My perfect gay Wedding

It takes just as much time to plan a commitment ceremony as it does a wedding, but for gay and lesbian couples there are a few important details to consider. Below is a guide to planning gay and lesbian commitment ceremonies


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Things to Consider:

Type of Ceremony

Depending on the state and country of residence, gay couples may have the option of planning a full marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or commitment ceremony. You may also want to decide if you and your partner desire a religious or non-religious ceremony.

A typical ceremony and reception will take at least 5 hours, not including pictures taken in between the ceremony and reception. Take ample time to discuss your ceremony plans with your partner. Keep a notebook for important information and develop an itinerary of the ceremony day. Share this itinerary with the reception hall, DJ or band, officiate, venue and other people key to the success of the ceremony.

Take time to carefully plan the budget for your ceremony. Take into account the number of guests, the venue, entertainment, photography, rings, tuxedo rentals, etc. An easy way to plan a commitment ceremony budget is to allot a certain amount for each major area of the ceremony. Here is a simple break down:

50% Reception
10% Flowers
10% Music
10% Photography
10% Tuxedo or Dress Renta
l5% Invitations
5% Miscellaneous

Wedding Vows

Individually write your vows. Vows can be as personal or standard depending on your preference.

Location & Venue


Of course, the location of your ceremony should be a special place for both you and your partner; however, consider choosing a central location for all of your guests. Also, make sure the venue of choice is gay-friendly. Call ahead to make sure the venue you choose is comfortable hosting a same-sex ceremony. In addition, make sure you are comfortable in the venue of choice. Gay Friendly Inns is a great place to start. Some couples also choose to have their ceremony performed at gay pride. Often there will be officiants on hand to perform group commitment ceremonies. View the gay pride calendar.

Cake gayFind a Church

Call a gay-friendly church and ask if they are willing to perform a gay commitment ceremonies. If they refuse, don't get discouraged. There are many others that will.

Number of Guests

Some couples choose to have small intimate ceremonies, while others have large events. Invite the number of guests that make you and your partner comfortable. Remember that the cost of the ceremony can rise depending on how many guests you invite.

You can purchase wedding invitations at your local stationary store or online. Choose invitations to your taste. If money is a concern, try a little creativity and create your own special cards or host an announcement shower at a friend's place.

Reception Halls & Caterers
Decide if you'd like a reception at a private home, a public hall or non at all. If considering a public venue, call the reception hall and book it at least 10-12 months in advance. Be prepared to tell the event planner your desired booking date and time, how many guests you are expecting and what cuisine you'd like served (if they cater as well). Some places offer full packages (ceremony venue, reception, caterer, music and photographer).

DJ/Band and Photographer

The DJ can sometimes be a sore spot when it comes to wedding and commitment ceremonies. Choose a DJ with experience. Select a play list that tailors to both your tastes and the palate of your guests. Decide on a photographer with experience and be clear about what you expect. It helps to choose a DJ and photographer that is comfortable in a gay atmosphere. Word of mouth recommendations are always best.

Limousine Services

Think about how you will arrive at the ceremony and to the reception. Check your local listings for a limousine company or for the cost conscious, solicit a friend with a really nice car to chauffeur you around for the day.
.Rings and Jewelry

Traditionally, partners purchase each other engagement rings and then exchange commitment rings during the ceremony. These are physical expressions of your lasting love. You can rings, bracelets, necklaces or any other symbol of your commitment.


pareja gayYou and your partner have complete control over the atmosphere and formality of your ceremony. Agree on an attire that best fits your vision of the ceremony. You can marry in tuxedos, suits, formal wear or even casual dress. However, if renting tuxedos be sure to reserve them at least 3 months in advance (keeping in mind their busy seasons- school dances and proms, etc.) If you have a traditional wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) make sure you communicate the expected attire at least 3 months in advance. Many tuxedo rental stores offer package deals for wedding parties.
Wedding Cake

Have you always dreamed of eating a multiple layer wedding cake or do you simple want a sheet cake with you and your sweetheart's names? Take ample time to discuss what type of cake you want. Also, call your local bakery at least 2-3 months in advance to be sure the cake is ready to be delivered to your reception.

Floral arrangements take time to prepare and can sometimes be costly. Budget at least 10% on flowers. Contact your florist of choice for recommendations on seasonal arrangements, prices and time to delivery.

Plan a romantic getaway for just you and your partner. Choose a location and activities that fit your tastes and budget. Honeymoons can range from a weekend in a local hotel suite to cruises and trips to exotic islands. Book hotels and cruises at least 10-12 months before your ceremony.


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