Same Sex Marriage Traditions

It is a well-known fact that the LGBTQ community has fierce ability to start and set trends in well...just about everything.  Same-sex marriages are no different.

With the Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, same-sex couples have started getting married and are ditching the rituals of “traditional marriage” for something that better represents the commitment to their partner that they are finally able to have recognized.

Same-sex weddings are becoming a more inclusive social event with their own new and unique traditions designed to celebrate love without the stereotypical (and rather expensive) pop and circumstance that comes with traditional weddings between those of the opposite sex.

What Traditions Are New?

From proposals and rings to wedding parties and receptions, see what new traditions same-sex couples are creating to make their wedding unique and memorable for everyone!

The Seating Arrangement

People Drinking Beverage at Table

Photo by Andres Chaparro from Pexels

One of the hardest things about most traditional weddings is who is going to sit where. What if someone doesn't RSVP? What if someone comes with an unexpected guest? What if we run out of food?

Many same-sex couples have decided to do away with the whole idea of a traditional seating arrangement in exchange for a sit-where-you-want seating arrangement.  This open seating doesn't just include the wedding reception.  Some couples have even opted for open seating arrangements during the ceremony as well.

This style of seating lets guest sit wherever they feel comfortable and allows for the couple to mingle more freely without ostracizing anyone.

A Wedding Thing, Not A Wedding Ring

Heart Wrap

Wedding rings are meant to symbolize unity and while that is a lovely sentiment, the fact is that the price of them has gone through the roof and spending several months salary on a ring is just not very economical nor does it really fall in line with the fairytale princess wedding idea that is rampant in traditional weddings.

Since most of the couples getting married have been together so long, a ring to show how much you love the other person is just a bit unnecessary.  So instead, same-sex couples have come up with new ways to gift their partners with a way to symbolize their union: Wedding Things.

Some go for matching tattoos, others buy matching watches, some exchange handmade jewelry.  The point is that it is something special that represents what their loves means to them rather than how much they love them.

Mixed Gender Wedding Parties!

Group of People Standing

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The best thing about the LGBTQ community is the blurred gender lines.  Traditional weddings call for brides to have bridesmaids and grooms to have groomsmen.  Both have their respective attire and stick to the common principles and rituals associated with them. 

Since a marriage between people of the same sex would at the very least provide an unequal balance of these restrictive traditional wedding principles, same-sex couples have opted to throw away the gender stereotypes associated with traditional weddings and had wedding parties of people that they loved the most no matter their gender. 

Couples have been known to have best men, best women, a man of honor, a woman of honor, and everything in between.

Separate No More!

People Toasting

The bachelor and bachelorette party is a staple tradition where the soon-to-be’s respective wedding party takes them out for one final night out before succumbing to the chains of marriage.

Instead of separating for the evening for a night of wild entertainment, same-sex couples are starting new traditions opting instead for dinner parties, cruises, and road trips with their friends and family as a way of celebrating life before and after marriage.

Most same-sex couples also ditch the tradition of spending the night apart before the wedding.  This is probably in part due to the fact that outfits would probably need to be coordinated and because the idea of maintaining the idea of purity is rather well...antiquated.

Since most same-sex couples getting married now have been together for years, the traditional idea of “strappin’ on the ol’ ball and chain” is no longer something to fear.  

What else have they come up with?

There are lots of other new traditions that same-sex couples are creating and adopting to create their own unique wedding experience:

A Walk Down The Aisle?

Same-sex couples are starting to ditch the tradition of walking down the aisle for something less showy and ritualistic. There are some couples that choose to have no aisle and simply meet in the room or space where the ceremony takes place. Other couples opt to have everyone walk down the aisle one at a time or as a group so that everyone can get a bit of that special day feeling inside of them.

What's In A Name?

In a traditional wedding between two people of the opposite sex, the woman generally takes the man's last name.  In the case of same-sex couples, this practiced has been handled differently.  Some couples keep their names, while some couples hyphenate their names, and there are even couples who change their last names to a combination of theirs and their partners.  

Dress How You Want!

With the fluidity in gender roles that happens in same-sex marriages, the ideas of who can wear what also changes.  Robes, kilts, suits, flowers, rompers, and more have all been used for wedding attire on both sides.  Some grooms decide to carry bouquets, some brides decide to wear top hats.  Free expression has always been a cornerstone of the LGBTQ community and a wedding is no exception.

And as for the age-old wedding poem “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” same-sex couples have adapted their own variations on it to include things queer and dear as well.

These new ideas for old wedding traditions offer same-sex couples the ability to express their love and carve out a new path for other same-sex couples to find inspiration for new traditions that show their love and commitment to each other and the world.