Planning a same-sex wedding isn't that different from planning one with one bride and one groom. They have to make all the same vendor decisions, plan their ceremony, and select their music, etcetera. But I have noticed that things are changing for the better in my wedding planning for more of my gay and lesbian couples. They're embracing wedding traditions that many same-sex couples were avoiding as recently as five years ago.
I think it's because as same-sex marriage has become more commonly accepted by the older generation, more brides and grooms feel comfortable fully expressing their love in a public way. And I like it. Here are some traditions that are making a big comeback at same-sex weddings I plan:
The Grand Entrance
Most receptions begin with some form of "Ladies and Gentlemen, for the first time ever appearing as a married couple, let's welcome..." It's a fun way to let the guests know if you're changing your name, among other things. Some of the best entrances I've seen were done by brides and grooms with same-sex spouses. The pictures are terrific and will remind them of that happy moment forever.
The First Dance
I honestly cannot remember a wedding I've planned where the bride and groom didn't do a first dance together. Sometimes they skip the daddy/daughter and mother/son dances, but the first dance is a given. Even if the groom NEVER dances. Early in my planning career, many of my same-sex clients skipped the first dance tradition altogether. Not true anymore! I've even seen a couple of very carefully choreographed numbers that were very impressive.
The Cake Cutting
Most of my same-sex brides and grooms have done hilarious cake smashes and had a blast with it, but less than 10 years ago, this wasn't common. Some newly-married couples still opt to do the cake cutting privately — with just the photographer there to get the snaps — but I have male/female client couples who choose to cut the cake without fanfare too. I've noticed the trend toward more "gay" cakes is growing, with requests for rainbow-colored cake layers and same-sex cake toppers. I think it's fun and clients and their guests are loving it.
The good news for all couples is that there are no RULES anymore that say you must do a first dance, or a cake cutting, or a bouquet and garter toss. But there's also no reason for a same-sex couple to skip any of the cool wedding traditions that they've enjoyed at other weddings they've attended over the years. It's your wedding day and you should celebrate the way you want, including all the bells, whistles and rainbows you desire.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.