"When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free." -- Barack Obama
With the New Year swiftly approaching, it seems that there's no better time to look back at all that has happened within our culture thus far. At first glance, it seems as if the year was full of big egos, bad tempers, and someone definitely pissed off Mother Nature. Yet, all of those things brought on a tidal wave of inspiration for the voices who were normally overpowered by hate; a platform was given and a spotlight was shining - on love. This year's triumphs shined brighter than the fear it replaced. Love won, and you better be damn sure it's something worth celebrating.
So, with an overflow of love and the rise of pride, take a look at what became the boldest and brightest trends of same-sex weddings this year.
After Parties (and Pre-Parties!)
Since we're on the topic of celebrating, let's kick off our list of trends with one thing the LGBT community always gets right - parties. Seriously. Go to your local gay bars and clubs and you will step into a flawless, festive world. I mean, have you seen a Drag Show? Heard of Ru Paul? When you spend so much time fighting for the right to shine, you blow it out and celebrate it every chance you get. Combine that with the extreme joy of being wed to your soulmate-- finally regardless of gender? How could you possibly sit still? Pop the bubbly! The dance floor is waiting...
Pride for Pride: Love Wins!
Our list of trends wouldn't be complete without this one. PRIDE. DECOR. EVERYWHERE. All the rainbows. All the love. Whether you want subtle, classy touches fused into your ceremony or obnoxious (but totally necessary) displays to shout it from the rooftops, let the world know. Love won, and we're here to soak up every last bit of that pride.
Getting Ready Together
Traditional is pretty much not an option at this point. As LGBT weddings are increasingly being celebrated around our nation, it's an exciting and innovative time for wedding planners and couples alike. Break out of the mold! You are different, so be different. Be bold. Be creative. Do what feels right, do what demonstrates the truth of your love and marriage. One of the best nontraditional trends for same-sex couples is getting ready together. If everyone else was doing it the old way, it's part of your thrilling adventure to do them your way. The way I see it? LGBT couples will change the game in a way that makes the rest of us curious about the magic!
Surrounded By Love
Same-sex wedding trends seem to coencide with the overarching feeling and celebration of pure, unconditional love. This brings us to our next popular trend of having family and friends join you at the alter. Whether the ceremony involves everyone standing together in adoring embrace, or ditching the traditional bride/groom party lineup for a collection of your loved ones, the powerful demonstration of togetherness, support, and warmth is sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests. Tissues, anyone?
This shouldn't come as a surprise, but if it does.... You may want to do a bit of "soul searching". Your wedding should be a unique representation of the couple, just as much as it should represent the individuality of both involved! Communication, compromise, balance, creativity, imagination, discovery; just a few of the tools that make planning your wedding an adventure. So, while personalizing a wedding isn't a trend that's very new or nontraditional, it is in fact a big part of changing the game for LGBT couples. It's making the wedding as colorful as you are. It's a testimony of your one-of-a-kind love story.
Equality-Minded Wedding Professionals
Case closed. Not just a trend, but a genuine necessity for same-sex couples. It is a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless, that our society is still taking steps towards embracing the positive changes for both LGBT individuals and couples. The planning and execution of your magical day will rest heavily on the professionals hired to see it through. It is absolutely critical that they be just as openminded and passionate as you are! Whether you look online or reach out to the community, you deserve to work with venues and professionals who want to see your vision through. Most importantly, you deserve a photographer who will dedicate their own passion to capturing yours.
"[It] makes my life so much more enjoyable working with clients (now friends) that are willing to let me create my art through them, and graciously/gratefully appreciate it. Validates my hard work and dedication to my craft." - Deevo, Fusion Photographer
Breaking Out of the Traditional Molds
Basically--don't give a damn about what anyone else things. Scrap the checklists and the "norm". With 2017 we found a lot of change, and to be honest, it's about time we shook things up a bit. If a wedding is the joining of souls with blinding love, why should guests be sitting down, checking the clock, or "just coming for the open bar"? It's a freakin' celebration, people. It's a party! Now, it's your turn to get creative. This is especially fun for LGBT couples, because what better way to stick it to the haters, ey? Have a blast. Decorate with style. Find new ways to jazz up outdated customs!
Game Changer: No Name-Changer
Gasp! No last name change?! Can you believe it?
Yes. I totally believe it. And I absolutely love it. This love isn't about posession. This love isn't about a name. This love is of heart, of passion, of adventure. When I was a teacher, I watched several coworkers struggle with the name change once married. It took months and months for fellow teachers to adopt the new name, but forget about the students. Hell, a few had to essentially go by two separate names - one for work, one for everything else! Now, this is by no means a way to shame those who change their last names (aka, almost everyone). This is just a new, innovative trend catching fire within modern marriage, especially for our stunning LGBT brides and grooms. If you love your last name, keep it! If you dread hearing people try to pronounce or spell it, and have sworn to be rid of the darn thing.... Good riddance.
Perhaps one of the most thrilling trends to gain our attention is the adventure destination wedding. This is where you'll have to bring in the personality of the you two... But if you're the type of people that love travel, the outdoors, or maybe even embrace a different culture, it should most certainly be a part of your wedding day. You can also seek out a destination that matches the theme of your ceremony, like woodland rustic, a breathtaking beach sunset, or somewhere completely eccentric and out of the box--no judgement zone here, friends. Talk to your guests and find somewhere you can all go celebrate together! Cheers.
"I've been embraced by a new community.
That's what happens when you're finally honest about who you are; you find others like you." - Chaz Bono