Celebrating Same-Sex Weddings with Pride
As Pride month comes to a close, I want to recap a few ideas for you to incorporate into your ceremony with two grooms or two brides. (You can steal these for bride-groom weddings, too!)
There traditionally is a bride's side and a groom's side for seating at the ceremony. Same-sex weddings are hardly traditional--that's what makes them so fun--so why not jettison the idea that guests should be seated according to who they know? Rather, think about reserving the first few rows for special guests, like parents, and leave the remaining seating open so guests may sit wherever they like.
We can all hear Wagner's Here Comes the Bride. And while it's iconic, it's not suited for all ceremonies. When there are two brides, the natural question to hearing it is "which bride?" On the other hand, it's not going to cut it if there are two grooms. But you have plenty of options. Here are a few to consider:
Pachelbel's Canon in D is a stately, elegant tune that fits in virtually any ceremony and venue.
Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's Over the Rainbow evokes a laid back mood, perfect for a beach wedding.
Christina Perri's A Thousand Years is romantic, whether instrumental or with Christina's voice.
The Plain White T's' 1,2,3,4 conjures playful, lighthearted new love.
Choose one of these, or any other melody that makes your heart sing.
Walking in can raises the question of who meets who and where. A great way to work around to this is for the grooms or brides to simply process down the aisle together, hand-in-hand.
The Wedding Party
It seems quaint, and kind of arbitrary, to mandate that the groom's attendants be male and the bride's female. And if that tradition was extended to same-sex couples' weddings, wedding parties would be entirely male or female. Why not shed that idea in favor of including the people with whom the brides or grooms are closest? And while we're at it, mix them up, so that they are not all positioned with the men on one side and women on the other. Not only is this more contemporary, it weaves more special people into the ceremony. The wedding party could wear boutonnieres or carry petite bouquets that coordinate so that the wedding party is cohesive.
Some couples will already have rings, perhaps that they started wearing after becoming domestic partners before marriage equality. If the couple opts to exchange a new set of rings, then the ceremony can proceed as usual in this regard. If the couple decides not to exchange new rings, an alternative is for one groom to hold the ring on his beloved's finger while saying his ring vows, and vice versa.
Or, to change the ring ceremony completely, brides or grooms could swap the rings they had been wearing. This would work best if each had the same ring size.
Without both a bride and a groom, it makes less sense for one member of the couple to sweep the other back for a kiss. A kiss with both members of the couple standing sets a nice, egalitarian tone for the marriage.
I hope these ideas will help you in planning your ceremony, whether you are part of a same-sex or opposite-sex couple. Remember, traditions are just that--traditions--there is no requirement to follow them. As long as the ceremony is authentic to you, it will be a success!