How to Have an Amazing LGBTQ+ Wedding.

Use the following tips to have a spectacular LGBTQ+ Wedding.

lgbtq+ wedding photographer two brides in white wedding dresses at the rainbow gate in santa barbara. lesbian wedding

Choose a venue for your gay wedding that is LGBTQ+ friendly and reflects your personalities and interests.

Research venues that have a reputation for being LGBTQ+ friendly for your gay wedding. Look for reviews and testimonials from same-sex couples who have gotten married there. As a gay wedding photographer, I think this is very important. Check the venue’s website and social media pages for any statements or policies that indicate their support for the LGBTQ+ community. Then, check their Instagram and website for photos of gay weddings and LGBTQ+ couples. Look for venues that have gender-neutral restrooms and are accessible for people with disabilities. 

Consider working with a wedding planner or coordinator who has experience with LGBTQ+ weddings and can help you find a supportive venue. Trust your instincts and choose a venue that makes you feel comfortable and supported. Remember that your wedding day should be a celebration of your love and commitment, and you deserve to feel welcomed and accepted. 

One of my favorite websites for finding gay wedding venues is Here Comes the Guide, you can use a filter that shows just LGBTQ+-friendly wedding venues. You can find their website here. One of my favorite venues to have your amazing Gay Wedding at is The Ebell of Los Angeles not only do they have an absolutely gorgeous venue with some amazing food, plus the staff is also a dream to work with.

Another amazing set of venues that embrace their LGBTQ+ clients are the Marvimon Properties, you can see all of them here. Below is one of my personal favorites Valentine in Downtown Los Angeles, it’s like a magical tropical greenhouse with super quirky cool charm.

valentine lgbtq+ wedding venue downtown los angeles ceremony

Hire vendors who are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community and have experience with Gay weddings.

Hiring wedding vendors that support you can be incredibly helpful on your wedding day. You want everyone that’s there to be there for you both as a couple. Also, why would you want to give money to someone that doesn’t believe in your marriage? If you need help finding vendors that are part of the community or allies don’t be afraid to ask vendors you’ve already hired for suggestions. 

I don’t want to say that we all know each other, but we kind of do. As a gay wedding photographer, I have a long list of vendors from all wedding vendor categories that will be there for you for whatever you need. Like Julie of Julie Harris Designs, she makes absolutely fabulous veils, capes, and headpieces, here’s Julie at the LA Pride parade with one of the veils she made. 

love is love veil on drag bride in wedding dress at LA pride being held by it's creator Julie Harris.

Personalize your gay wedding ceremony and vows to reflect your love story and commitment to each other.

Personalizing your gay wedding ceremony and vows is a great way to make your wedding day unique and meaningful. Here are some tips to help you personalize your ceremony and vows:

1. Write your own vows!! Writing your own vows is a great way to express your love and commitment to each other. You can include personal anecdotes, inside jokes, and promises that are meaningful to you.

2. Incorporate cultural or religious traditions. If you and your partner come from different cultural or religious backgrounds, consider incorporating traditions that are meaningful to you.

3. Choose meaningful readings or poems: Choose readings or poems that reflect your love and commitment to each other. You can also ask friends or family members to read them during the ceremony.

4. Consider including special guests in your ceremony. Such as family members or friends who have played an important role in your relationship. 

5. Choose meaningful music. Choose music that is meaningful to you and your partner. Whether it’s a special song or a piece of music that reflects your personalities. At one of my last weddings, the bride walked down the aisle to a song from “Lord of the Rings”. It’s your wedding, you can do whatever you’d like.

6. Add personal touches to your ceremony. Such as a special unity ceremony or a symbolic gesture that represents your love and commitment to each other. My favorite unity ceremony so far was when a couple planted a tree together. 

Remember that your gay wedding ceremony and vows should reflect your unique personalities and love story. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make your wedding day truly special and memorable.

lgbtq+ wedding photographer, brides looking at each other, one bride in brown suit and other bride in white sleeveless wedding dress holding pink bouquet.

