Same-Sex Wedding Planners: Guidebooks for a Gay Wedding

by JoHarrington

The question has been popped. The date has been set. Now all that remains is to arrange the best day of your lives! Wedding planners for gay couples might help out here.

Your wedding day is going to be looked back upon for the rest of your life. You want those memories to be beautiful.

No matter how competent you are at organizing events, this one is huge. Taking advice from those who do this for a living, or who have experience in what planning a wedding involves, will help it all happen much more smoothly.

Moreover, it will give you both peace of mind that, when you walk down that aisle or stand before the register, you've ticked every box. Your research and reading will contribute towards making this the best gay wedding day ever!

The Importance of Planning for a Same-Sex Wedding

Or, indeed, any wedding! But this one is your own, therefore there's a very vested interest in making sure that everything runs smoothly.

Image: Wedding Rings with a pink bouquetI used to arrange events for a living. They'd range from huge region-wide annual conferences for Aimhigher, through Holocaust Memorial Day lectures for my local university, and down to small-scale presentations for new projects. Even I'd draw in a sharp breath at the notion of taking on a wedding.

On the surface, it seems so simple.  You book the venues for both ceremony and reception; book the necessary personnel - cleric, register, band, person who agreed to marry you; lay on some food and drink; send out the invitations; get married.

But there's so much more to it than that. Nothing can go wrong. It's the biggest day of your life. The pressure to make it perfect is generally the very thing that condemns it to imperfect from the outset.

More to the point, it's one of the few times in your life when your family, friends, work colleagues and assorted random people will all be in the same place at the same time. With alcohol. Clash of worlds doesn't cover it!

The last thing you need, as you take your vows, is to be worrying that something was forgotten amongst the crowd behind you. It's your great moment in the spotlight, but with a bit of appropriate wedding planning, you will be able to relax into your role. Then all that's really left to do is look into your loved one's eyes with a heartfelt, 'I do.'

The Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings

The best-selling gay wedding planning book on Amazon is this one by Tess Ayers and Paul Brown. They're constantly tweaking and updating it. The guide is already onto its third edition!

The Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings is geared more towards those getting married, rather than anyone asked to officiate at one. In addition to the nuts and bolts - the sheer practicalities - of the day, there are anecdotes based on actual experience to flavor and inform the advice on offer. All combined, it makes for a humorous and helpful guide for same-sex weddings.

While gay wedding planning should be the same as those for heterosexual weddings, we don't yet live in that world. Tess and Paul raise some pertinent questions for the happy couple to consider. Better before than during the nuptials!

Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony

David Toussaint is a gay man, who teamed up with fellow author Heather Leo to pen this popular wedding planner for same-sex couples.

If you're looking for a bog-standard, down to Earth guidebook for planning a gay traditional wedding, then this is a great bet. Though it might lack weight for wedding planning professionals.

Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony is a hilarious book to read, but it also carries very practical advice. Furthermore, it delves into much bigger issues, like adoption, which might be triggered by tying the knot.

There are chapters on the changing legal landscape in America, concerning same-sex marriage, but the book was written in 2004, so it's already hugely out of date on that score. 

Wedding Planner for Gay Men

One reason for this lack of keeping pace, with the swiftly changing same-sex marriage laws, might be that David Toussaint has another gay marriage guide out.

Published in 2012, The Gay Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning fulfills much the same function as his earlier tome.  However, this focuses only on the weddings of gay men, omitting lesbian ceremonies entirely.

Once again it humorously answers important questions, like 'do you have two best men, if there are two grooms?'

He's also enlisted photographer Melanie Wesslock to provide over 100 images of same-sex weddings, and their attendant happenings. They make for a gay men's wedding planner that is both informative and visually appealing.

Gay Wedding Confidential: Adventures and Advice from America's #1 Wedding Planner

Bernadette Coveney Smith makes her claim - of being the number one gay wedding planner in the USA - based upon the fact that she's the CEO of 14 Stories. This is a company which was founded to organize the big day for same-sex couples.

She doesn't merely do this in her native Boston, but has arranged the nuptials - or acted as consultant - on gay wedding ceremonies across the USA.

In short, Bernadette does this for a living. You can be certain that the advice given has been tried, tested and delivers the goods. This is real world, hands on experience being shared with you here!

Bernadette Coveney Smith has written another guidebook, which focuses purely upon lesbian marriages.

The Lesbian Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning applies that same expertise to a ceremony wherein there are two brides. Pretty much as it says on the packet really!

Illustrated with 125 photographs - always good for inspiration! - this wedding planner for lesbians is arranged as a twelve month diary or checklist.

It keeps both brides on track by prioritizing what should be done when. Nothing is left to the last moment, and nothing is forgotten. Which is the perfect recipe for a laid-back, love-filled lesbian wedding ceremony.

Nor does it assume that there is a one-size-fits-all wedding day. Check out all of the options, then customize accordingly.

