If you’re organising a same-sex wedding, what should you keep, get rid of, or reinvent?
Much of the beauty of Gibraltar weddings is that they really can take an exceedingly wide range of forms. And that might be even more the case if you are a same-sex couple looking to tie the knot, given that there are a lot of long-time wedding traditions that were conceived in the first place with opposite-sex nuptials in mind, and which you will be able to ditch for your own special day, if you wish.
Or should you ditch them? After all, there are some old-time traditions from the days before the legalisation of gay marriage, that you might like the idea of replicating for your big day in the British Overseas Territory.
So, let’s consider some of those traditions, and whether you might ultimately decide to retain them in your wedding, give them an LGBT-friendly spin, or do away with them altogether.
The labels given to the key wedding-party roles
The best man, maid of honour, ushers, bridesmaids… there are various traditional roles at a wedding that seem to have the presumption of gender deeply coded into them. So, it might feel like a bit of a minefield to somehow start to pick apart all these roles and consider which ones you can keep, and which others you might have to change or get rid of.
And given that same-sex couples are effectively still ‘freestyling’ in many ways when it comes to exactly what they do and don’t do about those time-honoured roles, you have a lot of freedom here.
Ultimately, the important thing is to have the people by your side that you really want to have by your side, whatever their gender. So, a bride in a same-sex couple might opt to have a mixture of male and female attendants, while a groom planning a same-sex wedding may like the idea of his sister or female best friend effectively taking on the ‘best man’ role.
By now, gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples have got accustomed to the notion of mixing things up (largely) as they like when it comes to what they wear on their special day. That might make the typical lesbian couple, for example, as likely to choose a bridal suit as they are a big white dress and veils – and of course, if the two of you share similar tastes in this regard, that’s great, too. You don’t have to go by a set-up whereby one person looks like the traditional ‘groom’ and the other resembles the ‘bride’.
Having said that, the above brings us onto something else that plenty of same-sex couples choose to do: pick their outfits together.
If you and your sweetheart decide to do the same, it could be an excellent way to ensure your respective outfits work well together, instead of having a ‘jarring’ effect when seen together in one image.
After all, just imagine a situation in which one of you goes for something deliberately head-turning, and the other a demurer and more understated outfit… or even just the two of you picking white dresses that differ slightly in shade. It can be a really good idea to coordinate these things more carefully than that.
The walk down the aisle… or not
It’s one of the most instantly recognisable wedding traditions, but let’s face it – even some opposite-sex couples aren’t the greatest fans of the ‘walk down the aisle’. They might feel that the walk draws more attention to themselves than they are comfortable with, and it’s obviously a pretty strongly ‘gendered’ routine as well.
That might prompt you to consider an alternative arrangement with your beloved, such as a ceremony circle, which would involve your guests standing in a circle, with a space left for the two of you to enter.
But then, there are also same-sex couples who quite like the idea of retaining the walk down the aisle for their ceremony, even if they decide to tweak or refashion it. If that describes your feelings about it, options could include the two of you taking it in turns to walk down the aisle, or even walking down the aisle together, arm in arm – the latter a really romantic gesture that your wedding photographer will also love.
We could practically write a book on all the ways in which Gibraltar weddings can be ‘changed up’ by gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples to suit their own preferences and aesthetic – but we’ll just leave you with the above for now! For a detailed discussion with us about how we could help make your dreamed-of wedding in the British Overseas Territory a reality, please feel free to contact us today.