Have you and your partner decided to take the giant step in your relationship and get married? Have you rapidly gone from being over the moon with excitement to overly panicked about just how much you have to do in order to successfully plan for your magical wedding day?
To ensure that your wedding is a smooth and absolute success then you should use the following guides for your gay wedding planning!
The Big Gay Wedding Countdown
Your marriage is one of the most important days of your life and there is no hiding the fact that planning a wedding can be a stressful time! There is so much to think about from your ceremony to the reception and everything in between such as fashion, jewellery and wedding roles. The fun thing with gay marriage is that there are not necessarily any traditional set roles or guidelines to follow so you and partner can enjoy your special day the way that you want it.
Why not take the stress of the planning stage away and hand it over to one of our recommended gay wedding planners. All planners we work with are gay friendly and have successfully organised some amazing gay marriages at less cost than you may think. So go ahead and ask for a quote.
Congratulations you’re engaged – so now what do we do?
Budget – agree what your wedding budget is and stick to it. □√
Wedding planner – consider if you want to work with an expert gay wedding planner or take control yourself. □√
Choose your wedding venue – if you plan to get married in your home country then go and visit some of the venues that take your fancy. See how friendly they are and ask if they have had gay weddings before. Check their guest capacity □√
Make an appointment with your local registry office to register your intentions for marriage □√
9 months to go
Theme – think about what theme you would like whether that be a particular colour scheme for your table decorations and accessories or the way that your guests dress. □√
Decide who your guests will be – start with close family and friends first and then look at extended family, friends and work colleagues. Don’t feel guilty about the people who do not make the list. □√
Book your photographer – Try to select a specialist wedding photographer and preferably one who has is comfortable with all things gay.□√
Book you wedding caterers – if you choose not to go with your wedding venues in-house caterers then shop around for quality and price. Get references. □√
Order your wedding stationary – you know how many guests you are inviting, don’t forget to add the venue address, local hotels, taxi numbers and dietary requirements. □√
Wedding Insurance – don’t leave things to chance. You are spending a lot of money on your wedding –can you afford for anything to go wrong?□√
Choose your wedding outfits – Check out our inspiration section and try to get an idea of what styles you like. Shop around –you will know when you find the right outfit no matter how long it takes!□√
Book your honeymoon – Along with your wedding day your honeymoon will be one of the most memorable times in your life so treat yourselves. □√
Gift list – writing your gift list is really exciting, you don’t have to go to a traditional department store guest list – think outside the box for adventure activities □√
Book your florist – you know your wedding theme so take advice from your florist and ask what types of flowers would suite your theme. Ask to see photo’s of previous wedding flower arrangements they have produced.□√
Pick your Wedding Cake – there some amazing wedding cakes and gay wedding cake toppers. Your cake can be a real focal point so shop around for ideas and inspiration □√
Band or DJ – DJ’s and bands get booked up quickly so confirm the date with them ASAP. □√
6 months to go
Vows – Choose your wedding vows or if you writing them yourself then start to pencil some ideas. □√
Transport – book your wedding transport. You do not need to book transport for everyone if your budget is tight so consider a car for just the brides or grooms □√
Annual Leave – don’t forget to book your holidays with work. Some employers will allow a day in addition to your annual leave quota □√
Buy outfit – you have shopped around enough – now its time to make a decision and buy your outfit. □√
Hair – consider what hair style will compliment your wedding outfit and ask your hairdresser for a trial run.□√
Send invitations – your guests may need to book time off work so give them as much notice as possible about the date □√
3 months to go
Discuss the menu with your caterers. Ask them what their options are and price tiers. Inform them of any special dietary requirements or allergies your guests may have. □√
Order wedding favours – you know your theme now choose your wedding favour to match. You can fill your favours with any treats you like from confectionary to lottery tickets.□√
Table plan – write your table plan of who will sit where. You will have a head table and guest’s tables to try to avoid sitting ex’s and their new partners next to each other. □√
Favourite songs for DJ or band – if you and your partner want some classic tunes playing at your wedding or you have a special song for your first dance then tell your DJ to make sure they have it or in the case of a band they may need to practise □√
1 month to go
Reconfirm arrangements with suppliers – it’s worth a quick phone call to all of your suppliers to check they haven’t forgotten about you.□√