Lesbian Wedding Planning

The Complete Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings

KC David is man who may challenge Bernadette Coveney Smith's claim to be the US's premier same-sex wedding planner. He also has his own company - Gay Weddings - which plans the nuptials of gay couples from its headquarters in Pennsylvania, USA.

His interest in the subject was piqued when he married his long-term partner Doc. The couple also ran a hostelry in Bucks County, which became a regular venue for same-sex wedding celebrations.

Gay Weddings was founded in 1998, and his guidebook to planning homosexual unions was published seven years later.

While the practical advice still remains sound, the chapters on US law have since fallen woefully out of date. Mind you, that's a good thing, isn't it?

More Books to Plan a Gay Wedding

Ooh Yes I Do!: The Ultimate Gay & Lesbian Wedding Planner

This is the ultimate gay and lesbian wedding planner and it includes everything one needs to plan a civil union or wedding. Read about estimating the costs, planning your ceremo...

View on Amazon

The Lesbian Bride's Guide to Writing Your Vows (Romantic Wedding Rituals)

Carefully created vows should not only fulfil legal requirements, they should touch everyone’s hearts. They may make you cry. They may make your guests cry. However, they should...

View on Amazon

Getting Groomed: The Ultimate Wedding Planner for Gay Grooms

Finally, a fun wedding organizer for gay grooms! Packaged in a sleek two-ring binder that will slip easily into a messenger bag or briefcase, this planner covers every aspect of...

View on Amazon

Lesbian and Gay Wedding Album: A Documentary Planner for Lesbian and Gay Couples

Same-sex unions are becoming more commonplace, but wedding guides are still difficult to find. Taking on the look of a wedding album, this book profiles homosexual couples who have united in a commitment ceremony (some over 20 years ago)...

View on Amazon

A Very Pink Wedding: A Gay Guide To Planning Your Perfect Day

Whether you are planning an intimate ceremony or a Vegas-inspired celebration, this is the ultimate step-by-step guide to walking down the aisle. Tailored exclusively for gay co...

View on Amazon

Hitched!: Wedding Stories from San Francisco City Hall

On Thursday, February 12, 2004, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, a lesbian couple who have been together for fifty-one years, became the first same-sex couple married at San Francis...

View on Amazon

Updated: 02/02/2014, JoHarrington
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


rabbitagent99 on 03/04/2016

Wonderful! As a wedding singer, I have had a challenge coming up with a non-heterosexist playlist. Of course most of the couples choose a song that is important to them. "the wedding song" can't be modified at all and is very hetero-sexist.

JoHarrington on 02/02/2014

You've hit the nail on the head with the stress and too much money thing. Not many people seem to get married here, but when they do, most of the recent ones have been abroad. It's cheaper to ship your dress to, say, Cuba, and pay for a ceremony there, than it is to hire a British church and reception room. Just shows what big business weddings are now.

Aren't you tempted to have a peek at those binders to see what she had planned for you?

Ember on 02/02/2014

It's okay. It was a while ago, and really they're never painful memories anymore so I didn't think about it before mentioning it :) Sorry, that was actually a bit random though, now that I think about it, I hadn't meant for that. It was just when you started talking about all that you had to think about when planning a wedding and how stressful it could be, it reminded me of her and her multiple binders, just of things like how to coordinate things, ideas for any given theme that could be thrown at her, etc and so on. Doesn't have too much to do with gay/lesbian weddings specifically, otherwise though xD Although, there were threatened promises of certain impending doom should I ever get married and not use her as my wedding planner (I am convinced she may have even started a section for me, though I'll never be sure). I'm not necessarily adverse to the idea I just don't really envision myself getting married, but it could easily have been a gay wedding that she would have had to plan if I did, and if life were different.

I guess, though, I never really thought about the idea of needing a gay wedding planner/planning guides. But weddings have so much tradition surrounding them though don't they? Whether it is just long standing traditions or religious traditions or both. And while much of it could easily translate over, there is just naturally a lot of heterosexual elements to some of the traditions too, huh? I guess I wouldn't even know where to start XD Although, an element to it could be quite fun in throwing tradition out altogether and setting up something completely unique to the couple...but that requires people who like to plan things like weddings. I'll excuse myself from that.

I think if I got married, I really wouldn't want a whole lot of ceremony unless it were important to my partner. I like the new trend I've been noticing among my friends and family where people send out notices going "Hey, check it out, we're legally married now! Come celebrate with us!" in place of a wedding invite. And then basically only have a fun little reception and no traditional ceremony at all, beyond whatever very small private thing happened between the couple. That is 99% likely what I'd do if I were to ever get married. (Because too much stress + too much money. No thank you. LOL )

JoHarrington on 02/01/2014

Oh no! I wasn't expecting that. :( Hopefully someone can use them one day.

Ember on 02/01/2014

She passed away. The binders still exist though, her parents have them in storage.

JoHarrington on 02/01/2014

What happened to the great plan?

Ember on 02/01/2014

I had a friend whose life dream was to be a wedding planner, she had multiple binders full of STUFF that was supposed to help her with wedding planning.

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