A wedding is a joyous and celebratory occasion for all couples. For LGBT couples, however a wedding takes on a special significance. After all, same-sex marriages are a relatively new phenomenon even in progressive Canada. The first country outside of Europe and the fourth country in the whole world to legalise gay marriage, Canada has played host to some truly spectacular gay weddings. This is a hard-won right for the gay community. And there’s something truly triumphant about gay weddings that’s marvellous to behold.
As a wedding photographer it is a genuine pleasure to play a part in a wide variety of diverse yet equally special wedding days. And as you can see from the images of J+J’s big day, a gay wedding can be as special and wondrous as it gets. From the resplendent ceremony at Toronto City Hall to the raucous comedy drag act to the extraordinary Brazilian dancers, this wonderful couple’s big day was a joyful and spectacular occasion that was a true honour to be a part of.
Of course, if you prefer a more sedate and low-key concept for your big day, that can be just as beautiful in its own way. The beauty of same-sex weddings (and, indeed all contemporary weddings) is that you can embrace tradition as much or as little as you like. In honour of J&J’s big day let’s take a walk through some of the fundamentals of an amazing LGBT engagement and wedding…
Rings and things
An engagement ring is traditionally given and received by those who want to make a solemn commitment. However, not everyone is a huge fan of rings. Indeed, a proposal is more than acceptable without any from of twinkly token. If your intended Mr or Mrs would prefer a trinket more befitting their personal style an engagement watch, engagement cufflinks, an engagement earrings or an engagement necklace are also perfectly appropriate.
“Coming out” to your vendors
Most vendors such as venues, wedding planners, bakers and decorators of wedding cakes, room decorations and the like will be delighted to accommodate a gay-friendly wedding. However, as upsetting as this may be, there may be some who will only cater for heterosexual couples. As such, LGBT couples face a difficult choice, whether or not to “come out” to their vendors straight away. The choice is ultimately up to you, although the same-sex nature of your wedding will likely go a long way towards dictating your wedding’s aesthetic and so it may be in your best interests to be honest and open from the start.
LGBT wedding readings
Your choice of wedding readings adds a splash of personal colour to your ceremony. It can put a smile on the faces of guests or reduce everyone in the room to tears. It can add a very personal brand of solemnity to your proceedings. However, finding gender neutral readings can be tricky. If there are none that strike a personal chord with you, Wedding Wire has some great ones. There are no right or wrongs. A reading can be anything from a bible passage to a few lines from your favourite book. So long as it speaks to you and your partner and the love you share, that’s all that matters.
Traditional wedding vows are markedly heteronormative. As such, you may wish to eschew them for your own. This can be an intimidating task (nothing as momentous as wedding vows should be easy) but it can also be extremely liberating to unshackle yourself from tradition. There are no right or wrong answers here and this is a classic example of where the best thing to do is to listen to your heart. If you’re truly lost for words, however, The Knot has some cool scripts that may be useful starting points for you.
Pride is what you make of it
As a same-sex couple, it’s likely that you want to use your wedding not only as a celebration of your love for one another but as a celebration of your gay pride. The great thing is that there are numerous ways to do this and you can be as subtle or as flamboyant with it as you like. Some LGBT couples like to layer their wedding cake with different coloured sponges to recreate the Pride rainbow flag. Other couples may choose to represent these colours in a sensational multicoloured floral bouquet. Even multi-coloured balloons can be a great way to showcase your pride in a fun and engaging way.
As you can clearly see from J+J’s wedding snaps, what matters the most is that you and your guests have an amazing time celebrating your love!