Planning the Best LGBTQ Wedding!

The American society is transforming fast. The political landscape appears to be shifting in favor of same-sex relationships and gay marriages, yet gay partners cannot claim to have reached the promised land yet. Holding a successful and legally-recognized best gay wedding still poses very unique challenges to same-sex couples Currently, there still exists a myriad of questions and issues that same-sex couples face during the planning of their wedding which are not simply a worry for heterosexual couples. They include the following

Deciding on Who to Invite to Your Wedding

Among the most taunting challenges gay couples address when making a decision on who to invite to their wedding is which among their family members and friends will be supportive of their wedding and marriage. According to Bernadette C. Smith – the founder and president of 14 Stories, a Boston- and New York-based gay-wedding-planning company – some people won’t mind if their uncle or nephew is in a gay relationship but will consider a marriage resulting from the same a tandem too far! Therefore, you need to do a good evaluation of who should really attend this happiest-day-of-your-lives event.

 

Two Bridges

 

Legal and Social Barriers

As at present, sexual orientation is still not recognized by anti-discrimination laws in about 29 US states. This means that a country club or florist in Texas can refuse to plan a wedding for an LGBT couple because they are gay or transgendered without breaking any anti-discrimination law. More subtle discrimination could include not returning emails or your phone calls, or a venue becoming booked all of a sudden just because the owner has realized that it is a same-sex couple making a booking for their wedding. Therefore, unless it is a hired wedding-planner doing it for you, as same-sex couples, you must always come out to each and every vendor, venue-owner or photographer you contact so that you are aware of any reservations that they may have against a same-sex wedding. Smith advises gay couples to try as much as possible to look out for gay-owned businesses for your wedding services. These vendors speak “your language”, understand your culture and will obviously be more than glad to do a good job for one of their own flock!

Is a Pre-Nuptual Agreement necessary?

Maybe, maybe not. A pre-nuputial agreement is more beneficial to the wealthier spouse, but it can generally help you navigate the tax waters just in case you divorce. Since the Federal Government does not recognize gay marriage as yet, yours is technically a state marriage. So you should take steps that will avoid transfer taxes in case of split-up.

What about incorporating Religion into Our Wedding Ceremony?.

Many faiths are obviously anti-gay, but others welcome gay relationships and marriages. A former Catholic priest, Fr Anthony Adams – who performs wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples in New York – advices God-loving gay couples who want to wed in church to be creative by reinventing the usual symbolic words and gestures to suit your own spirituality. For instance, you may get a marriage officiator from another faith altogether and come up with your own customized vows but with a skew towards the normal religious ones.  A fairly standard text could also be used i.e. the officiator talks about what God’s marriage covenant means, but only for the man and wife part! Even Jewish customs could be tweaked to suit gay couples. For example, have two glasses broken for two Jewish lesbians wedding! What about the man to break the glass if you decide to use one glass? The couple take turns to break the glass together!

Can You Look Beyond the “Bride and Groom” Tradition

It is true that the wedding industry has been traditionally overly bride-focused, i.e. we hear of the bridal party; contracts and forms refer to the bride and groom; while wedding attendees sit on either the bride’s side or groom’s side. As a gay couple, it is up to you to decide how to break these traditions. For instance, let it be your personal choice what you choose as your wedding dress. If you are two brides, you can choose to wear two dresses, two suits or a suit for one and a dress for the other. If you are two grooms and want to wear full black suits, or one of you wears a white tux and the other a black one, who cares? It is your wedding and you are at liberty to choose whatever you want! Since the bride walked down the aisle traditionally, a wedding with two brides or two grooms can be a headache. To avoid the question of who is the bride and who is not, you can just walk down the aisle hand-in-hand, or if space allows, just use two aisles!

What about Post-Wedding Decisions like Honeymoon?

Gay marriages are still illegal in some US states and most nations across the world, so deciding on your honeymoon’s destination can get really complicated. Traveling together as a married couple internationally or in some states in the US will mostly be illegal. This means that you will have to carry with you some extra paperwork that will prove your relationship in case of any medical emergency for example.  This obviously will cost you thousands of dollars in attorney fees.

Couples taking each other’s name or creating a new name together will also find legal barriers hectic. For example, you may get legally wed in New York but on getting back to Texas, your name change will not be valid by just presenting your marriage license. You have to go through another legal process via the Texas court system to effect a change of name, obviously more costly and time-consuming. Your challenges are more complicated if you have children involved, resulting to extra paperwork, legal fees, second-parent-adoption issues to address,.

In conclusion, and as you can see for yourself, planning the best gay wedding is not a walk in the park. All these and other issues will always be there, but you need to stay true to who you really are. Do not subscribe to a low-profile boring wedding if you are not a low-profile boring couple. Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, let it be really fun and express who you are. You have no apologies for being who you are!

 

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