6 Handy Hints for Planning a Same-Sex Marriage

By Felicity Newburry

Same-sex marriage is still a relatively new legalisation and so a lot of the available wedding advice is still constructed around heterosexual marriages. This doesn't take into account the differences to be considered in same-sex marriages. Wedding planners are worth their weight in gold when it comes to same-sex weddings as many of them will already have the knowledge and resources to plan your wedding. Not everyone has the budget to afford a planner however. For this reason, the team at Wellington Weddings have put together a list of helpful, sanity-saving tips for the bride and bride, and the groom and groom in planning their wedding.


Bumble and Bloom Photography

1. Choosing the Best Celebrant 

Marriage is such a wonderful and meaningful occasion for the betrothed couple and there are many different religions and values that comprise the sanctity of every couple’s marriage. It is important to find a celebrant who reflects and supports your values and ideas. If you’re a couple of faith, finding a supportive celebrant isn’t difficult in New Zealand. Our liberal culture has meant that many religions have embraced same-sex love. It is also absolutely fine to create a ceremony that isn’t influenced by religion, and in such a case, a Justice of the Peace will be able to perform your ceremony. If you plan for a long engagement, this can give a loved one the opportunity to apply for a position as a Justice of the Peace. What better way to be married than to have someone who loves you dearly perform the ceremony 

2. Write Your Own Vows 

Love is love, but that doesn’t mean that you need to follow heterosexual expressions in your vows. Though these are equally as beautiful, it is a great idea to tailor your own vows to suit you and your partner’s relationship and values. Take time ahead of those final weeks before your wedding to think about what to put in your vows and then write them from the heart. Speak honestly about what it is you adore in your partner and how excited you are to spend the rest of your lives together. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend for help – if you know someone who is a writer, then by all means make use of their skill! Try to learn your vows by heart a little, but know that it is okay to have them on you in paper form.   

same-sex wedding

Kristy Watzel Photography

3. The Photos 

Wedding photography is a large investment of time and money and is worth every second and every penny. Photographers provide you with forever captured moments from your big day, a day that same-sex couples have been waiting for, for a long time. Choosing an excellent photographer is the first step. It is also a good idea to have some stylistic ideas in mind when you make plans with your photographer and to print the roles of the wedding party on the photographs. This is because different people often play different roles in same-sex marriages. If you're going to send copies of your photos to loved ones who couldn’t attend the wedding, it would be wise to detail that a certain person was your “man of honour” or your “best woman”. 

4. Dedicated Dressing Time 

It is important to give yourselves a lot of time to get your outfits just how you want them. It is all too common for lesbian brides to be dressed in poorly fitting suits on the day, but this doesn’t have to be the case! If you are a bride who wants to wear a suit, give yourself time to be properly fitted. Suit tailoring can take a of couple months, so keep this in mind when you’re making your wedding plans. For brides who are both opting for dresses but want to surprise one another, consider showing photos of what you want to a friend or wedding planner. This means that they can help guide the two of you towards dresses that won't clash in formality, style or colour. The extra time you spend on this will make you both look and feel your very best on the day. 

same-sex wedding

Amanda Hedgepeth Photography

5. Pre-Wedding Parties 

You could choose to have your bachelorette or stag party together! This could prove to be a lot of fun and money saver because you don’t have to throw separate events. Another common option is to have separate parties, then all meet up at the end of the night.  

6. Consider Shaking up Conventions 

This is the biggest and best thing about same-sex marriages. Your right to marry the person you love is new and as such, there are no engrained rules for how to do it. You might like to do away with certain traditions or even create new ones. Something many same-sex couples choose is to have a “first look” where they see each other in privacy before the wedding. This is a perfect opportunity for the photographer to catch the genuine expressions and emotions in that moment as you first lay eyes on one another. Other ideas include walking down the aisle together, or one after the other. Rather than getting caught up restructuring old norms, see your wedding as an opportunity to throw an event exactly how you’d like it.  

wedding photo

​I Do Wedding Films



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