Write speech – if you are planning on making a speech start jotting some ideas down now. Think about telling guests funny scenarios about the brides or grooms and also add in some tear jerking emotion about the special couple.□√
Try on outfit – you’ve bought your outfit now just make sure it still fits □√
Pick up wedding rings – collect your wedding rings and check them for size. Keep them in a safe place! □√
1 week to go
List of thank you’s for wedding day – you will feel very guilty if you forget to thank someone special on your wedding day so make a note of who you would like to make your thank you’s to.□√
Confirm final numbers – there will inevitably always be guests who pull out last minute and guests who suddenly get a new girlfriend or boyfriend and want to bring them along so re-confirm your numbers. □√
1 night to go
Sleep tight – get yourself a good nights sleep as you will be a very busy bee the next day. □√
The Big Day
Set your alarm early although you will probably be awake through excitement and nerves anyway. □√
Plenty of time – make sure you know what you have to do on the morning of your wedding and allow enough time for hair, make-up, fitting etc…□√
Try to relax – you will be nervous but that’s part of the fun. Stick with your partner and give each other support. □√
Enjoy and take it in – this is a one off day. Take everything in that you can, don’t worry about anything and be determined to enjoy it. □√
Traditionally the groom is left in the dark about his stag do but when there are two of you it’s a little harder for your friends to arrange anything too crazy for you. Safety in numbers!
Think about who you want to invite – do you just want close friends or do you want family and work colleagues to come along.
Boozing nights out are popular but a growing number of gay men are choosing activity weekends in a country hotel away from walking to go-karting.
Nowadays people don’t have their stag night the night before their wedding so choose a day or weekend a couple of weeks or a month or so before your big day.
Hen / Bachelorette
Traditionally the hen night is for the chief bridesmaid to organise but if you are not having any bridesmaid ask one of your witnesses of a close friend to organise something. Popular party ideas include pampering session, spa weekends, and of course wild party nights dressing up in crazy pink outfits and playing along with all those planned ‘challenges’ or ‘dares’ from your so-called friends.
Obviously with lesbian weddings it is most common for both brides to be to have a joint party so there is no need to organise two hen nights. Whether you choose the L-Plates on your back or something as little more sophisticated you can indulge on the attention being on you.
Top tips for lesbian hen nights:
- Check with the brides about who they really want to be invited.
- Do not hold the hen night the night before the wedding
- Think about holding the hen night in a central location with easy access for people who perhaps live in different cities.
- If you are inviting older friends or family think about how they will fit in to the activities you have planned.
- Discuss a budget as soon as possible and collect the money up front if you can.
- Be organised – if you have a theme – tell your invitees the theme, take with you any props and plan well any activities for the night.
How easy the seating plan process is depends on who you invite, and how many guests can fit on each table. Try to sit guests together who you feel will get along. Spread the noisy guests out so that they can create a buzz around the whole room not just on one table. There are some great wedding quiz’s you can purchase to add some ice-breakers to your guests tables and remember free wine or champagne on the table does the atmosphere no harm.
Strictly speaking the top table is generally reserved for bride & bride or groom & groom and their parents along with best man, bridesmaids etc… In order for your caterers on the day to know who has specific dietary requirements you will need to have a seating plan. Write each of your guests names down on a post it note and use an A4 piece of paper to represent each table. Stick each post it note on the A4 pieces of papers and move them around until you are happy with the seating plan.
Gay Wedding Insurance
Wedding insurance may not have been something you have considered before but for a relatively small expense it could compensate you in the event of a wedding day catastrophe. Policies will cover you for things like loss of your wedding rings or if you have an accident that prevents you from being able to tie the knot.
Gay Wedding Gifts
Creating your wedding gift list can be one of the most enjoyable parts of organising your special day. This is a unique opportunity for you to decide what you would want your friends and family to buy to celebrate your marriage.
Department stores are great if you are looking to receive traditional household items. Before you start wondering around the store compiling your list be sure to speak with a representative from the store about what gifts you can and can’t put on your list.
If you are already cohabiting and don’t need smaller household items then vouchers are another great versatile gift your can receive – these are really handy if you have something particular in mind you would like to purchase.
There are also a great variety of internet stores that enable you to convert your gift money into vouchers that can be used towards larger items such as dream holidays, household makeovers etc..
