A glossary for LGBTQ+ weddings, same-sex weddings, lesbian weddings, gay weddings, queer weddings

Every now and again, I get asked why we call some of the weddings we feature on Equally Wed a gay wedding or a lesbian wedding. It’s a fair question if you’re not in the publishing world. And the answer is simple yet detailed. I’ll break it out into a few segments.

The first reason we use terms such as gay wedding, lesbian wedding, same-sex wedding or LGBTQ wedding is SEO. Our readers are using these terms to search for wedding planning inspiration that is tailored to them.

The second reason is that we are a marginalized community. Now you might say that using terms such as gay wedding or lesbian wedding further marginalizes us by creating a separate word to define us when we fought so hard to be able to have our weddings legally recognized. Absolutely! I get that. But because we are a marginalized community, our weddings aren’t ever going to be of the cisgender heterosexual white skinny middle-class wedding variety that our society tends to value the most. And that’s just fine. We are different. We celebrate our differences. Diversity is cool. We are equally wonderful and should be valued equally. But we do have differences in our weddings. We have to come out again and again to our wedding vendors. We may approach the altar or chuppah differently than straight couples, and no matter how we do it, it might not be dictated by our gender alone. Many of us in the LGBTQ+ community are not aspiring to be viewed as cisgender and heterosexual. We’re mainly interested in equal rights and being seen as normal as the rest of the crazy mo’fos that make up this world. Assimilation isn’t the name of the game for many of us.

And the third reason that we use terms like gay wedding and lesbian wedding in our verbiage on our gay and lesbian wedding blog is discoverability and our editorial mission. That’s basically SEO but I want to break it down even further. The wedding market is saturated with wedding blogs of all sorts. And the Internet has a blog at more domains than most cities have Starbucks. We’re not just an online wedding magazine that caters to the LGBTQ+ community. We are the premium online destination for LGBTQ+ weddings. But our readers (current and potential) aren’t searching for LGBT weddings, LGBTQ+ weddings or even same-sex weddings as much as they’re searching for “gay wedding” or “lesbian wedding.” And so we have to cater to our readers, current and potential. If you don’t find us, then we can’t stay open for business, which then isn’t a service to our community at all. We want you to find us so we can connect, offer you tools to plan your weddings, show you inspirational real weddings and real engagements, keep you up to date on marriage equality news, and introduce you to some amazing LGBTQ+ friendly wedding vendors and venues.

Kirsten and Maria Palladino, founders of Equally Wed, Atlanta lesbian wedding | Photo by Our Labor of Love

I also want to be sure that you all know that we don’t just label all our weddings as a gay wedding or a lesbian wedding. We get to know our couples when they submit their weddings or engagement stories to us. We ask them if they identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. Then we use that term to identify the wedding with the modifier of sexual orientation or gender identity along with other modifiers our readers might be searching for, such as farm wedding, DIY wedding, New York wedding or destination wedding.

I hope you have found the answer you were searching for when you clicked on this article. We started Equally Wed in 2010 as a wedding space disrupter to showcase same-sex weddings as a way of validating and valuing them, as The New York Times reported in a generous print feature. My spouse and I are firm in our commitment to running a transparent company and our staff of editors, writers and advertising executives all share our core values. We’re ever evolving, and we love hearing from you. Our inbox is always open: info (at) equallywed (dot) com.

P.S. Have you ordered your copy of my gay wedding planning book? (See what I did there?) Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding encompasses the love is love movement and takes the LGBTQ+ couple from “I will” to “I do.”

Photos: Our Labor of Love