Love is simple, right? You’ve met the love of your life, and you’ve asked him to marry you, and he said yes. Done and done.
Of course, there is the question of the wedding, which you’ll have to plan. Maybe you’ve never thought about wedding planning, maybe you’ve spent many hours dreaming about every detail. Either way, it’s going to be a lot of work.
There are plenty of places you can go to get advice on putting a wedding together (some of them on this very site). The majority of them will be written for straight couples. Is that a problem? No, not really. But it may mean they leave out certain things that same sex couples need to take into account. We’ve got you covered. Here’s how to get started with planning your dream same-sex wedding.
Estimate A Budget And Guest List
Before you can start preparing, you need to know how much money you have on hand that you’re willing to set aside for the wedding. And before you can even figure out a budget, you need to figure out just exactly who will be coming to your wedding. This is very serious, and who you decide to bring or not could result in some potentially very hurt feelings. Be sure to keep an honest dialogue with your partner, even if a conversation is hurtful it’s better to come out now in the planning stage than to come out the morning of the wedding.
Now that you have a budget in mind it’s time to figure out who’s doing what. In a straight wedding the responsibilities are usually divided along gender lines, but when planning a same-sex wedding those lines can become blurred. Always keep in mind that no matter what your assigned responsibility is, you should always double check with your partner before booking something. There is no need to risk miscommunication and waste money. It would be helpful to delegate responsibilities based on your respective skills. Let the artists control the décor and the theming, let the chefs control the food, etc. It is also important to take stock of your resources. Do either of you have any skilled parents or friends? There are certain people who love to plan and organize, don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you think they would be interested in helping you plan your wedding. Don’t take on a responsibility that you know you’re going to dread doing, instead find a friend who’d be interested or hire someone. It’s better that the work be done with passion.
Set A Location And A Date
Location and Date are the two details that every other detail will revolve around. Wherever and whenever you choose to have your wedding will be the nexus around which all logistics are determined. Location and Date go together hand-in-hand, so be sure to be considerate of the season when making decisions. Certain locations are cheaper in the Winter, but certain key guests may be more available in the Summer. Pick a location first based on your tastes, and then see what sort of dates could be tenable. This is also the point where you’ll decide what kind of ceremony you want – a critical question for LGBT couples. If you want a secular marriage you’ll have to find an officiate online, but if you want to want to get married in a church you’ll have to find one that not only doesn’t discriminate against same-sex couples, but actively allows them to participate in the official sacrament of marriage. This is a personal decision left up to you and your partner, but be sure to keep in mind that your partner may have familial or cultural obligations to plan the wedding ceremony a specific way.
Do you need a Wedding Planner?
With the location, date, and style already determined, we’re fast approaching the trickiest and most intensive part of wedding planning. This is the point at which you need to ask yourself “Do we have the resources to pull this off ourselves?” The upcoming months are going to be filled with emails, phone calls, visitations and all kinds of logistical nightmares. It’s going to be your responsibility to design and order the floral arrangements, to structure the catering and to be the point person for all potential issues (and there will be issues). If you and your partner are already struggling for free time, it might be worth looking into getting some outside help. Wedding Planners do this for a living, and they already have a great network of caterers and florists lined up for whatever your needs may be. They may be an unnecessary expense, but if the stress of wedding planning is getting into your productivity at work then you may find yourself struggling for money anyways. Time is as much a resource as money, and if you’re struggling to have time to yourself amidst this wedding chaos, then hiring a wedding planner might be a smart investment.
Get Those Invitations Out!
As with most things, the sooner you send the invitations out the better. It shouldn’t take too long, but make sure to have the location and date booked and confirmed. Printing out many nice invitations cost money, and it would be a huge waste to have send out a second batch because there was a miscommunication with the venue. It would also be inconvenient for your guests who may lose track of which date is the real date. So as soon as you know for sure you have the date, location and desired guestlist, get those invites out! Ideally people will need to know at least a few months ahead of time, especially if you’ve chosen an unconventional location or date that will force people to take time off from work. Knowing who exactly will be coming is critical, as their RSVP will determine how much of what food you’ll need to order and how much you’re going to have spend on the whole affair.
Be sure not to rely on Facebook invitations, though be sure to do those as well. Receiving a physical invite in the mail is a time-honored tradition that people look forward to. It adds weight to the whole ceremony, and plus since you’re planning a gay wedding you can have fun with it! Design the cards yourself or use a template or hire someone! Cover the whole thing in glitter if you want and revel in imagining your friends trying to get the glitter off their floors. Have as much fun with it as you want, just be sure to invite them on Facebook as well. As great as a physical card can be, Facebook probably has a better memory than your friends.
With the responsibilities delegated, the professionals hired, and your guests invited, all that’s left is waiting for their response and letting the rest of your party planning committee do their jobs. Now your job is to find something nice to wear. Never forget not to neglect yourself in all this! After all, it’s your wedding. No matter how stressful things may get, always remember that this is something you and your partner are doing for each other. No wedding detail is truly worth having a fight over, as long as you can be happy together.