A wishing well is another popular way to receive money as a gift on your special day. These can be hired easily over the internet in a variety of designs and enable your wedding guests to simply deposit cash into the wishing well for you to collect at the end of your big day.
Deciding on your Gay Wedding Gift List
Your wedding gift list if one of the most exciting parts of organising your wedding, after all you get to compile a list of presents for yourself! Remember though, you are supposed to return the favour by providing your guests with ‘wedding favours’.
Having a gift list is a great way to balance what you personally would like to receive as a gift and what your guests would like to choose for you.
Gift lists from a department store are a really popular way to operate a wedding gift list. The department store will have a copy of your list online so that each time a guests purchases a particular item off that list they will cross it off the list so other guests know not to repeat buy. You will then be sent a list of who has bought what items so that you can send out personal thank you cards to each guest.
Another way to operate a gift list is to compile it online meaning you do not have to browse round the department store looking for gifts to add to your list – you can literally choose your wedding gifts from the comfort of your own home.
Gay Wedding Gifts with a Difference
It is likely that most gay and lesbian couples will already live together before you get married and therefore it is unlikely that you will require a great deal of household items that are found on traditional wedding gift lists from department stores.
A great way to operate a wedding gift list is to consider more adventurous gift’s such as golf weekends, scuba diving lessons, holiday vouchers or money in the currency of your honeymoon destination.
Donate to charity
If there is really nothing you require from a department store gift list and you don’t need help towards the cost of your honeymoon then you can always suggest to your guests that they make a donation to a charity of your choice.
Return the favour of a gift list with a ‘gay wedding favour’
Wedding favours are adult versions of a goody bag. They can be beautifully integrated into the theme of your wedding for example your colour scheme or design theme and they can be personalised for your event. A favour can be anything from a themed bag or box containing a small gift or something edible like sugared almonds or jellybeans.
Fun gay wedding favours
Think outside the box and have some fun with your wedding favours. Add to the favour box or bag some trivia questions (make them as rude or a fun as you want) or bubbles or heart shaped sparklers. This can be a great ice breaker for those guests who may be seated with people they don’t know too well. By the end of the night they will be having a great time.
Be creative and make your own favours
It is simple enough to fill your favour boxes with anything you choose. Be as creative as you want. If you are an environment lover why not fill your favour boxes with beautiful flower seeds or give a small sample of scented oils.
Another popular wedding favour is always a lottery ticket – this wrapped in a themed bag with a ribbon to compliment your colour scheme will always please your guests.
Gay Wedding Budget
So it’s time to talk money. This isn’t always the most comfortable conversation you will have however ensuring you organise your special day within your budget is an important starting point. Traditionally with heterosexual marriage the father of the bride paid for the bulk of the event with other costs being shared out between the groom and parents. Thankfully for us times have changed and same-sex marriage means we have two brides or two grooms and perhaps two sets of parents who can share the cost of the day. Whatever you decide to do be sure to consider all aspects of your day and complete a budget planner as soon as possible to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Download our free wedding budget planner
Ok, let’s talk money.
It’s never easy to sit down and talk money, but weddings, no matter on what budget you can stick to, our costly events. In some families parents will help out and with gay marriage there are two brides or two grooms so you cannot get away with ‘the father of the bride’ paying as in this instance both fathers of both brides would be liable for that one.
Nowadays it is common for the couple getting married to pay the bulk of the money themselves.
Starting married life in debt is not good so try to work out how you will pay for your wedding i.e. do you have savings, will you start a savings account, will you ask family?
How much does a gay wedding cost?
The average cost of a gay wedding in the UK is £8,000 . This includes the highest price factors such as £1,200 for the weddings rings, £800 for the wedding outfits, £3500 for the reception. Spending varies from couple to couple so it is important to remember that this figure is an average so that’s not to say you can’t do your wedding for £3000 or go all out and spend £20,000 plus. That’s why it’s important to look at how much money you have and see what type of wedding you can have for that money. You will be surprised how far you can make your money stretch.
Tips for a Cheap Wedding
Booking your Gay Wedding Venue
- Book your wedding venue for a weekday
- Book in low season
- Book well in advance
Gay Wedding Outfit
If you have decided to go for a traditional bridal outfit you may want to check out your nearest bridal fayre as there is often a bargain to be had. You can sometimes get an off-the-peg wedding dress at a fraction of the cost compared to the high street.
