A wedding is a wedding. The only difference between gay ones and straight ones is what the officiant pronounces you at the end of the ceremony. Right?
OK, so that's like 80 percent true. As my fiancée and I have learned while planning a wedding alongside our good (and straight) friends marrying the weekend after us, the issues are the same: When are RSVPs due? What can we get for favors? Speakers cost how much? But in a few situations, being gay can tack a few extra items onto your to-do list, or at least some considerations.
Well, now that I'm a few days (!) out from my big day, I'm going to share a few of the things you don't have to worry about — and, of course, those that you do — as a gay couple planning your big day. Here's how it was both the same as and different than planning a straight one.
Finding a venue: After coming this close to putting a deposit down on a place we discovered didn't allow gay weddings at all, my fiancée and I were pretty heartbroken and a bit shell-shocked to boot. So don't get your heart set too soon, and research mindfully — consider finding a local gay-friendly venue database. Nothing beats having an event coordinator who's almost as excited about the Prop 8 ruling as you were.
Picking titles: Mr. and Mr.? Ms. and Mrs.? Who's the bride — anyone? People won't know what to call you unless you tell them, so particularly with photographer contracts and other wedding paperwork, you'll need to at least have agreed upon something for official documentation. Even if you don't feel strongly about it, have an answer ready so you don't leave anyone guessing, feeling awkward, or — worse — offending someone else.
Dealing with drama: Unfortunately, there are still plenty of people against same-sex marriage. Recognize that the topic is sensitive for some, and don't expect it, but at least prepare yourself for negative feedback. It only took one uncle's call about my sinful ways to dampen my excitement and cause a rift among family. Lean on your support group: my fiancée and I have 109 incredibly loving people attending our wedding, and they are all OK with ignoring the naysayers. Allow yourself to be the bigger person, accept others' perceptions of you, and enjoy what you have.
Find out what's not different about planning a gay wedding when you read more.