5 Wedding Traditions Gay Couples Can Re-Invent

We love a good origin story, but some wedding traditions are ridiculous .

There are so many of them.

Deviate from convention, and you just know that someone from the last century will be on hand to tell you that 'you have to do it this way, dear.'

Tradition connects us with our shared history. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it shouldn’t dominate a ceremony if you don’t want it to. 

Tradition has some uncomfortable roots. 

It's strange that women, especially, are so eager to honour certain traditions. What exactly is romantic about being treated like property? 

The LGBTI community has a chance to break away and start their own traditions. 

There’s now less social segregation between genders. It’s very possible that your best friend or closest friends are the opposite sex to you. 

Traditionally, the groom’s wedding party is made up of men, and the bride’s entourage are women

But what if your closest friends and family don’t fall so neatly into these categories? 

A quick rejig of the language, and this problem is solved: bride’s men and groom’s women.

Best man just meant best fighting man. He was the groom’s second in a fight or duel: the Robin to Batman, the Sundance Kid to Butch Cassidy.

Bridesmaids were decoys when wife stealing was more commonplace – that’s why they're dressed so similarly to the bride.

Nowadays, there’s the Jeremy Kyle show for punch-ups and wife swaps – you don’t have to honour it in your wedding. 

This works, too, with single-sex hen and stag nights. Mix it up, a little. Your final nights of pre-marriage freedom should be spent celebrating with ALL your friends. Not just those who happen to the same sexual organs as you.

Traditionally, the bride is given away by her father. This harks back to a time when women were property: passed from a father to a husband.  For the vast majority of men and women, this isn’t how it’s seen today, or why it’s still popular. But what happens when you’re both women, or both men – who comes down the aisle first?

Same-Sex Couples Can...

        Take the final steps before marriage together by walking arm-in-arm down the aisle.  This could be the start of a beautiful tradition: approaching marriage together, as equals.

Both be given away by their parents/loved ones. It would be lovely to see the mother being allowed to walk down, too, on the other arm.

The woman taking the man’s surname made sense a few centuries ago: bringing the woman under the protection of another family when she was unable to support herself.  

Nowadays, most women are more than capable of protecting themselves. Identity is important, and we shouldn’t be so quick to give it up.

Same-sex couples have a few options:

Keep individual names. This is 2016. It's really not that big of a deal.

Double barrel the names: Tom Wright and Stephen Ross become Mr and Mr Wright-Ross.

Frances Cooper and Kelly Gardner become Mrs and Mrs Cooper-Gardner.

Meshing names is popular, too:

Tom and Stephen Woss
Frances and Kelly Coodner.

Or whatever.

Or pick an entirely new name. 

One of our favourite origin stories is why it’s considered bad luck for a groom to see his bride the night before the wedding. 

It used to be that most marriages were arranged between families: selecting a bride was more like striking a deal with a vendor rather than a genuine love match. 

The groom wasn’t allowed to see the bride in case he backed out, because whilst the bride might be an attractive match on paper, it didn’t follow that she’d be physically attractive in person.

Most couples will probably choose to spend the night apart. It adds to the excitement. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. This is one tradition that is actually more or less harmless.

For some, however, it isn’t practical. And wouldn’t it be lovely to spend that last night together and to then get up together, have breakfast and help one another get dressed before the ceremony – the calm before the storm.

Seeing your partner before is not bad luck. 

Superstition and tradition shouldn't stop you doing what you want to do.

We’ve seen some incredible photographs of same-sex weddings where couples have thrown out the rule book on wedding attire. Pastel shades for the guys, white trouser suits for the ladies, red dresses, blue dresses, – you name it.

The gay community has style and individuality in spades. It isn’t every bride who wants to spend hours in a bridal salon looking for a strapless ivory dress. It isn’t every man who wants a dark tuxedo.

Adding colour to a wedding party will make a world of difference to your wedding photography. It’ll lift everyone, too. 

We’d love to hear about any wedding traditions that you opted out of. Or are there any that you’re glad you kept?

Drop us a message and let us know. 

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