If you are having your hair put up you may want to consider going along to a college hair and beauty section where they are always looking for models to practise on. Often 3rd year students can offer you some excellent designs. Some high street hair shops also offer ‘model nights’ when they present hair designs for exams and are often looking for people whose hair they can work on.
Gay Wedding Photo’s
If you have a talented fiend who enjoys recreational photography you will be surprised at the quality of photo’s you can get from asking a trustworthy friend to take some photos of your wedding day using a good digital camera.
All guests can also chip in and forward their best photos from the day and night to you. This will save on the cost of hiring a professional photographer.
You don’t have to hire wedding transport – try to think about any of your friends or friends of friends who have a great looking car that you could get a lift to your ceremony in.
Wedding Budget Planner
To help you be well organised our budget planner will help you know how to allocate money to different areas of your wedding budget. Make sure you always leave a contingency pot for any hidden extra costs and this will leave you well prepared.
One of you is likely to be the more organised partner so this person is likely to be the one who keeps a list or note of everything that is spent. You could open a specific bank account which will help you to keep track of your wedding costs.
The average cost of a gay wedding is £8,000 with regular same-sex weddings reaching up to £20,000. A budget plan will help you to manage the cost of your wedding and make sure that everything is accounted for. Our estimate spend figures are based on feedback from customers but you can tailor the costings for your wedding to suit your needs.
Item Estimated Cost (£)
Notification of Marriage 33.50
Ceremony registration 40
Marriage Certificate 3.50
Gifts for wedding party 200
Venue Hire 2000
Engagement Rings 500
Wedding Rings 1000
Fashion & Accessories
Bridesmaids Dresses 300
Flower Girl & Page Boy 100
Beauty Treatments 100
Honeymoon & Spends 4000
Hen or Stag Party 200
In order to have the ideal wedding that you have always dreamed of you may well need to save up. Think about how long your engagement will be in order to leave enough time for you to build the required savings. You may have to make adjustments in your everyday living expenses and cut back on some of the finer things in life for a short while. Be certain to put every extra penny away and be disciplined with the money that you manage to save.
Gay Wedding Planners
Are you and your partner finding yourselves on the side of feeling overwhelmed with all of the preparations needed to plan your perfect wedding? With so much to think about, so many fine details to iron out, invitations to send, florists to organize, your wedding plans can quickly run away from you and leave you both reeling from the shock! By sitting down together with a gay wedding planner and taking things one step at a time, you will be able to better approach your wedding plans to ensure that your wedding day is the perfect day for both of you to express your love and commitment to one another.
Select a Planner
If you don’t already have a gay wedding planner within your circle of friends then you should consider asking your friends and family for recommendations! It is important that your wedding planner is someone you feel completely comfortable with!
Set Your Budget
One of the first things that your gay wedding planner will discuss with you will be your budget; before you and your partner sit down with your planner you should lay out a budget plan that you can discuss with your gay wedding planner to ensure that everyone is on the same page. With a full understanding of your budget, your planner will be able to present to you only the options that are within your price range to avoid the selection of venues, cakes, and flowers that are simply out of your budget.
Set Your Date
It may be that you and your partner have already set the date for your dream wedding; perhaps the day holds special meaning for the two of you, or perhaps it is the anniversary of one of your parent’s wedding, either way – the selection of your date can have a great impact on the venues that you are able consider for your wedding. On the flip side of that, if you have an ideal venue in mind but are flexible on the date, you may have a lot more success! Either way, setting your wedding date is an important part of your plans, as your gay wedding planner will likely tell you! It helps to provide a deadline goal, and also allows your guests to begin their plans to attend your wedding.
While it may be difficult to let go some of the control of your wedding, you should rest assured that your gay wedding planner is a pro – this is what they do! Creating the ideal dream wedding to help celebrate the joining of two lives and loves!
Picking the Best in Gay Wedding Planners
Planning your wedding can be incredibly stressful, what with picking out a venue, picking out your outfits, choosing a cake, sending out invitations and every other little detail that threatens to overwhelm you, it can be incredibly useful to pick out a talented and reputable wedding planner! Gay wedding planners will be familiar with everything that will work towards making your special day the wedding day of your dreams!
