Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5 Tips for Planning a Great Gay Wedding

By Bernadette Coveney Smith
Owner of 14 Stories

Engagement season is upon us!  Chances are, you or someone you know is recently engaged or about to be - Valentine's Day is right around the corner! Here are five tips for planning your fabulous same-sex wedding.

1) Put some love into the ceremony

Think about it – everyone is here for you, to celebrate your marriage and your commitment. The party will be great but I can promise that if you have a thoughtful, meaningful ceremony, the party will be even greater. Consider hiring a Celebrant to create a personalized ceremony for you.

Photo: Kat Hempel

2) Go gay-friendly!

The wedding industry is STILL so bride-centric! In NYC you may not encounter discrimination but you may encounter some accidental slip ups and references to the bride and groom. To minimize this, turn to the NGLCCNY for amazingly talented gay-owned wedding resources including wedding planners, photography and flowers.

3) Gay weddings should never be boring 

Many gay weddings skip the typical traditions such as dancing with parents, cake cuttings, garter and bouquet tosses and more. But your guests actually look forward to those things and it helps make the evening flow. If you take a pass on some traditions, add in a substitute. Consider drag queens, cabaret, dancers, photo booth or other forms of entertainment that reflect your own interests and personality and present conversation starters for your guests.

Photo: Levi Stolove

4) Personalize!

Hire a graphic designer to create your own custom wedding logo which then carries throughout your wedding materials. That logo can be on your invitations, ceremony program, seating cards, menu and much more to “brand” your wedding in style. This makes for instant, cohesive, thematic décor!

5) Flow!

Even though you’re the guests of honor, you are also the host of this party. No matter how good the food or the entertainment is, if your guests are waiting too long for a cocktail or you run out of hors d’oeuvres, that’s what they’ll remember. Pay attention to the details around flow – make sure you have adequate greeters and signage so your guests know where to go. Ensure plenty of bartenders so your guests never have to wait. Anticipate heavy traffic areas and plan accordingly.

Photo: Lilian Haidar

Bernadette Coveney Smith is the nation's leading same-sex wedding expert. Bernadette started 14 Stories in 2004 when gay marriage was first legalized in Massachusetts. 14 Stories was the first company in the U.S. to specialize in planning legal same-sex weddings. Bernadette and her team have now produced hundreds of gay and lesbian weddings, working with couples from 33 U.S. States and around the world.

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