Now that same sex marriage is legal in all states, many couples who never thought it would be possible for them to marry can’t wait to say “I do.” If this describes you, you and your partner will be moving through largely uncharted territory. There aren’t centuries of tradition behind you to guide you, and you probably have more questions than answers right now. Luckily for you, there are no real rules. With this in mind, here are some things to consider when planning for your big day:
- Who proposes? The short answer is, whomever, or both. If one of you has always wanted to pop the question, while the other feels strongly about being the one to answer it, talk it over and do what feels most natural. Dual proposals are another idea.
- Engagement rings: this is purely personal. If you both like the idea of engagement rings, wear them.
- Family: depending on your level of family support, decide whether to invite everyone and let them attend or not, according to their comfort level, or simply don’t invite those family members who are not supportive of your relationship and disagree with your being married.
- Who pays for what? Clearly, if there are two brides or two grooms, the traditional guidelines don’t apply. Much of this depends on the couple’s age and financial situation. A budget discussion with family members may be the best course in determining the finances.
- Attire: this is another purely personal decision. Anything goes as long as you’re both happy and your wedding party looks reasonably coordinated.
- In the church: it’s traditional for the groom to be in place at the altar when the bride enters and walks down the aisle. You may decide you’d rather both enter from the side after guests are seated, walk down the aisle together or following one another, decide who walks down the aisle, or create two aisles and meet at the altar.
- Religion: not all religions accept same-sex ceremonies. Look for someone of your faith who doesn’t mind performing the ceremony. If you can’t find someone active in your faith, consider someone who is ordained, but is non-denominational to work with you to customize your ceremony. You may still be able to borrow some ceremonial touches, or go with a personalized, spiritual ceremony.
- Honeymoon planning: research your honeymoon destination ahead of time to be sure that they can accommodate you and your new spouse, both legally and personally. You may want to consult a wedding planner or other wedding industry professional who works with same-sex marriages. Happily, the number from which you can choose is growing rapidly.
Other questions will likely occur to you in the course of your planning, but getting the basics mapped out will at least start you in the right direction. Remember, this is fairly new territory for everyone else, too. With good communication and a bit of creativity, you can make your day as unique and magical as you’ve always dreamed.