This story is a part of AfterEllen’s Toast to Marriage editorial series with SKYY Vodka and Freedom to Marry. Now through June, the campaign is encouraging supporters of equal marriage in every state to show their support by raising a Toast to Marriage on social media and encouraging friends, family and followers to do the same.
With equal marriage legal in 37 states, and the Supreme Court due to make a major decision about marriage this June, there is a lot of love and hope in the air. Even many who live in the 13 states that currently ban same-sex unions are still planning ceremonies to express their love and commitment in front of friends and family.
Whether you were someone who has always day-dreamed of walking down the aisle, or have only recently come around to the idea, you can have an amazing wedding day. You and your bride to be are now a team; a wedding planning- location-booking, cake-tasting team. Here are some ideas to help planning for your big ceremony as pain free as possible.
Start a list: It’s likely that one of you is more organized that the other. If you are both equally organized, then I envy your closets and desk drawers. But if you are like my wife and I, the more organized of the two should keep the master list of things to do and prep.This way, tasks can be assigned easily and you won’t be scrambling at the last minute because something was missed.
Communicate and compromise: Married life is all about communication, and planning a wedding together is excellent practice. If you really want a certain song or person to participate, speak up about it. But also be willing to compromise. It’s okay! You will still have an amazing wedding day.
Get inspired: Sites like Pinterest and Wedding Gawker are chock full of ideas that will inspire you. Pick up wedding magazines and dog ear pages that make your heart flutter. Candles in mason jars, beautiful bouquets, it’s all in there and waiting for you to discover.
Find the perfect venue: It doesn’t matter if you get married in a rustic barn in the middle of nowhere or a fancy hall in the center of town. All that matters is that you and your fiancée are happy with the space. If you are more the DIY type of couple, there are raw spaces that can be turned into pretty much whatever you desire. If you are flexible with your dates, the more options you have.
Dress the part: Take time to find an outfit you feel most “you” in. Whether that’s a flowing gown, a three piece suit, or your favorite cosplay outfit. Get your clothes tailored so you feel amazing inside and out. There are companies that specialize on suiting for women and non-binary folks, so take some time and research what they have to offer. Don’t put limits on yourself, especially not for your big day.
Personal touch: Write a song or a special poem for your wedding ceremony. Imagine the delighted surprise on your bride’s face when you and your friends burst into an acoustic version of her favorite song. Who needs Canon in D? I walked down the aisle to The Muppets’ “Somebody’s Getting Married,” so make that stroll your own.
Get your friends and family involved: You don’t have to follow traditional rules at your wedding. You can have both your parents give you away. Or no one at all. It’s 2015. Have your best guy friend be your maid of honor, to heck with antiquated gender norms. Choose readings or special things to involve your loved ones.
Find an LGBT friendly officiate: Even as laws and attitudes change, finding a religious officiate who is comfortable with presiding over same sex marriage ceremonies can be daunting. That’s why a secular officiate or someone you know personally could be the better choice. Judges, court clerks, justices of the peace and some more accepting religious orders are options, but many same sex couples are going with another option. Have a friend or family member become a licensed officiate, which can easily be done online for a small fee. You can also get married at City Hall and then simply have someone you know and love lead the ceremony.
No two weddings are alike and whatever you and your bride to be decide to do, it will carry with it the personal stamp of your love and devotion. This is about the two of you and your commitment to each other. Have fun, don’t be afraid to shed a tear and kiss the bride.