Consider having a unique theme for your LGBTQ+ Wedding or incorporating cultural traditions that are meaningful to you.

Choosing a wedding theme or style is an important decision that will guide many decisions you make during the planning process. Consider your personal style: Think about your personal style and what you and your partner are drawn to. Do you prefer a classic, elegant look or something more modern and trendy? 

two grooms in black suits looking at each other leaning against cool palm leaf wallpaper

Look for inspiration: 

Look for inspiration online, in magazines, and on social media. Create a Pinterest board or mood board to collect ideas and inspiration. As a gay Los Angeles Wedding Photographer one of my fav places to look for inspiration if you’re a little nerdy, and non-traditional is Offbeat Wed. They are LGBTQ+ inclusive and sure to spark your creative side.

two grooms just married walking back down the aisle with huge smiles on their faces at the gray in long beach. lgbtq+ wedding

Consider your venue: 

Consider the style and atmosphere of your venue when choosing a wedding theme or style. A rustic barn wedding may call for a different theme than a modern city wedding. Think about the season: Think about the season in which you are getting married and choose a theme that fits. For example, a winter wedding may call for a cozy, romantic theme.

Consider your budget: 

Consider your budget when choosing a wedding theme or style. Some themes may require more elaborate decorations or rentals, which can add to the cost of your wedding. Choose a color scheme: Choose a color scheme that fits your theme or style. This will help guide your decisions on decorations, attire, and other details.

brides at their wedding making silly faces after just sabering a bottle of champagne.

Be true to yourselves!!

Choose a wedding theme or style that reflects your personalities and interests. This will make your wedding feel more personal and meaningful. Remember that choosing a wedding theme or style is a personal decision that should reflect your personalities and interests. Take your time and choose a theme or style that feels right for your gay wedding.

lgbtq engagement photos at the la arboretum.

Create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all guests, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

See if your venue has gender-neutral bathrooms or if they can be made gender-neutral. Also, you can do what one of my couples did in the past. The guest sign-in table had a bowl of pins that had pronouns on them that guests could put on. When I saw this I was surprised and delighted, as a gay Los Angeles wedding photographer that has photographed many gay weddings this was a first.

bride in black and bride in white at los angeles state park at sunset looking towards the city skyline los angels wedding photographer

Have fun with your wedding attire and express your personal style.

It’s your wedding, you can dress in whatever you want and accessorize to the nines or not and go simple. I would go for a black wedding dress with a long skirt, perfect for twirling. If you want a dress one of my favorite dress shops that is size and LGBTQ+ and size inclusive is Lorien Bridal. If you want a suit check out The Little Black Tux they have the sweetest suits. You can find their website here. Here’s an example of one of their suits on the fabulous Holly Gray of Anything But Gray Events. Not only is she an awesome human, but she also happens to be an exceptional LGBTQ ally and wedding planner. Also, If you need a spectacular custom headpiece like Holly is wearing Debra Shirley is your gal you can find her website here.

blonde woman standing in bright red pants suit with red heels. holly gray events los angeles wedding planner. wedding suit ideas

Other great places for a suit are Thuy Custom Clothier queer-owned and awesome I met them at a recent wedding. They also make some seriously fierce custom suits. Plus, Friar Tux is another fabulous option and they have many stores throughout Southern California. Another is Suitshop.com they have a great selection of colors and sizes.

lgbtq+ wedding reception outside after dark with string lights looking at the brides

Plan a memorable reception with great food, music, and entertainment that reflects your tastes and interests.

Good food is a driving force in my life, I’ve even planned vacations around food. Naturally, food would be ever-present and a focus at my wedding. Also, as a gay Los Angeles wedding photographer, it’s got to be colorful and pretty to reflect my style. 

Choose a venue that either has amazing food or one that you can bring your own caterer to. Have food that you and your partner absolutely love, from the appetizers to the main dishes. Also, if you do or don’t like to drink come up with signature cocktails or mocktails with cute names for the bar to make. 

