New traditions – Same-sex weddings

Many people think that a same sex ceremony is the same as a ‘straight’ ceremony. And while very much is the same, people in the LGBQTI Communities may have their own traditions, their own dynamics and their own sensitivities and require a different layer of knowledge and sensitivity.

The date

If a couple you are working with has been together for a long time, they may want to have their ceremony on their anniversary date.

The Attendants

Many same sex couples will have only one or two attendants. This differs from many straight weddings in which the couple may have a large wedding party. It is also common to see female and male attendants mixed together on both sides of a same sex ceremony. That said, a significant portion of same sex couple will choose not to have attendants stand with them as they exchange vows.

The Wedding Attire

While most gay grooms simply stop by their local tuxedo shop, finding the perfect wedding attire is one of the largest hurdles lesbian couples might encounter. Lesbian couples may have both brides wearing a traditional gown, or have one bride donning a dress and the other bride sporting a chic pantsuit. That said, some lesbian couples both choose to wear suits – any opion is available. Each couple will be different, but it can be a very difficult time for for lesbian couples when deciding what they will wear.

Champagne Toast

It has its origins in America, but it is making its way here – Champagne or sparkling wine is frequently passed to guests (along with sparkling water) prior to a same-sex ceremony to take the edge off, convey a sense of celebration and introduce the Validation and Affirmation portion of the ceremony. Since same sex ceremonies are new to most guests, an immediate glass of champagne lets them know that this is going to be a very special event and helps calm nerves.

Validation & Affirmation

Many couples include an affirmation into their ceremony. Thisis when the officiant asks the guests to join in a community vow or toast of the couple using the champagne provided to the guests before the ceremony.  This is typically at the beginning of the ceremony, after the welcoming remarks, and makes use of the pre-ceremony champagne.

The term validation and affirmation came from the frequent comment by same-sex couples that seeing all of their guests supporting them felt very validating and affirming.

 

Walking Down the Aisle

Men and women choose different options for their grand entrance. Many gay grooms walk down a central aisle while holding hands. However, a lot of lesbian brides opt to walk alone down two aisles from different directions. Seldom do couples have a parent give them away, and typically the guests stay seated throughout the processional.  Some couples dont have an isle at all. Some couples choose to be mingling with their guests and then call everyone to gather round when they are about to start the ceremony.

Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding

Because the old school traditions have little meaning for same sex couples, they often don’t abide by them. In particular, is the old tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other before the wedding. Most same sex couples choose to get ready for the ceremony together although women are more likely than men to want to savor the magical moment of seeing her bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle.

 

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