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Much of the traditional wedding culture is rooted in religion. For many reasons, a good portion of LGBTQ+ people do not feel comfortable or accurately represented when faced with incorporating religious practices/traditions in their ceremonies. From the officiant readings to vows and toasts, much of what exists as a template for what a ceremony “should” include is not very inclusive. So what other ideas can you throw in that will make your LGBTQ weddings and ceremony more customized and inclusive for you and your wedding guests? Let’s hash it out!
Many couples elect to hire a religious figure or someone outside of their immediate circle to officiate their LGBTQ weddings. Although this does ensure your ceremony is executed with a “professional” tone, you’re usually more limited to what the officiant will or will not say during your ceremony.
It could perhaps limit you to certain verbiage but it also means you lose the personal touch on things. Whether your officiant simply delivers the “I do” verbiage or they do translate the vows and all, having someone who is a third party read at your ceremony means they can’t possibly deliver an officiation anywhere near as custom and personal as someone who has known you and your spouse for years.
Having someone who knows the family and the couple intimately allows for inside jokes, personal storytelling and so much more of a relaxed vibe. Not only are you less likely to make someone in the audience feel excluded in religious-based language, but they’ll be more likely able to interact with the story you’re weaving as you say your “I dos”.
“As the wise Stevie Wonder once said, “Music is a world within itself with a language we all understand. With an equal opportunity for all to sing, dance and clap their hands.”
It may seem like an insignificant little detail but switching up the music throughout your entire wedding (not just the ceremony) can be a stellar way to be more inclusive for both yourself and your wedding guests. It’s a killer way to get the attendees involved in the fun whether you’re dancing down the aisle with your partner, walking down on your own to your favorite jam or headed to your wedding reception.
There is definitely a classic and timeless feel to traditional songs such as the Bridal March but old tunes have nothing on a little ditty that makes your attendees want to clap and celebrate with you as you head down the aisle.
It’s okay to use art, poems, and text to help deliver your feelings or symbolize your commitment during your ceremony. Many weddings do this but consider using passages that do not include gendered language. Below are just a few suggestions for your LGBTQ weddings:
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body.
No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love,” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
“Love Sonnet 17” by Pablo Neruda
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
“Untitled” by R.M. Drake
You will be the clouds
and I will be the sky.
you will be the ocean
and I will be the shore.
you will be the trees
and I will be the wind.
whatever we are, you and I
will always collide.
Who says you have to say your vows a certain way or close the ceremony with a ring exchange? Maybe rings aren’t your thing! With LGBTQ weddings, you can make the rules! Consider any of the following:
And again, maybe you exchange nothing at all! You don’t have to exchange anything any more than you have to choose a certain set of music or hire a certain officiant for your wedding. The day is completely yours to mold to your liking.
You can get extremely creative with vows. Some options to consider may be:
There are a ton of different ways to deliver your love to your soon-to-be spouse. The sky’s the limit and you don’t have to do anything a certain way just because others have done it that way.
You and your spouse will likely be spending a good amount of money/savings on this momentous occasion. Whatever your day looks like, it should be uniquely molded and crafted to meet your wants and needs!
Of course, if there’s any way we can support you as you plan your wedding, elopement, or destination wedding, we’d love to help! Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have and happy planning!
Sam + Bryt