Asking For Recommendations
To help you narrow down your choices from the many available gay wedding planners consider asking your friends and family members for recommendations. Those in your social circles may just be the best choices for helping you to find the best wedding planner to help you plan your wedding.
Narrowing Your Choices Down
Once you have a short list of potential gay wedding planners you can start the process of interviewing your gay wedding planners. It is important that your wedding planner is someone that you feel completely comfortable with and are able to form a high level of trust in – your wedding day is a day that is all about you and your partner so it is vital that you feel like you can trust your wedding planner to make the right decisions on your behalf.
Ask your gay wedding planners for references so that you can verify the satisfaction of their prior clients. If their prior clients have any hesitation about providing a positive reference then you should try to find out what their hesitations are caused by. Anything less than 100% satisfaction should be cause for concern!
Ask your potential gay wedding planners how many same-sex weddings they have planned; it is vital that your wedding planner has an understanding of how unique and wonderful your wedding needs to be in order to be a true reflection of the love and devotion that you and your partner have for each other.
Ask your potential gay wedding planners if you can see their portfolio of prior planned weddings so that you can gain an understanding of what you can expect from them in terms of design, project planning, and scheduling
Your wedding day is all about you and your partner – any good wedding planner will recognize that take the steps to help you to host a wedding that is sure to provide you and your partner with lifelong memories!
Telling your Parents – I’m Getting Married!
For many of us ‘coming out’ the first time was hard enough but now you have to do it all over again and come out with the line “I’m getting married”. If you are telling your parents then it is likely that you are open with them and have their love and support. While telling your parents you are getting married may be ok, telling your gran or an elderly relative who doesn’t even know you are gay can be difficult. That’s why you can ask your parents to do that job for you!
When you tell your parents you are getting married they may not know what is involved and what their role is so reassure them and prepare yourself so that you are already armed with the information. Talk about your plans for the big day, where you want to get married and what type of theme you are considering.
Many parents of gay and lesbians couples are over the moon that their child is getting married as they probably never thought they would see the day! You will be surprised how much some parents want to get involved form dads walking their daughter down the aisle to mums making the wedding favours.
Dealing with Disapproving Parents
It is a real shame, although not uncommon at all, for some parents of gay and lesbian men and women to firstly disapprove of their sexuality. While parents can often get over their hurdle of dealing with the fact that their son or daughter is gay to actually accept that they are committing to their partner for the rest of their lives and attend their gay wedding and share their blessings can be a difficult time for the parent.
This can often cause disharmony for a gay couple getting married and decisions have to be made about inviting parents, parents not attending if they are invited or parents attending and looking disapprovingly throughout the occasion.
You will know what is best for you and your partner whether you choose to just have a very small ceremony with you and your two witnesses or you choose to invite your disapproving parents and just focus on you and your partner throughout the ceremony. If you are in this dilemma then consider the fact that it’s your day and your lives so don’t try to please others on your special day to the detriment of yourselves.
Once you have popped the big question and you have announced your engagement to your friends and family you will be wondering where to start with your gay wedding planning. It can seem like a big task but we have all the information you will need to plan your perfect day.
Good gay wedding invitations are not that easy to find but here at GayWeddingVenues.co.uk we have made it easy for you. We have sourced the nicest designs, the best quality from handmade to quality printed and all at the cheapest prices available anywhere so you can find your perfect gay wedding invitation right here.
We have all the best tips on what to buy and some great money saving ideas for designing your own gay wedding stationary. Our exclusive Pink Proposal range will ensure that your wedding invitations leave your guests impressed and eager right from the start.
Next on your list might be your hen or stag do alternatively known as your bachelor or bachelorette party. Traditionally these parties where seen as the last night of freedom for the bride or groom but nowadays and especially with gay weddings they are a joint celebration and can be anything from city breaks, spa weekends to sporting events or globetrotting.
Once your hen or stag party is firmly out of the way your wedding day will almost be upon you and to help you take away a little bit of the stress you should already have in place your wedding insurance package. This will give you extra piece of mind to make sure you are not left out in the cold if there is a disaster with anything from your wedding outfit, to the florist, or your gay wedding venue.
Finally you can dream about your honeymoon and enjoying your new husband or wife’s company. We can help you choose your gay honeymoon destination with our helpful tops and inspiration for the perfect romantic break.