Same-sex wedding etiquette

Photo credit: Jamie Reinhart Photography

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

There are many details and logistics that need to be decided when planning a Same-Sex Wedding. Often times. couples make decisions based on tradition. When planning a same-sex wedding, the traditional way of doing things does not apply.

Here are the Top 5 Etiquette Questions for Same-Sex Wedding Couples

Who pays for a same-sex wedding?

Photo credit: Jamie Reinhart Photography

#1  Who Pays For The Wedding When It Is A Same-Sex Wedding?

Quite honestly, this is a question that couples of all orientations are asking, not just same-sex couples. The tradition used to be that the bride’s parents were to pay for the wedding. Today’s couple (and today’s parent) knows that this is a dated tradition, especially when considering the cost of an average wedding in 2019! In fact, many couples are choosing to pay for their own wedding instead of having their parents pay.

To determine who will be paying for your wedding, set aside time to talk with BOTH sets of parents to discuss their plans when it comes to the financial side of your wedding. After you have the money discussion with both sets of parents, you can determine a realistic budget. You will then be able to determine how much of your own money you and your partner will need to contribute to achieve your dream wedding!

Is your vendor same-sex wedding friendly?

Photo credit: Jamie Reinhart Photography

#2 How Do I Ensure The Vendors I Am Working With Are Comfortable With A Same-Sex Wedding?

This is a huge topic for ALL couples. One thing we can’t stress enough is that feeling comfortable with your wedding vendors is a must. Consider this: Your wedding photographer and videographer will spend more time with you than anyone else on your wedding day! To find a vendor that is the perfect fit for you, start by using Google and Social Media, especially Instagram, to search for same-sex weddings in your area. Take note of the vendor lists from the weddings that you like to start a list of vendors that catch your eye. Continue the list with any additional vendors that you like, even if you do not notice same-sex weddings in their portfolio.

You will find that just because a wedding vendor does not have a same-sex wedding in their portfolio does not mean that they are not willing (and eager) to do one! From there you can do a little research on the vendors. We recommend trying to find reviews. Once you have your vendor list narrowed down, plan to meet each of the vendors in person. This is key, please do not skip this step!

During the meeting take notice of how they make you feel. Do you feel comfortable talking about the details of your relationship and the vision you have for your wedding? If you feel comfortable with the vendors and you like their work, they may be the perfect match for you! Steer clear of anyone who you do not vibe with, even if they have done same-sex weddings in the past. No matter what, you need to feel completely at ease with your wedding vendors.

Your wedding party

Photo credit: Jamie Reinhart Photography

#3 We Are Two Brides, Does That Mean Our Wedding Party Should Be All Female?

Absolutely not! Your wedding party should consist of the people who are important to you and your partner, and that is that! You and your partner write the rules when it comes to who will stand by you on your wedding day. You can have any combination of male and female members in your wedding party! Let me just add that it is ok to have uneven sides as well! Just because your outgoing fiancé MUST have every one of her sorority sisters in the wedding party does not mean that you need to match numbers. To top it off, try not to get too caught up with what to call the people who will stand beside you. No need to get creative with a “groomslady” or a “bridesman”. Everyone can simply be referred to as members of your Wedding Party. Now, of course, if you DO want to get creative, do it!

#4 What Order Does A Wedding Party Walk Down The Aisle For A Same-Sex Wedding?

By now you may be noticing a pattern, but this is completely up to you! There is no set rule on how your wedding party enters your ceremony. One idea I like to suggest is to have the wedding party alternate sides after walking down the aisle. Another idea is for them to walk down two at a time, with the pair branching off to their respective sides after they walk down the aisle. If you decide to have members who will assume the respective roles of Maid of Honor/Best Man they should be standing beside the Brides/Grooms.

Photo credit: Jamie Reinhart Photography

#5 Where Should Our Family And Friends Sit During A Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony?

You know the drill: Wherever you want them to! If you want to take a more traditional approach you can have an assigned side for each partner’s friends and family. If you prefer to take a more non-traditional route, you opt for a wedding ceremony with open seating! However, you decide to arrange your seating, just be sure to make it clear to your guests where they should sit by using signage at the ceremony site. You can have a nice sign that says “Jessica’s Side” and “Sarah’s Side” or a sign that lets them know they can pick whichever side they please. Don’t forget about reserving and marking seats for your VIP guests as well. You want to make sure that parents and grandparents know where they sit!

What etiquette questions for same-sex weddings do you have to add to the list?

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Bio: Orange Blossom Bride is a Central Florida wedding publication that has both an online presence and a printed magazine. We provide couples with wedding tips, inspiration, and a full preferred vendor list. Visit us at

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