Select a DJ that reflects your personality, do you need one that amps the party up, chills the party out, or a great combination of the two? Two of my favorite DJs are DJ Dazzler a spicy and colorful DJ that is sure to get the party started. The other DJ is DJ Keelez who I have known and worked with on and off for more than eight years. DJ Keelez is part of the LGBTQ+ community and knows how to get everyone on the dance floor to have a good time. Her’s DJ Keelez and all of her awesomeness below.

DJ Keelez, amazing lgbtq+ wedding DJ

Having the right kind of entertainment at a wedding can be a huge part or a small part, depending on your taste. What do I mean by entertainment? You can have a photo booth, tarot card reader, magician, champagne wall, henna artist, performers, or anything your heart desires to entertain you and your guests. Below you’ll see the LA Kings Mascot with the brides, he came to the reception for a little bit to take photos with guests. One of the brides is a huge Kings fan and her wife decided to surprise her. 

No matter what you do at your wedding reception as long as you have personal touches that reflect your personality you can’t go wrong.

lgbtq+ wedding two brides one in black and one in white standing in front of Home restaurant where they had their wedding reception.

Consider incorporating LGBTQ+ activism or philanthropy into your wedding planning or registry.

We all have our favorite charities to donate to. Why not forgo some presents and have your guests donate to a few of your favorite nonprofits? I suggest donating to local organizations that hold a special place in your heart. The LGBT Center Los Angeles or the LGBTQ center where either of you grew up would be a good start.

two brides walking in front of the riverside county courthouse, one bride in a black suit and one in a white dress. lesbian wedding, lgbtq+ wedding photographer

Take time to enjoy the planning process and celebrate your love with your partner and loved ones.

Let’s be honest planning a wedding isn’t all fun and games, it’s a lot of work, like a second job. That’s why a lot of people hire wedding planners. You still have to make decisions, but it’s fun stuff like your cake’s flavor or appetizers. In the planning process remember to take time and listen to your partner talk through what each of you prioritizes. I prioritize pretty flowers, my partner prioritizes not having to be up in front of people too often, lol. 

Schedule one day a week when you can check a couple of wedding details off of your list. Then go on a mini date, and after that don’t talk about the wedding for the rest of the week. If you like your family include them in the planning process, let them do a little of the heavy lifting. If you don’t like them, I won’t tell, but you can always enlist some close friends to help out. 

lgbtq wedding photographer, two brides backlit one bride in white strapless dress and the other bride in a blue suit. Standing below an oak tree standing and embracing looking into each other's eyes.

Remember that your amazing gay wedding is a celebration of your love and commitment to each other. 

Your gay wedding is just that, it is a day all of your own. It’s a day to share with your love, your friends, and your family, (born into or chosen). Make your special day as awesome and fun as you like and make sure that you take a few moments for just the two of you.

Meet Trista, your LGBTQ+ Wedding Photographer.

Hi, I’m Trista, I’ve been a Los Angeles Gay Wedding Photographer since 2010. I identify as pansexual and am all about colorful, rad, queer weddings. I have a love for unicorns, comfy fuzzy blankets, otters, and flavored coffee. My hobbies include my pets, you’re probably wondering how that’s a hobby. Well, I have more cats than cameras, sometimes they can be a lot. The cats, not the cameras, fortunately, the cameras just sit there. Other hobbies are cooking, baking, traveling, watching movies, playing Legend of Zelda, playing Pokemon Go and a whole host of other stuff. I’m known for putting my clients at ease and going above and beyond for my couples on their wedding day. If you’d like to know anything about me just ask you can contact me here. Below is me at Los Angeles Pride, where I marched in the parade and photographed it.

Edited while watching “Somebody Feed Phil”.

  1. Julie Harris says:

    This is a wonderful article and thank you so much for the mention!
    You have covered everything a couple needs to consider during the wedding planning process and your recommendations are all fantastic.
    Making your wedding unique with fun and interesting personal details is something your guests will enjoy and remember always!✨

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