Same Sex Wedding Guide
Updated: Sep 16
In Australia, a same-sex wedding is identical to an opposite-sex wedding in the most important way — legal status — thanks to the landmark legislation to allow same-sex marriage, passed the Australian Parliament on 7 December 2017.
Still, couples planning same-sex weddings might want gender-specific advice and inspiration for their ceremonies and receptions, which is why I've put this article together.
Whether you're thinking of a simple elopement or a grand affair; whether your wedding aesthetic tastes veer more moody or more rustic; whether you'll have a dozen wedding attendants or none, this should cover you.
Check out this same-sex wedding planning guide before you begin envisioning your special day.
Proposals & Engagements
A same-sex wedding usually starts with a heartfelt same-sex wedding proposal. For many gay and lesbian couples, there isn't a blueprint for how to propose, since you may be the first same-sex couple you know to get married. If you have a million and one questions about how to propose to a guy if you're a guy or how to propose to a girl if you're a girl, that's totally normal.
Here are some of the most common proposal and engagement conundrums:
Do I need an engagement ring to propose?
No. You don't need anything to propose, but many want to give their significant other a physical token of their affection, so if rings aren't your love's thing, you could consider a nice watch, monogrammed cufflinks or another memento.
I want to pick a ring, but don't know where to start.
Join the club! Engagement rings come in many different metals with just as many settings and stone choices. Read up on the Do's and Dont's of Engagement Ring Shopping to get some clarity on your next step.
Wedding Planning Timeline
When it comes to same-sex wedding planning, here are the big topics you'll need to clear off on as a couple:
Determining your total budget;
Picking a wedding date;
Creating a guest list;
Choosing the perfect wedding venue;
Selecting a wedding photographer and videographer;
Filling out your vendor team with catering, a wedding planner, florists, cake designer, transportation and other services.
The question of whether you want to "come out" to your wedding vendors as a same-sex couple or a couple with one or two trans people might arise as you're searching for the perfect vendors. The answer is ultimately up to you two, but you may consider being upfront with a wedding vendor when gender is a big part of their service offering.
Same-sex wedding ceremonies and receptions
Here's the fun part! You get to plan the ceremony and reception that best fits you as a couple.
You'll definitely want to think about these elements of your wedding day:
Gender-neutral ceremony readings;
The rules to writing your own same-sex wedding vows;
Love songs for same-sex couples.
Friends, family and guests at your same-sex wedding
While planning your LGBTQI wedding may be as mundane as any other couple planning a wedding, you might run into a few rocky moments when it comes to navigating family, friends and guests. Here are some of the issues you might encounter (and how to handle them):
What's the most important thing to remember?
While all of the info above is important, probably the most important thing of all will be the selection of your celebrant. You need to choose someone who will create a ceremony that fits the two of you and your personalities. Someone who will listen to your story and reflect it in a way that you and your guests will remember forever.
A celebrant for a same sex marriage needs to have empathy for the two people choosing to spend their life together. So choose carefully and don't be afraid to ask to see reviews and if you have time, audition two or three, so that you get a feel for who is going to work best with you.
Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia who has done a stack of same sex marriages. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere.
You can find him online at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook at smcelebrant, Instagram @smcelebrant or you can find lots of wedding inspiration on his Pinterest page @smcelebrant including wedding & engagement rings, dresses, shoes, groom's attire, flowers, arbours, the lot.
Call Steve to chat about your wedding ceremony today on 0418 897 215 or email email@example.com