5 Ceremony Planning Tips for LGBTQ-Friendly Weddings

We often notice the bulk of planning + pinning revolve around the reception, and fun decor aspects, though the ceremony is where the wedding literally takes the center stage. Every ceremony is different just like how every couple is different, so today we’re sitting with Holly Patton Olsen of Perfectly Posh Events to ask her a few questions for anyone planning LGBTQ-friendly weddings or who is looking for unique ceremony ideas. Her advice is solid gold to everyone having questions about breaking ceremony traditions, too!

Planning Lgtbq Weddings01

What are some unique ideas for how a couple approaches their ceremony
procession?

Perfectly Posh Events: Each couple is different in how they approach the ceremony procession and there is no “right way” to do it regardless if it’s a LGBTQ wedding or not. The most popular version I’ve seen with our couples is to walk in simultaneously down different aisles and then meet in the middle. One of my couples opted to have three aisles; each of them walked down their own aisle on either side of guests simultaneously, met up at the front, and then walked
down the center aisle together at the end of their ceremony. Another couple opted for two aisle that they each entered at the same time.

Another popular option is for the partners to walk in together, maybe hand in hand, down the aisle. If their wedding party is also walking in for the processional, the attendants can be paired up with one from each side (regardless of gender) and then split when they get to the front to stand on the side that they are representing.  Some couples choose to nix the processional all together and just enter from the side, while others may choose a more “traditional” ceremony processional with each partner walking in with their parents down the center aisle.


See also: Farmhouse Couple’s Shower

Planning Lgtbq Weddings

Inclusive Ceremony Ideas for LGBTQ-Friendly Weddings

What are we seeing in the way of non-traditional ceremony seating?

Perfectly Posh Events: Choosing a “side” during the ceremony is a tradition that has very much gone out of style for most weddings, regardless if it’s same-sex or heterosexual. I’ve been planning weddings since 2010 and honestly I can’t remember the last time I had a
wedding where the couple wanted their guests to sit on a specific side.  That being said, I’m seeing couples start to get creative with their ceremony seating arrangements. Ceremonies without an aisle or seating “in the round” have become very popular with all of our couples, regardless of if they are same-sex or not.

Planning Lgtbq Weddings

How are couples going about choosing their wedding party? What are some emerging trends there?

Perfectly Posh Events: First things first, let’s get the lingo sorted out. I always prefer to say “wedding party” rather than “bridal party” regardless of if there is a bride in the wedding or not – it is way more inclusive. A lot of our couples, regardless if they are same-sex or not, are having mixed gender wedding parties with ladies and guys standing on both sides of the ceremony alter so saying “wedding party” tends to suit all of our couples.
For the past few years we’ve seen a trend leaning towards very small wedding parties, with one or two people per side, all the way to have no wedding party at all. When our couples choose to forgo a wedding party they often each choose someone special, such as a parent or sibling, to be the witness to sign the marriage license in private after the ceremony.

Planning Lgtbq Weddings

What are some vow exchange ideas for couples?

Perfectly Posh Events: I’ve had couples be very traditional with the classic vows (altered slightly) and they might switch off who goes first for the vows and who goes first for the rings. More often than not, the couple chooses to write their own vows and make it more
personalized.

A popular title that I’ve seen used in the ceremony vows is “beloved” rather than
saying “husband” or “wife”; but then again it depends on the couple and the titles
they use in their relationship.

Planning Lgtbq Weddings

What’s trending for how LGBTQ couples are approaching first looks?

Perfectly Posh Events: This all depends on their relationship! The most common option that I’ve seen is to turn around at the same time for the First Look, rather than having one person go up to the other person. I love this one because it adds a playful element with both turning around at the same time and the reactions usually make for a great photo!
I’ve also seen plenty “traditional” First Looks where one person in the relationship
is more suited for standing & waiting while the other is more suited for walking up
during the First Look.

Another trend that I’m seeing is for the couple to get ready together and not do a
First Look but just walk out together and start taking photos. They might
exchange a card or gift before the photo time which is a great opportunity for an
intimate and emotional moment. It really just depends on what fits you and your
partner’s personalities best!

Honestly, when I’m planning a wedding I am focused on the two individuals, their
relationship, and how they want to personalize their day; it’s the same approach
regardless of if they are same-sex or heterosexual. Most of our couples are
picking & choosing which (if any) traditions they’d like to incorporate; and just
because a couple is same-sex does not mean that they can’t be “traditional” in the
wedding sense, I have some very traditional LGBTQ couples and some very non-
traditional brides & grooms. The exciting thing is, regardless of the gender, we
get to create a celebration that reflects the couple and their love!

 

The most common option that I’ve seen is to turn around at the same time for the First Look, rather than having one person go up to the other person

 


Holly of Perfectly Posh Events and photographer Kate Ames created a modern, well-designed wedding inspiration shoot for brides who want to steer clear of pink, lace and tons of flowers. Set in Portland, the shoot features a real couple, Hilary and Ariel, who donned a midcentury modern-style dress and a fitted jumpsuit with creative cutouts on the bodice.

“I wanted to throw away traditions and reflect a comfortable, inviting and a more laid-back approach to an intimate wedding,” says Holly. “I especially wanted a same-sex wedding to show (a) weddings don’t have to be girly, (b) girls don’t have to be girly and (c) to celebrate marriage equality.”Perfectly Posh Events

True that, Holly!

Wedding Vendors:

Photographer: Kate Ames
Planning + Design: Perfectly Posh Events
Beauty: Brittany Blanchard
Bridal Gown: Charlotte’s Weddings
Bridal Jumpsuit | ASOS
Calligraphy: Letters & Dust
Florals: Swoon Floral Design
Jewelry: Ringed
Models: Hilary and Ariel (real couple)
Rentals (linens, chargers): BBJ Linens
Rentals (glassware, flatware): Classic Vintage Rentals
Rentals (candle holders, lounge furniture, rugs, marble table): Vintage Meets Modern
Venue: Saint Irene’s | saintirenes.com |

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