How are the weddings of same-sex and opposite-sex couples different? The answer is the lack of information for gays and lesbians. I know because I got little help on line.
We looked for gay friendly readings, religious vs secular ceremonies, tips on invitation wording, and ways to keep the cost down. It seemed like so much could be said but no one was. We did not need help planning a party. We needed help taking a valid ownership of marriage as a gay expression.
Everyone knows that a wedding is the bride's big day. So it's not surprising that the presence of two brides or no bride is going to make an enormous difference on any service . Goods and services are primarily marketed to young women and their mothers. What about two grooms? Two men planning for the big day feel a bit left out . Lots of the symbols are based on straight couples having children, can we use those? The good news is this world is still new so we can make up the rules as we go .
Legal question that hangs on the minds of all gay couples. For straight couples the idea of marriage and legal rights come together in a thoughtless way. But these can be the very crucial issues to us. Is it going to be a marriage or a commitment ceremony. What does your state allow? Each time the law changes our comunity scramble to take advantage of it. This means that many of us have had multiple services through the years. And you still need to explain to people exactly what you mean when you say you're married.
Because laws can change suddenly, as we saw in California, same-sex couples are always under pressure to act quickly. You need to get to the altar before the voters can vote on it. Many rainbow weddings are fast. These are not issues that straight couples face. I loved one website that suggested their bride needed two years to plan for a wedding. I wish I had that luxury.
As a long term couple who'd been together for over ten years it was odd to send out wedding invitations . The felt the real need to explain what we were doing. There was no help with invitation wording if you are gay, let alone for a gay couple who have lived together for over 10 years.
For everyone costs are a big issue. So much of what you see is aimed at making a little girl's fairy princess fantasy come true. Many websites seem to fall in to this whirlpool. It looked as if the biggest gay issue was how to find a queer cake topper. We needed a website for us! How do I keep costs down and get the best value?
But one of the most galling things with the assumption that a wedding was going to be an all happy day. People simply are not universally glad to hear you're going to get married. You may get turned away from churches, caterers and even photographers. Relatives stop talking to you. Seems like every gay couple has to go through some small piece of unpleasantness. Not that life is all rosy beforehand but it sure is one of the things that make gay and straight life different.
What will the service look like? People are generally unsure. Everyone wants two things. They want the traditional elements that make people feel like they're at a wedding. At the same time we're looking for ways to express our unique circumstances. What are other couples doing? What doesn't work? This kind of information was hard to find.
So I set out to help people in the way I wanted to be helped.