Planning a lesbian wedding is an exciting journey filled with love, celebration and the promise of a lifetime together. While many aspects of wedding planning are universal, there are specific considerations to keep in mind for lesbian couples and marriers. Of course all of our lesbian wedding advice is applicable to all LGBTQ+ couples and marriers, but our readers search the internet specifically for lesbian wedding planning help. Behold our handy lesbian wedding article! For a deeper dive into planning your LGBTQ+ wedding, search the site and check out our book, Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding, by Equally Wed cofounder Kirsten Palladino.

In this brief starter guide, we will walk you through the essential factors to consider when planning your perfect lesbian wedding.

Setting the Date and Venue

Like any other wedding, the first step in planning your lesbian wedding is selecting a date and venue.  Consider the season, weather and whether you want an indoor or outdoor celebration. But also find out if the venue you like is LGBTQ+ inclusive. Have they hosted trans, queer or same-sex weddings? Do you see queer couples on their website and social media? Start your search for LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding venues here.

Choosing Your Officiant

Selecting an officiant who understands and respects your relationship is vital. Whether it’s a friend, family member or a professional, ensure that they embrace your love and are supportive of your journey. Search our directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding officiants.

Legal Requirements

Research the legal requirements for marriage in your jurisdiction. Ensure you have the necessary paperwork and licenses to make your union official. This process can vary from place to place, so be sure to stay informed.

Traditions and Rituals

As a lesbian couple, you have the opportunity to redefine traditional wedding rituals and create your own meaningful ceremonies. Consider including unity candle lighting, handfasting or ring warming to celebrate your love in a unique way.

Wardrobe Choices

When it comes to wardrobe, there are no strict gender norms for lesbian brides, grooms and marriers. Some lesbians and queer women choose women’s suits, while others wear men’s suits. While we’re not thrilled with gender labels for clothing, it’s what works for shopping for your wedding suit from most suit designers and stores. You and your partner can wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident. Coordinate your outfits to reflect your style and personalities.

Wedding Party and Roles

Discuss with your partner who you’d like to include in your wedding party and determine their roles. Lesbian weddings can be more flexible in this regard, so feel free to adapt these roles to fit your vision.

Vows and Readings

Personalize your vows to reflect your unique love story. You can write your own vows, choose readings that resonate with you, or even ask friends or family members to share special readings during the ceremony.

Inclusive Language

Be mindful of the language you use throughout your wedding planning. Use inclusive terms that reflect you and your partner(s), like “brides” or “marriers,” as well as terminology that works for your entire wedding party, to ensure that no one feels excluded.

Music and Entertainment

Select music that resonates with your love story and preferences. Whether it’s a live band, a DJ or a playlist, choose songs that hold special meaning for both of you. Consider including LGBTQ+ songs or artists to celebrate your identity.

Photography and Videography

Hire a photographer and videographer who are experienced in capturing LGBTQ+ weddings. Discuss with them your vision, any specific moments you want to emphasize, and ensure they are respectful of your love story.

Guest List and Invitations

Craft a guest list that reflects your closest friends and family. When sending out invitations, use language that celebrates your love and makes all guests feel welcome and included. Remember that you do not have to invite anyone who doesn’t support your (or your partner’s) pronouns, sexuality, gender expression or gender identity.

Seating Arrangements

Lesbian weddings offer more flexibility in seating arrangements when considering how cishet (straight and cisgender) weddings often separate seating by guests of the bride and groom. You can choose to mix guests from both sides of the family to create a unified and harmonious atmosphere.

Reception and Food

Select a menu that caters to your tastes and preferences. Your reception can include LGBTQ+-themed elements, such as signature cocktails with queer significance or rainbow-colored desserts.

Decor and Themes

Decorate your wedding with colors and themes that reflect your personalities and love story. Incorporate LGBTQ+ symbols, like the rainbow pride flag, the lesbian pride flag or the progress pride flag, in your decor to celebrate your identity.

Support and Resources

Join LGBTQ+ wedding groups and communities, both online and in person. These spaces offer valuable resources, advice and support from couples who have walked this path before.

Legal Protections

Understand the legal protections and rights associated with marriage in your jurisdiction. Marriage equality is not uniform everywhere, so be aware of the laws in your area. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a wedding! But if you want the legal benefits from marriage, you might have to seek that marriage license elsewhere if you aren’t having your wedding in an affirming place.

Vendor Selection

Choose LGBTQ+-friendly and inclusive vendors who support and respect your love. Research caterers, florists, and other vendors who are experienced in providing services for lesbian weddings.

Pre-wedding Events

Consider hosting pre-wedding events, like engagement parties or bridal showers, that celebrate your love and identity. These gatherings offer more opportunities to create memories with friends and family.

Planning a lesbian wedding is a beautiful experience that allows you to celebrate your love, identity and journey as a couple. By considering the factors mentioned above, you can ensure that your wedding day is a true reflection of your love story and a memorable occasion for you, your partner(s) and your guests. Embrace your individuality, and remember that love is love, no matter how you choose to celebrate it. Your lesbian wedding is a testament to the progress made in LGBTQ+ rights and an inspiration for all couples and marriers to celebrate their love authentically.