I had never been a person who was that invested in weddings. Admittedly I never even thought I would get married, which was supported by more than one toast connected to my recent marriage to my now wife Krista. This means that I never really had a dream plan for a wedding or had ever really thought about the ins and outs of a wedding before. I also hadn’t thought about what might be different for planning a wedding where two women are getting married instead of the heteronormative default. I thought I would share some of the things that I didn’t think about and then had to deal with during wedding planning for those who might not have thought about some of the odd quirks that might pop up for you or for people you know.
First tip- if you are long distance prep that stuff in advance. I have noticed that a high number of queer couples I know either are currently or have been long distance, which is what Krista and I were before July of this year. We proposed to each other at ClexaCon in 2019 and admittedly had started some brainstorming even before that. We had already known I would be moving in with her before August of that year, but the wedding wasn’t happening in New York. With my family in Ohio and very few of her family members coming(her sister was her Maid of Honor, but was the only family member to come aside from that sister’s husband) we had decided to get married in Columbus, Ohio. We would be flying and couldn’t really bring all the decorations, our dresses, and all the bits and pieces we would need on a plane so we made sure to have everything we needed for our dresses, bouquets(we used fake flowers), centerpieces, decorations, and favors in Ohio. This meant doing 95% of our planning and ordering before August, which condensed planning down to just a 3 month window. We had everything together and stored at my parents house before my move and we had a venue booked in May. This maid the months after the move a little bit easier, though my sister did wind up having to do a lot of last minute decor creation for us, which I am exceptionally grateful for.
Second tip- you may need to order duplicates or custom make certain items. By default most wedding items say Mr. and Mrs. if they come in a set. Krista and I tried to avoid this as much as possible by buying items that were gender neutral. For example we used two hearts as a cake topper instead of trying to find a female/female one that fit us. We also did ask my sister to make signs instead of relying on pre-made signage. Minted was great for invitations and a website because it doesn’t use husband and wife defaults and our registry through Disney Honeymoons also didn’t have gendered defaults. Our photographer did accidentally provide us with a contract that said bride and groom, but we were her first same-sex wedding and she was a family member of a bridesmaid so we were pretty relaxed and updated the contract ourselves. If you do find yourself dealing with contracts that default to husband and wife or bride and groom my best suggestion is to talk with the person you are doing the contract with and ask if they could send an updated version or if they will allow you to update it yourself.
Third tip- find a DoubleTree and use them for your ceremony/reception/place to stay. Normally I wouldn’t plug a specific hotel franchise, but Krista and I got married at a DoubleTree and the staff were exceptional. We got a free room upgrade for the time we were there and they even sent us complimentary champagne and strawberries on our wedding night. The Columbus staff also continuously checked in on us day of and were such a delight to interact with. Our room was perfect for our reception size and they made sure we were well taken care of.
Fourth tip- this comes after you get married and is only for people who are changing their names. Krista decided to take my last name and had to go through the process of changing all of her legal identification paperwork. More than one person was very confused as to why there were two women on her proof of marriage paperwork. Beyond that, the bank thought she was me and kept trying to change Katherine to Krista and even briefly removed me from our joint bank account. She eventually got it all squared away, but it was a frustrating process and ate up a majority of her day. Also if you need a new social security card you need to know your parents social security numbers, which was a process in and of itself.
Those are my brief tips of things I didn’t really think about concerning a wedding. I would also like to say budget time for you and your partner to just relax and be together. You will be around a lot of people in a high stress environment for part of the wedding and you will need room to breathe. If you happen to get married in Columbus, Ohio you should also eat at Condado, Dirty Frank’s, and The Happy Greek.