How to Plan an AMAZING Same-Sex Wedding in New York City

If you’re about to start planning your same-sex wedding in New York City, congratulations! As a husband and wife team of wedding photographers, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many same-sex couples and capturing the intimate moments of their special days through an editorial lens. 

If you’re unsure of which traditions to keep or which venues are the best for same-sex weddings, we’re here to help. Keep reading for answers to many of the most commonly asked questions that LGBTQ+ couples have when planning a wedding. 

same sex marriage

Table of Contents

Do LGBTQ+ Weddings Need to Follow Any Traditions?

The short answer is no. Planning an LGBTQ+ wedding can be as traditional or unique as you would like it to be. In today’s modern weddings, same-sex or otherwise, there are no specific rules or guidelines. A wedding day should simply be a reflection of the couple and the love they share.

If there are traditions you’d like to keep, you absolutely can. Your marriage is between you and your partner. Create a magical day that is uniquely yours, and don’t fall into the trap of planning a wedding to please someone else. 

What Should Same Sex Couples Wear For Their Weddings?

This is a really exciting question. There are no rules for LGBTQ+ weddings, and it’s up to the couple themselves to decide what they want their perfect day to look like. If you both want to wear tuxes, wear tuxes! If you’re thinking of wearing dresses or pantsuits or any of the above, the choice is ultimately yours and there are no wrong answers.

Take a look at this beautiful collection of some of the most glamorous celebrity same-sex wedding outfits to help you decide. Wear what makes you most comfortable on your day and what feels the most authentic to you.

lesbian wedding dresses

Do We Need to Have Bridesmaids and Groomsmen?

While you can have bridesmaids and groomsmen, you can also have bridesmen, groomswomen, a gender-neutral party, or anything in between. You could also have two best men, two maids of honor, and so on. One of the many beautiful things about same-sex weddings is that they offer you the chance to break out of traditional expectations and create something entirely your own.

Instead of choosing your wedding party based on gender, choose whomever you want to stand by your side on the day of your wedding. Choose the people that you love and consider closest to you as a couple. Surround yourself with people who love you both and have them come up with their own title if they’d really like one.

How to Handle the Traditional Mother and Father of the Bride Roles in Same Sex Weddings

Some same-sex couples choose the more traditional route and opt to have one mother-of-the-bride and one father-of-the-bride. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have two mother-of-the-brides or skip this tradition altogether.

In many cases, there are no brides at all, in which case you can decide on an entirely unique way of honoring both sets of parents in your wedding festivities. 

If you’d prefer to avoid any hurt feelings, do away with roles entirely and ask your parents to simply support you on your special day.

How do Same Sex Couples Walk Down the Aisle?

In a traditional wedding, the bride walks down the aisle with her father to meet her groom. So what are the rules if there are two brides or two grooms? Luckily, there are no rules when it comes to same-sex weddings, so you and your partner can choose to walk down the aisle in whichever fashion suits you both.

If you’re both women or both men, you can choose the more traditional roles if you’ve adopted those particular dynamics in your relationship, or you can walk down the aisle together. Another option is to enter from opposite sides of the room and meet at the altar together. If you’re trans or non-binary, you can choose to walk down the aisle as you identify.

Play through the different options in your head and discuss them with your partner to see what feels the most fitting for your relationship.

gay wedding photography

Why Choosing an LGBTQ+ Friendly Venue Can Make Your Wedding Planning Even Better

Choosing an LGBTQ+-friendly wedding venue and planner is one of the best decisions you can make when planning your big day. While some venues may simply accommodate you as a same-sex couple, you really want a venue that openly celebrates your union. 

You’ll want to make sure that they’re familiar with same-sex weddings and will support you every step of the way. They should also be able to provide you with tips and tricks for planning an LGBTQ+ wedding based on previous same-sex couples they’ve hosted in the past. 

For example, if the venue has hosted same-sex marriages before, they’ll likely have a list of recommended LGBTQ+-friendly vendors that are eager to bring your dream wedding to life.

Our personal favorites include Lotte New York Palace and Wythe Hotel. We also love The Green Building wedding venue in Brooklyn. This location is the perfect mix of industrial and elegant, and it’s also where we had the pleasure of photographing our dear clients, Alfredo and Philip, on their magical wedding day. 

Do Our Wedding Vendors Need to Know that We’re Gay?

Some LGBTQ+ couples are entirely open with their wedding vendors, while others prefer to keep things private. The decision is ultimately yours but, if you want to work with vendors that support same-sex marriage, it’s in your best interest to be transparent. 

While it can be disheartening to encounter a vendor that doesn’t support your union, that is ultimately not the person you want to be involved in creating your day anyway.

Why You Should Choose an Experienced Same Sex Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer that has photographed same-sex weddings in the past will ensure that the timeless memories of your special day are captured with care. 

While some photographers may simply take photos of same-sex couples, there are those who wholeheartedly embrace and celebrate it, and it shows! When you’re searching for a photographer, you want to find someone that not only matches your style and taste but is also an ally and an advocate.

This is important because they’ll likely have some valuable insight into how to photograph a same-sex couple and what works best when it comes to poses and locations. Having someone with experience in same-sex wedding photography, like us, can help you conceptualize and execute your vision for your wedding photos. They’ll also be able to adapt with ease to the non-traditional execution of your ceremony and reception.

same sex wedding ceremony

Can LGBTQ Couples Still Have a Religious Wedding?

Yes! While many same-sex couples choose to have non-religious unions, you can still honor your faith and culture by having a religious wedding ceremony. 

There are priests, rabbis, ministers, pastors, Hindu priests, and other religious officiants who support same-sex marriage and will officiate your wedding. When you’re searching for a place of worship that will perform your religious same-sex wedding ceremony, look for one that has LGBTQ+-friendly policies.

Things to Consider When Planning Your Same Sex Wedding Ceremony

There are so many details to consider when it comes to creating an unforgettable wedding ceremony, including who will officiate and how you’ll incorporate modern tradition into your special day. 

Will you be writing your own vows? Will you exchange rings? What song do you want to walk down the aisle to? Will there be an aisle at all? Take some inspiration from other same-sex marriages to create a unique and genuine experience that is entirely your own.

How to Answer the Awkward Same Sex Marriage Questions Throughout the Planning Process

There are some questions you will be asked throughout the wedding planning process, like “Who is the bride?” that can make you feel uncomfortable. Knowing how to respond ahead of time can help eliminate any awkwardness between you and your loved ones. 

If you’d like to answer questions like “Which one of you is going to be the bride or groom?” with a funny, witty response that puts the focus on your love and commitment rather than gender roles, try saying something along the lines of “I guess you’ll have to come and find out on our big day!”

Capture Every Moment of Your Special Day

As you start to fine-tune all of the elements of your special day, remember to choose a photographer that will be there to capture every little detail. 

Browse our gallery today and see if our dramatic and luxurious style is the right fit for you. We would love to help you celebrate your union and capture some beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.

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Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography


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