Hello, and welcome to our new series on wedding traditions! We’ll talk about shaking things up in the industry, dissect well known wedding traditions, offer insight on the ways in which our clients blaze trails, and offer up a few ideas of our own. Be sure to check out the blog that kicked the series off!
II. WEDDING TRADITIONS FOR THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY
As we’ve pointed out before, same-sex marriage is, in the grand scheme of things, a very new thing. When those of you who are members of the LGBT+ community, as I am, were kids, teens, or even in your twenties, there was a chance in your mind that marriage simply wouldn’t be a possibility. A lot of kids (especially girls!) dream about, or even plan, their weddings at a very young age. They’re dreaming of the perfect day, their friends, their family, their soul mate—y’know, all that good stuff. But what about the LGBT+ kids? When you were growing up, you had no one to look up to. There were no same-sex weddings out there to inspire you. Hell, maybe you didn’t even fully understand what it meant to be gay, yet. I know I personally struggled with that socially growing up. So when the time finally came, and same-sex marriage was made legal… Maybe you didn’t really have any plans. Any ideas.
This could go one of two ways then—in lieu of any ideas you’ve been dreaming up since you were a kid, you go with the standard. The classic. The traditional wedding. In reality, same-sex marriage is the antithesis of tradition. It was withheld from the community for so long that there are no traditions, no rules, no paths to follow! In this liminal space, you have, again, one of two options: Have a “traditional” wedding (the kind you weren’t allowed up until recently), or do your own thing. Make your own rules, create your own traditions. Why isn’t this more common? Why do so many same-sex couples gravitate towards the traditions of a system they were barred from? Why do so many not take advantage of this new found freedom to love who they love, on a court-approved marriage license?
We understand that when we say, “do something new!” you may think, “Great! … What do I do?” Look, we know that coming up with truly unique ideas is no easy task, but we can offer you a place to start—When you’re planning your wedding, you could ask yourself why you’re doing things. Do you know why you’re throwing a bouquet? Does that mean anything to you? If so, is there a better way to symbolize those feelings in a way that is specific to you and your wedding? And beyond that, what about the way your day functions? As photographers, we are consistently tasked with ripping our couple away from their family and friends so we can grab a photo of them… standing next to their cake. Maybe cutting it. But why? We promise you, we got some awesome photos of your cake. Just have fun! While we definitely understand the inclination, you shouldn’t feel required to pose for all the traditional wedding photos! Is a photo of you cutting your cake something you would frame? Would you rather frame a photo of you dancing with all of your friends? Just a matter of perspective, we mostly just want to see people put their own stamp on their wedding. For the same-sex ladies (really, even our straight couples!)– why do you feel the need to wear a dress? Not everyone is a dress person! Weddings are usually formal occasions, sure, but there are tons of formal wear options out there. We’re not saying we’ve got anything against these things, we’re saying they should really speak to you. You should really be able to justify every decision you make surrounding your wedding as meaningful to you.
To us, weddings are celebrations. We wouldn’t be too broken up at all if we just started calling them that. Celebrations! You’re celebrating your love, your new life together. Your new life together. Not your parents, or your friends. If you wanna hear what we think about your family and friends controlling your wedding… You’re gonna have to tune in to our next blog.
We really encourage you to think outside the box. Think outside of every box in the wedding industry. Generations from now, when some of your great grandkids are in a same-sex relationship planning their wedding… Who will they look to? They’ll look to you. And how awesome would it be if when they did, they saw a wedding unlike any other in its time. As photographers, we pride ourselves on our ability to tell your story, and as storytellers, we’re endlessly excited by the idea of telling a story no one has ever told before…