I recently hit send on my manuscript submission to my editor at Seal Press, the awesome publisher who’s publishing my forthcoming wedding book for LGBTQ couples, eponymously titled Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding. The book hits shelves and online stores in May 2017, and I couldn’t be more excited to share all I’ve learned since launching Equally Wed six years ago, as well as share advice from some of the best experts in the business and the foreword from Lance Bass and his husband Michael Turchin. While the book is in production, here are 5 wedding planning tasks you should add to your checklist right now:
1 | HIRE EQUALITY-MINDED WEDDING PROS
You want to be surrounded by fantastic people who believe in your right to love and marriage, yes? Don’t just employ vendors and venues who will willingly pocket your cash. Invest in the marriage-equality allies who support you and your marriage.
2 | READ THE ROOM
When you’re taking your tour of ceremony and reception venues (often one and the same for same-sex weddings), take your time getting a feel for it and consider the vibe it gives off. Does the existing decor and structure align with your personalities? Will it be hospitable to all of your guests? Can you party until the break of dawn if you want to? Are there two rooms for you both to get ready in before the ceremony instead of just one lone bridal suite? Make sure it’s a perfect match before signing the dotted line.
3 | BE KIND
I know this seems obvious, but perhaps not. Though you are the nearlywed getting married, your team—whether paid or not—can be their most helpful when you’re appreciative of their work, not overloading them with more than you have contracted them for and also remaining respectful of their contribution. From the person manning your guest book to the valet runners at your venue, everyone’s doing their best for you. Give them your best in return.
4 | DON’T OVERLOOK YOURSELVES
In this Pinterest-obsessed age of social media, it’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing for their weddings. And while the millions of wedding ideas and trends floating around the web can be super helpful, don’t forget that the the real reason you’re gathering your friends and family together is so they can witness the incredible moment when you marry the love of your life. Your wedding should be a reflection of you and your beloved, not an exact replica of some stranger’s inspiration board. (Though if that person is your long-lost twin, I totally get it.)
5 | BE YOURSELF
Continuing with the thread of making your wedding your own, staying true to yourself for your wedding is essential to have the happy day you deserve. This means that if the idea of wearing a dress makes your skin feel itchy and your stomach knot up that you shouldn’t do it on your wedding day, not even if your grandmother, your uncle or your partner thinks you ought to. And if you want to wear a cape, a suit and carry a bouquet, than you have every right to do so—and I think you’ll pull it off famously.