Are Wedding Bells Ringing for You?
Don’t forget these five things as you plan your big day!

Getting married is finally an option for gay people. Even though marriage equality has yet to come to the Sunshine State, it’s not stopping people here from tying the knot. One thing that anyone who is engaged will tell you is that planning a wedding is STRESSFUL. They didn’t invent the term “bridezilla” for nothing. Just because there may not be a bride walking down the aisle, we all know the “sassy queen” living inside could be about 1.5 seconds away from giving the florist a piece of our minds.

As you prepare for your big day, remember the following five tips and the stress will fall away, like water off a duck’s back.


Focus on what you want:

In many gay weddings, the couple will be laying out the money; most of us don’t expect our parents to pay for the wedding and many LGBT people don’t even have their parents’ support. Since you will be paying, you get to have the wedding that YOU (as a couple) want. Just because your family has been going to the same church for the past 50 years doesn’t mean that you have to have the deacon say the blessing. It’s your day so do as you wish. I suggest that you and your partner make a list of things that you feel are “must haves” for the wedding. Don’t leave anything off the list since it’s just for you guys. After you both have a list, work together to compromise to include as many elements from each other’s list as you can. The key here is compromise — if you can’t do it now, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of your years of wedded bliss.


Don’t worry about “tradition.”

One of the best parts of a gay wedding is that you don’t have to pay one iota of attention to “tradition.” I am sure that in 50 or 100 years, there will be new traditions that gay men across the country are following, but for now, anything goes. Now is the time to start your own traditions as a couple. Gay men and their relationships are hardly traditional so you can choose what traditions you want to stick with, but don’t feel like you have to do something just because it’s what straight people have been doing throughout the ages. One of the things I like least about many “traditional” weddings is involving a member of the clergy…just because. I have attended so many friends’ weddings, who paid a preacher or priest to officiate at their wedding, because “that’s what you do.” If you go to church every Sunday or you are religious, by all means, have your preacher or Rabbi marry you, but if not, don’t feel like you need one to get married. My fiancé and I have asked one of our good friends to officiate. This way we really know who will be marrying us. We don’t have to donate to anyone’s church (we aren’t religious) and it’s a way to have more of our friends involved in our wedding.


Communicate with your partner.

This is one of the pieces of advice (unsolicited maybe) that I would give to anyone in a relationship, not just a couple who’s planning their wedding. Things are surely going to get stressful as you get closer to the day you say “I Do” so you need to make sure to keep the lines of communication open. This will make sure that you and your future hubby will be on the same page as you plan all the minute details that will make this the most special day of your life.


Set a budget and stick to it.

Probably the most important detail to remember as you get lost in venues, menus, music and linens: make sure you are staying with in your budget. This should be one of the first things that you and your partner discuss after the engagement. Decide how much each of you are able to contribute and then how much your parents (if they are going to chip in) will contribute. If you are planning on spending $10,000 for the entire wedding, don’t plan on having 250 people and an elegant evening with a cocktail hour, passed hors d’oeuvres and a five-course meal. Trust me, it can’t be done. The minute you let a vendor know you are planning a wedding, they see dollar signs and (it feels like) they up the price 20%. No matter what your budget, you can plan a beautiful day that represents your love for each other. There are so many ways to cut down the cost, do your research and read all of the fine print before you sign any document. Also, don’t be scared to negotiate and offer cash (if you can) to get a better deal.


Have fun!

Don’t lose sight of what this entire event is all about: celebrating the love that you share. It should be one of the most fun days of your life. All the hard work that you put in as you are planning the big day will pay off when you see your hubby smiling when it’s time to say “I Do.”