Your Secular Gay Wedding
No one should feel forced to have a religious wedding and many of those in the LGBT community, for the most part, have become masters at being themselves and doing what is right for them. So, if a traditional religious ceremony just isn’t for you, skip it and do something else. This is sometimes easier said than done, however, when grandparents and more traditional family members are involved and are trying to be supportive of your choices – yet wish they would be more in line with their choices. In the end, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or offend anyone, yet it still our wedding. So, here are a few things to keep in mind while you plan that secular gay wedding.
It’s Still a Wedding
Whether you are planning a religious ceremony or a secular ceremony, many weddings tend to look a lot alike. Even if you are getting married on the courthouse steps, you generally still have some say over your ceremony and many times it will be similar to the ones that take place in a church. The brides and/or grooms may walk down some sort of aisle and you will both stand in front of someone who is ordained to perform the ceremony; rings are exchanged, heartfelt vows are given and you will then be pronounced married. Sometimes, making your ceremony “traditional” in a lot of respects can allow you to remove the religious aspects from it and they go largely unnoticed. Some people have a friend or relative perform the ceremony to be sure that they get exactly the type of ceremony they desire and is a great personal touch that even the most religious in your family wouldn’t be able to argue with.
Some Religious Traditions Can Also be Secular
There are many traditions that take place in a church or in a religious ceremony that can be added to a secular ceremony as well. Consider the Unity Candle ceremony that is done at many religious weddings. This does not have to be a religious symbol at all and can be done in a secular wedding ceremony. You can also present flowers to loved ones or have a loved one give a reading or a speech, just as a pastor would give a short sermon. If you are feeling flexible, you may ask one of your religious loved ones to say a prayer or bless you as a couple.
Approaching Your Relatives
The nature of your ceremony shouldn’t really be an issue at all as it is a personal choice between you and your spouse to be. This doesn’t have to be brought up in conversation with loved ones unless you are specifically asked about it. If you are paying for your own wedding, this is your decision alone. If, however, parents are footing the bill, you may wish to be more open about your choices with them and, if required, more flexible. Usually, when it comes to same sex weddings, families have come to a point of understand about many things already and you will likely get the support you seek for your choices.
If Someone is Upset
If a family member or loved one is upset about your choice to have a secular wedding ceremony instead of a religious one, the best thing you can do is remain calm and stand with your convictions. Don’t be afraid to sit down with them and have a discussion about choices and philosophy but, at the end of the day, this is your wedding and it should reflect your beliefs.