On 29 March 2014 the first same sex couple walked down the aisle to exchange their vows. There has been a monumental shift in opinion and acceptance in the nearly eight years that have passed, but how should same-sex couples approach their special day to ensure that it is as stress-free as possible?
Michelle and Loren married in 2018.
‘Visiting a wedding fair for the first time was a huge eye-opener for us. We were so excited and ready to be inspired with ideas for our special day. As it turned out, it actually made us feel like we’d gone back a decade.’ Michelle explains, ‘Gift bags from the organisers were designed to be one for the bride, one for the groom; when we explained we were two brides, we were rudely told we could just share one!’
Loren continues: ‘We kept being asked about dates and when we replied with the same date, the usual reaction was – what fun! A double wedding! There was still a degree of eyebrow raising when we explained we were marrying each other.’
Michelle and Loren enjoyed a happy day all round so we asked them to provide their tips for any same-sex couples thinking of tying the knot in the months ahead:
There are no rules, no right or wrong!
It’s your wedding, your life, your special day – make it the day you have always imagined.
Dress to impress
It might be tradition for a couple to reveal their outfits to each other on the day but why not make it part of the fun of planning? Shopping together for matching or complementary outfits can save an on-the-day clash; or if you like the idea of a surprise, share a Pinterest to give each other a heads-up!
Rewrite the rules
Who is to say what a ‘bridal’ party should look like? And the usual wedding party pronouns may not work for you so rip up the rule book and decide on your own wedding party. Have attendants instead of bridesmaids or why not opt for the for the increasingly popular ‘I do crew’?
Michelle and Loren had a best man each – as well as female bridesmaids and three nonbinary ushers!
‘We just wanted our best friends by our side – it didn’t occur to us to give them a title. The most important thing was that they all knew what role and responsibilities they had. They all did it with aplomb!”
On the day
Same-sex couples in the UK have two options: a civil partnership or marriage. Church weddings or blessings are only currently permitted in Scotland for same-sex couples.
Seek recommendations from friends for a LGBTQ+ friendly officiant or, as many same-sex couples do, you could choose to marry in a registry office, then have a professional celebrant officiate.
You could also choose to have a friend or family member lead the service to make it all the more personal.
How you plan your ceremony will depend on the venue. Inside or outside? Will one of you be ‘given away’ in traditional fashion or do you plan to wow your guests by walking down the aisle together?
Again, it really is your day – so your rules!
Here at the Hythe Imperial Hotel, we pride ourselves on being LGBTQ+ inclusive.
Our team is committed to ensuring that your big day is perfect for all the right reasons, and we would be delighted to welcome you, your families and friends to celebrate your wedding with us.
We have a range of packages designed for our LGBTQ+ couples and would be delighted to show you around our fabulous venue.
Get ahead of the wedding to do list and book your venue visit today.