Congratulations! You’re getting married!
Now it’s time to plan your gay wedding!
For many gay, lesbian and transgender couples, after the initial excitement wears off, the panic sets in. Planning any kind of wedding can seem like a daunting and stressful task because there are so many things to do and so many details to keep track of. And planning a queer wedding just adds a little more stress and complexity to the process.
Don’t panic because we’ve got you covered with all the advice, checklists and resources you will need to plan and execute your special gay day, whether it’s a small, casual celebration or an all-out big gay or lesbian wedding bash!
Planning a Wedding Means Making Decisions
Planning a wedding is about making decisions — lots of them. You’ll start off with big decisions that define what your wedding day will be like and establish the parameters that will guide you through the rest of the process. Then you will take each area and break it down into smaller decisions that encompass all the details.
We have identified seven major decisions that you need to make about your gay wedding. They are similar to the major milestones in planning your wedding. We have also developed a more in-depth guide for each decision that walks you through the process of how to make the decision and reminds you about all the factors you need to take into consideration.
1. Establish a budget
It’s unfortunate that the first big wedding decision you make has to be about money, but it’s imperative that you determine how much you’re willing to spend or capable of spending on your wedding. Your budget will impact everything from the number of guests you invite to the venue you select. When you’re ready to tackle this first big decision, read our how-to guide for creating a wedding budget.
2. Choose a Date
You might be surprised at how challenging it might be to pick the date for this most important day. You’ll want to do some research to make sure you pick a date when the friends and family you really want to come to your wedding haven’t already committed to another event. The date you choose will also impact your budget. Read our guide on how to choosing a wedding date.
3. Determine the Kind of Wedding you Want
Do you envision a small, casual ceremony for a few close friends and relatives or a more traditional wedding complete with a band and a sit-down dinner? Will it be an elegant celebration in an old mansion or a shorts and t-shirts bash on the beach? Or maybe you’re trying to recreate the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Megan Markle. If you don’t already have an idea in mind, read our how-to guide for choosing the kind of wedding you want.
4. Select and Book the Wedding Venue
Your previous decisions have probably already narrowed down the list of potential venues for your wedding. Get your checkbook or your plastic ready because this is where your big gay wedding starts to get real. This decision and each subsequent decision involve some kind of financial commitment or expense. Read our guide to selecting a wedding venue for a good overview of what you should consider before you put down a down payment on that special place for your gay or lesbian wedding.
5. Create Your Guest List and Invitations
Now that you’ve decided on your budget, the kind of wedding you want and your venue, determining the number of guests should be fairly easy. What’s a little harder is determining who’s on the guest list! What’s even harder is determining who’s not going to show up so you can over-invite and still stay within your budget. For some helpful tips, read up on how to create a guest list for your gay or lesbian wedding.
This is also a good time to choose your wedding invitations, since you know your theme, venue and wedding date. Review our how-to guide for choosing wedding invitations for some more practical and helpful tips.
6. Choose Your Vendors
With all the major details for your wedding in place, it’s time to nail down the specifics. Get our your checkbook or your credit card and start evaluating vendors or getting recommendations from your family and friends. Keep notes as you evaluate vendors because I promise you that they will all blur together before you’ve made your final decision.
Here’s a list of vendors that you want to nail down for sure. To help you out, we created a tip sheet for each vendor with some of the most important criteria to consider when making your selection.
- Photographer / Videographer ( Tips for selecting a photographer / videographer )
- Caterer ( Tips to Help you Choose a Caterer )
- Florist ( Tips for selecting a florist )
- Wedding Cake Designer ( Tips for choosing your wedding cake designer.)
- Band or DJ ( Tips for deciding on a band or DJ )
7. Arrange Other Services
Depending on the specifics of your wedding, there might be a number of other services you need to arrange. For example, you might want to reserve a block of rooms at a hotel that’s convenient to the wedding venue and to arrange transportation between the two locations. If makeup and hairdos are important, you might want a stylist on hand while everyone is getting ready.
We’ve got you covered with a comprehensive list of other arrangements you might need to make so you don’t forget something that sends you into panic mode right before your wedding day!