue. Then, 10 days later, they had a second party at a private members club in London (where they had their first date) for 250 people who couldn’t attend the main event!
“We had a summer wedding built around a garden party with an informal vibe and a strong musical presence”, the grooms told us. “We had opera singers in the service and a jazz band with friends (and one groom) singing during the afternoon garden party.”
Although they grew up thousands of miles apart – Melvin from the Bahamas, Richard from the UK – both their grandfathers were farmers and both sets of families had strong links to farming and the countryside. Although they now live in London, they both love gardens and the countryside so wanted to bring this into their day. Richard’s dad even grew some of the flowers which were used in the arrangements and the self-designed stationery had wildflowers on as a nod to the theme.
After years of fighting for equality, and although gay marriage (rather than civil partnerships) is still not legal in Switzerland, Jasmin and Lorena’s didn’t want to wait one second longer to be wife and wife. They planned a celebration that was both down to earth and timeless, but celebrated who they are and their love.
“Both our dads led us down the aisle, Lorena first. We had two singers who were close friends and a guitarist played the song Everything by Michael Bublé. One of our friends led the ceremony, which was truly emotional. They then asked for the audience’s support and to fight for the freedom to marry. Everyone stood up and clapped their hands to show their support to us and other queer couples.”
Linsey and Allison met on Tinder, and were crazy about each other from the moment they met! When it came to planning their September wedding, they were inspired by the barn and outdoor space at Garden Gate at Haley Farm in Maine, New England. “Our vision was captivating design and lush florals,” the couple told us, “to go alongside the beauty of the property. Our love for jewel tones was also an inspiration! We loved having so much outdoor space in the lawns and the back deck. We wanted an outdoor seating area the moment we saw the back deck.”
COVID restrictions at the time meant their guest list had to be small, of just 25 people. Bounty O’ Blooms provided lush florals for the day, and Nothing Bakes Like A Parrott a gorgeous pink ombre cake. One Stop Events provided rentals, but the rest of the day was planned themselves. “It is hard to plan a wedding during a pandemic! Although we had to plan a wedding with a small guest list it still feels like it turned out perfectly with our family and closest friends.”
Yay! You’re engaged! No doubt you’ve already started pinning inspo to your Pinterest board, started discussing who would make a great ‘I Do’ crew and thinking about venues. You may have both already faced some ‘opinions’ from family and friends on what they feel you should do for your wedding day. As an LGBTQ couple planning your wedding, you may notice as you go along that things are a little different for you both. Now, of course, it definitely shouldn’t be like this, but in a day and age when we still need Pride and LGBTQ awareness, things may be challenging sometimes. The great news is that you can definitely overcome any challenges with some prior contingency planning!
My wife and I got married last year and even though I’ve worked in the wedding industry for 13 years, I was still a little taken back, to put it mildly, at some of the challenges we faced… And I’m not even talking about the reaction to the relaxed ‘dress code’ we had either! We found ourselves regularly educating our family, guests and wedding suppliers on what we wanted and how to be fully inclusive. This took us back as you can imagine – who would have thought that in 2019, the wedding industry could still be so LGBTQ exclusive?
One of our bridesmaids bought us a pile of wedding magazines when we got engaged (not Rock n Roll Bride I must add!) As we sat down to go through them, I noticed a similar theme; none of them had any LGBTQ content whatsoever. How could I relate and plan my wedding using these magazines that were outdated in their view of modern day weddings? Blogs were a saving grace for us and showed us ‘real world’ weddings that were full of originality, inclusivity and diversity, rather than the well staged photo shoots featuring the same ‘Mr and Mrs’ narrative.
Ahh Lily and Claribell’s wedding brings us so much joy!! They were married at My Moon Restaurant in Brooklyn and although they had just $5000 to spend their day was beautiful and so right for them! The theme was a combination of keeping things simple and intimate but with rustic and romantic touches. They wanted to celebrate their day with their closest loved ones and avoid anything to formal or fancy.
“Our inspiration was for it to be romantic and simple”, they explained. “We loved that our venue provide everything for us and we didn’t have to go crazy hiring multiple people to put our vision together, My Moon had everything we wanted from decor to ceremony space.”
Raul and Ruben married in an intimate ceremony at Casa Benigalip, Alicante in July 2019. Joined by their closest friends and family, they wanted a day that was rustic, intimate and that reflected their love of food, drink and a good time – and judging by these gorgeous images, they achieved that and then some!
With a €20,000 budget, they employed Le Cocotet wedding planners to help co-ordinate from start to finish. “We didn’t hesitate to hire a wedding planner,” explained Raul, “we wanted someone to take the lead and help us make all the important decisions so there was no nasty surprises!” They used a variety of American wedding magazines and blogs to help inspire the details for their day – pulling inspiration from the local surroundings with opulent florals and rustic tableware, and Las Vegas dessert weddings with macrame and woven basket detailing.
Becs and Megs’ simple wedding started with a ceremony at Manchester register office followed by a restaurant reception at No 1 Canal Street. Armed with a budget of £3500 they only included things they cared about, wore outfits from Karen Millen and kept the extra decorations minimal. The flowers were limited to their bouquets and the flowers in their hair.
“Our wedding theme was Manchester city centre, rainbow and glitter gay!” they said. “We just love each other and wanted to get married! That was all the inspiration we needed.”
They actually started by planning a secret wedding ten weeks before the date. They were going to just ask just two friends to be witnesses which is why they ended up getting married on a Tuesday at 11am! “The ideas then began to grow as we decided we couldn’t be married without our dearest present to celebrate”, they continued. “We were so humbled that people came from Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, Devon, London, the lakes, the Midlands and Manchester to support us. Everyone had to take a day off work and make childcare arrangements, but none of this seemed to matter to them, we invited them and they were so happy to be invited. We loved marching them across Manchester form the registry office to Canal Street, carrying seven rainbow umbrellas just in case!”