Recently, I read an article on Yahoo Finance, that dealt with the challenges of planning a gay wedding. I must admit, up until that point, I hadn’t given it much thought. It appears that with the political landscape shifting in favor of gay marriages, gay weddings will become more commonplace.
There are so many issues that confront these couples that heterosexual couples never even stop to consider. Let’s start with who to invite. Now normally, you would think this is a no brainer. Of course you want your closest friends and family in attendance. It seems that as long as you have a “roommate”, and never discuss the relationship, it’s accepted. Once you decide to marry your “roommate”, that’s when the issues arise. Now it comes down to acknowledgement and acceptance of their relationship, enough to attend and celebrate their marriage.
Next is the venue. Since 29 states don’t recognize sexual orientation in their anti-discrimination laws, it’s perfectly legal for a florist or country club in Texas to tell an LGBT couple that they refuse to plan the wedding. Discrimination can come in the form of the venue suddenly becoming booked once they realize the couple is gay or just not returning phone calls or emails.
Now who is the bride and who is the groom? Most contracts for planning a wedding refer to a bride and groom, and when seating guests, it’s referred to as the bride’s side or the groom’s side. “Normal” is seen as one woman and one man. The couple must decide how to break away from these traditions. Choosing what to wear is another challenge that most heterosexual couples don’t give much thought to, but is something a gay couple has to think about. Do two lesbian brides wear suits, or one a dress the other a suit or both wear dresses? Do two grooms wear the same tux or one white the other black? With a heterosexual couple, the bride usually chooses a dress, and the groom wears a tux or suit. Who gets to walk down the aisle? Do they both? Should there be two aisles so that the question of “who is the bride” will be eliminated all together?
Finally, where do they go on their honeymoon? Since same-sex marriage is still illegal in certain states and countries around the world, this can be most challenging. While travelling, they must carry paperwork proving their relationship in case of a medical emergency.
I must say, I was quite surprised at all the hurdles that must be jumped in order to plan a gay wedding. So many things are taken for granted as a heterosexual. You don’t think about the discriminations these couples face when trying to plan their special day. I hope in time, these issues will become nonexistent and gay couples will be able to have the same rights as heterosexual couples.