Almost 10 percent of LGBTQIA+ adults in the US are married to a same-sex spouse, according to Gallup research. The rise in LGBTQIA+ ceremonies has led to trends changing the nature of the wedding industry. If you are planning your big day, here are some LGBTQIA+ wedding trends to watch out for.
LGBTQIA+ Wedding Friendly Services
The rise in LGBTQIA+ weddings has led to a demand for vendors who make LGBTQIA+ couples comfortable and pampered during the preparation stage. Same-sex wedding directories like Engaged Weddings and Gay Weddings highlight gay-friendly vendors in all states. On their websites, you can find everything from florists to caterers who are on board to make planning exciting and fun for your LGBTQIA+ wedding.
Engagement Ring Exchanges
Wedding specialists, The Knot report that around 40 percent of LGBTQIA+ couples do away with traditional proposals and mutually decide to participate in a ceremony and/or celebrate their reception afterward. A similar percentage choose to surprise their loved ones with a ring, and 16 percent get down on one knee to pop the question. If you are excited about asking your loved one to marry you formally or have already spoken with them about a ring exchange, know that there are many engagement and wedding ring styles to consider. No longer are simple gold bands the norm. Instead, couples choose everything from infinity styles to eternity band wedding rings. They also look for jewelry made in unique materials like white, gray, or black tungsten carbide.
Larger LGBTQIA+ Weddings
The year 2020 has been and gone, and so has the trend for tiny, intimate weddings mainly limited to family and a couple of close friends. LGBTQIA+ couples are celebrating grander weddings as the years go by. For instance, in 2013, the average guest list comprised just 63 guests. By 2017, this number had risen to 107. While this number lags behind non-LGBTQIA+ weddings slightly, its growth represents the fact that more couples are coming out, choosing to marry, and making their friends and family part of one of the most memorable days of their lives.
Blended LGBTQIA+ Wedding Parties
LGBTQIA+ couples are also doing away with norms that divide wedding parties into bridesmaids and groomsmen. These days, you are more likely to find weddings with blended wedding parties. Moreover, wedding party fashion displays a stronger acceptance of people of all genders. Many couples are choosing gender-fluid fashion for the members of their wedding parties. Some couples emphasize inclusivity by opting for photographs celebrating the LGBTQIA+ lifestyle. Think wedding party members holding rainbow-colored smoke bombs, couples wearing rainbow-colored soles on their wedding shoes, and rainbow hues appearing on everything from the decor to wedding desserts.
Walking Down the Aisle Together
In the past, the aisle walk was the first time that couples got to see each other on their wedding day. Today, however, couples are having a “first look” before entering the celebration space. This is usually a moment that makes for beautiful footage and photographs. The “surprise factor” of the aisle walk is no longer necessary. Some couples decide to impress each other (or their guests) by walking together. How well this walk looks greatly depends on the structure of your ceremony space. Walking in at the same rhythm can be quite impactful and emotional if it has two entrances on opposite sides.
A Different Reading
Couples having a civil wedding sometimes opt to include a statement about LGBTQIA+ rights in their ceremonial readings. One popular reading is a passage from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court gay marriage decision, written by Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall. It has an extremely powerful impact, especially when read on such a momentous occasion. The passage states, “Civil marriage is a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family.” The passage states that because marriage is a connection that expresses common humanity, deciding whether to marry and whom we marry is a crucial act of self-definition.
LGBTQIA+ Wedding Final Thought
LGBTQIA+ weddings are on the rise, evident from new trends and services since the landmark 2015 Supreme Court decision. This decision required all states to grant same-sex marriages and recognize these marriages if they were carried out in other states. A few trends holding sway include engagement ring exchanges, larger weddings, and blended wedding parties. Couples are also opting for a unique entrance into their ceremonial space, for instance, by walking down the aisle together. The surprise element is left to the reveal of the couples’ respective looks before both make their way to the ceremonial space. Finally, many are incorporating powerful readings that express their right to define who they are, what they believe in, and whom they want to be with. The passage by Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall encapsulates the importance of marriage to many people.
Marriage is a personal commitment and one that celebrates love in public. It is a joyous moment that everyone should be able to experience and share if they wish to. Marshall’s passage resonates not only with LGBTQIA+ couples but also with their families and friends—those who are aware of the powerful effect that the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision had on the US as a whole.