We are ALL so VERY HAPPY that gay and lesbian marriage is legal in New York, but we forgot one thing... How are we going to do it?
I have been to every traditional and non-traditional wedding you can imagine. I have noticed numerous types of ceremonies and rituals that have either reflected cultural repression, family honors, heritage, religious customs and self identity. Although each custom is unique in how it is combined with other traditions, much of it still amplifies a hetero-sexual or religious view that encourages the opposite of marriage equality.
So I say lets look close at many different traditions and customs and then find NEW ways and twists that will HONOR you & your fiances love rather ways many don't understand.
First of all what are you to be called? Bride, Groom or a ......(fill in the blank)
To define the noun bride means a woman who is about to marry. But this is not always what a "butch" or a transgender individual (butch and transgender are not the same)wants to be referred to. In some cases this can be considered offensive.
To define the noun bridegroom means a man who is about to marry. Once again this can be offensive or may be the preference for a dominant lesbian to be called at a wedding.
Some have discussed new terms to call those in a same sex relationship who are going to marry like "broom" a combination of bride and groom others have taken on the hetero definitions and used whichever they identify most with. I personally like to refer to myself as Hers-band and call my partner, my wife. But isn't that the beauty of the rainbow? There are so many colors you can choose which fits you best! I can't wait to see how Webster Dictionary and others will change and or add to our vocabulary and culture.
Who is gonna pay?
In years past it has been part of American traditions for the parents of the "bride" to pay for the wedding or at least most of it. In some cultures the man had to pay a sum of money to receive the "bride". So another question comes up.. if its the same sex, how is this gonna work? Well money is always a touchy subject, so lets walk on this one carefully.
In some more traditional families both parents have helped in the expenses of the wedding. In other cases with many families being opposed it has been solely on the couple. When having to pay for an event as big as a wedding and it is on the couple alone, it is recommended to set up a budget and a plan for for 1-2 years to get all set in place. SEE GAY WEDDING PLANNING CHECKLIST
No matter which situation you fall in when making the financial decisions on your wedding it is wise to not be presume that things will fall into play the way the hetero society has planned.
When it comes to the pre-ceremony the typical photographer usually goes to the "brides" home or where she is getting ready to take some pictures that are more than just candid. These images include: getting made up, hair styled, with bridesmaids, parents, getting on dress, putting on something new,borrowed, blue a penny in the shoe and of course the garter. SEE Other Traditions Here
How does this work when you have two brides in dresses? Who gets the pics or what about a gay couple where two guys are in tuxedos?
This is easy! As a photographer, even though I always have a backup shooter, I would recommend an additional photographer to cover each of the individuals getting ready(no matter what they are wearing). In the end I know for a fact that a great photographer would be able to get amazing shots on both ends no matter the wardrobe!
As the traditions go - there are so many that happen during the pre-ceremony that it depends on the couples superstition, beliefs and religion.
In a pre-ceremony scenario I recommend:
Both people being photographed (extra photographer)
Having a maid of honor or best 'man" put on the throw away garter and a parent put on the honeymoon garter
Use of traditions like borrowed,new and blue that fit your unique personality and beliefs
Stay tuned as we discuss the ceremony, reception and what do we do about the garter and who throws the bouquet...
Your personal photographer,
Erin Summer M.