On Sunday, June 29, the Wedding Shoppe will be walking in the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade. Our team and volunteers will model wedding attire, carry balloons, and join the thousands of parade-goers out supporting the GLBT community. We want everyone to know that we are—and always have been—a welcoming, GLBT-friendly retailer. Join us at 11 a.m. as we celebrate marriage equality! In honor of this amazing event, here are a few tips to help you plan a fabulous GLBT wedding. 15 LGBT wedding ideas everyone should know. Many people ask, “What makes a same-sex wedding different?” Is this really the right question? Every ceremony is different, but they all represent the same thing: a life-long promise to love, support, and cherish your partner. More important things to consider concern common traditions; which will you follow and which will you alter or even omit entirely? I’ve compiled a list of LGBT wedding ideas that will help you plan, from the proposal to the honeymoon. Whether you’re a same-sex couple preparing to say “I do” or a guest wondering about etiquette, these tips will take you one step closer to a fabulous big day. 1. Asking Permission Many partners say it wasn’t a matter of asking for permission, but rather a “so you know” sort of conversation with their future in-laws. I recommend running the proposal by your significant other’s family, but needing permission is a personal preference. 2. The Proposal Research shows that a majority of same-sex couples forget about getting down on one knee and have a mutual discussion instead. Making the decision together makes it even more momentous, don’t you think? 3. The Budget Over half of LGBT couples pay for their own big day. If families contribute, they usually do so evenly. 4. Same-Sex Wedding Vendors To find vendors that support same-sex marriage, I recommend Gayweddings.com, word of mouth, as well as the Wedding Shoppe! Our doors have always been open to everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. We’re just proud to be a part of the big day! 5. The Invites Do you have to invite family members who don’t support the marriage? Of course not! If you don’t believe they would be there to support you and celebrate the relationship, don’t feel obligated. Family pressure may get difficult, but remember that this is your day. 6. Choosing Your Attendants Instead of selecting bridesmaids and groomsmen, ask your closest friends, both male and female, to stand beside you. Choose two people to be your witnesses, but don’t feel like you have to have a best man or maid of honor. These witnesses can also be called “honorable attendants.” 7. The Parties Please feel free to have your own bachelor or bachelorette parties! Everyone should have a night to celebrate your final days of singledom! 8. Your Attire Since we’ve always been a GLBT-friendly retailer, we’ve helped many same-sex couples find their dream attire. Men tend to choose tuxedos or suits that match their personal style. Many women wear bridal gowns, but some don’t feel comfortable in a dress. If you’re shopping for pant suits, you may have found the selections small, or alterations for a men’s suit expensive. The Wedding Shoppe carries flattering, fashionable women’s wedding suits that will give you the Ellen DeGeneres look you’ve been dreaming of. 9. Selecting an Officiant My favorite option is to ask a close friend or family member (who’s great with an audience) to get ordained online. If you’re having a religious ceremony, it may take time and patience to find the right LGBT wedding officiant. 10. Walking Down the Aisle Most couples decide to walk down together, but a new tradition involving two aisles has become popular. Organize the ceremony space in a way that creates two aisles leading to the altar. Then walk at the same time, either alone or arm in arm with a parent or family member. 11. The Vows To design a ceremony that is symbolic of your unique relationship, I recommend writing your own wedding vows. This choice will instantaneously personalize your ceremony and probably start the waterworks. 12. Exchanging Rings Women may purchase bands if they chose to wear engagement rings, but what do the men do? If you chose to wear engagement bands, you can take them off before the ceremony and exchange them again symbolically. 13. The Announcement What does the officiant say after it’s all said and done? “Partners for life” seems to be the trending choice, and it also rhymes with “Man and wife”! 14. Honeymoon Most LGBT couples are choosing to honeymoon stateside. It’s a bit easier to find romantic and welcoming destinations. Vegas, Key West, Waikiki, and NYC are a few of my favorites. 15. Changing Your Name Same-sex marriage facts say that the majority of LGBT newlyweds keep their last names. If you decide to change your name, there are unique ways to do so. Combine your last names with a hyphen or even create an entirely new one! Do you have more LGBT wedding ideas to share? Would you change or add to any of the tips above? Let me know in a comment below!