Your Gay Wedding Planning Checklist
Planning a wedding can be stressful and tiresome but it should also be a fun and memorable experience. Between choosing your date, the venue, and your attire…. there are decisions galore that will make your day worth remembering for years to come. As you embark on planning your gay wedding, no matter where it is, there is a lot to do. I’ve found that getting organized and having a checklist is a great first step. So, as you get ready to put pen to paper (or fire up the laptop), consider these planning ideas to get you started.
Choosing the Date
This is a pretty critical first step as you can’t start searching for a venue and nailing down other vendors unless you have a date in mind. However, remember that weather and it’s corresponding mood can have an great impact on your wedding day.
Weddings in March, April and May can be amazing depending on where you live. They can also be unpredictable due to strong winds and rain. So, take a look at historical weather trends for the period of time that you are looking at before you make a decision, particularly if you want your ceremony to be outdoors.
How often do we hear about June weddings and their magic? I am actually getting married this next June. There are a lot of reasons for the popularity of June – the weather is more predictable, school is out, flowers are in bloom yet it’s not too hot yet. A few considerations regarding Summer (particularly, June) weddings. One is that they may cost more because of demand for services. Another is that it may actually be quite hot and muggy in the area that you are in.
Getting married in September or October has become more popular for several reasons. The weather is much nicer (and cooler) than in the summer and costs may be much lower. Consider also that you will probably not be paying as much for a honeymoon trip as you would in the peak summer months.
Not for the faint of heart, but winter weddings can be magical and there are some amazing winter wedding themes out there. Obviously, in most places, rates would be much lower for a winter ceremony and you should find easy availability of vendors.
The Wedding Budget
Most couples are shocked when they learn that the average cost of a wedding is $27,500 (ours isn’t even a fraction of this). Of course, you don’t have to spend this much – or you can spend much more on your big gay wedding – it’s up to you. Aside from inducing a little realism into the equation, there are many ways to keep costs down.
Use the Internet
This has become the go-to place for just about everything and gay wedding planning is next big thing. These websites and directories can help you save a lot of money and tons of time by directing you to businesses that cater to your specific needs and budget. Many of these sites and services also provide great checklists, additional resources, discount links and more.
Set Your Budget and Priorities
Consider when you first start planning each aspect of your wedding all of the options available to you and then categorize them into these 3 categories:
1. Must Have
3. Nice to Have
Choosing the Wedding Venue
One of the first decisions you will make, after you pick your date, will be where you will have your ceremony. This can be a lot of fun and can involve a lot of brainstorming. Consider your budget, any theme you want to incorporate into the wedding, the guest list size and your interests as a couple. Here are few ideas to consider for gay wedding venues:
1. Home – practically, a do-it-yourself special wedding
3. Beach – this may need license or permit
4. Rented Halls – rental basis
5. Patio – Garden; a do-it-yourself wedding
6. Mansions – rental basis
7. Ranches – rental basis
8. Hotel, Ballrooms, Grounds, Gardens – full service
9. Convention, Conference Centers – some are full service, some on rental basis
The Wedding Planner
If you can afford a wedding planner (they’re not all expensive), these are great resources and can take a lot of the stress of planning off of your shoulders. They can handle the smallest (and largest) details of your wedding, leaving you to the personal items such as attire and family matters.
Once you have the venue selected, you can move on to other things, such as the reception site (if it is different than your ceremony site). You will also need to consider flowers, music for the ceremony and for the reception, photography and videography, and catering.
Depending on the time of year you select for your ceremony, consider that you will want to start lining up these vendors up to a year in advance. While planning a gay wedding can be overwhelming, with a little organization and help, it can also be a lot of fun as you design that magical day.