We are incredibly lucky here at Rock My Wedding. We spend our days in a whirlwind of love stories, beautiful images, gorgeous dresses, and the occasional cute animal. When we write about your wedding, in some respects, we become a small part of your story, your journey, your relationship. We feel your emotions, frustrations, and every so often, it leaves us a little speechless. Alice & Mel are the perfect example of this. Marching their way to the forefront of new beginnings, they embarked upon planning a same-sex, British-Chinese wedding, leaving them with two options; elope, avoid drama, and (in Alice & Mel’s words), change nothing for future LGBT+ family members. Or, throw a big gay wedding, complete with a drag Queen and traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony. Well, you’re damn right they decided upon the latter. And we’re damn happy they did. In all honesty, why are we still talking? Let’s hand this one over to Alice & Mel, whose beautiful storytelling will explain things far better than we ever possibly could.
"Months later, a friend whose family disowned her after she came out, said: “It gave me hope.”"
This was the first same-sex, British-Chinese wedding either of us had ever seen, let alone thrown. Everyone was invited; from the first openly transgender member of a White House administration, to Mel’s elderly aunt from Hong Kong, to homophobic Brexiteers, who, against all odds, turned up to a lesbian wedding, full of immigrants, in Spain!
The goal was a shining, disco-ball, beacon of queer love and friendship! Several guests said it inspired them to call friends they hadn’t spoken to in years. Styling-wise, my aunt's house and garden is a tropical paradise covered in pink bougainvillaea flowers, orange blossom and giant cactuses, which took care of the 'decor'. It also made the day more sustainable - using olive leaves and rosemary from the garden on tables. We added a neon sign of the Chinese 'double happiness' character.
We both adored how our queer, chosen family surrounded us with so much love that day. Alice's best memory is dancing at midnight under the stars and a shower of 'Dolly Dollars' - fake $100 bills with Dolly Parton's face on them - like camp, stripper brides, after our surprise guest, Baby Lame, interrupted our first dance singing George Michael's Freedom! Mel's was seeing her mum cry during the tea ceremony, knowing she must have previously given up on that dream when she came out. And to see her shy-of-five-feet mother dancing with a drag queen clearing seven feet in heels!
"Your wedding is a political act that takes brave couples and great allies. So, more gay bridezillas/groomzillas please! Throw out those elbows, take up more space, invent new traditions. Stomp, stomp, stomp."
To LGBT+ couples who are struggling with planning (because there are zero, proper resources for us that aren't just straight-run wedding blogs suggesting we buy a rainbow cake, let alone anything for gay Chinese people trying to adapt traditions like the tea ceremony or door games), you aren’t alone! We are pioneers of a powerful symbol of the evolution of marriage into a fairer, more egalitarian institution.
We cannot thank Alice & Mel enough for sharing their incredible story with us. We know (as always), there is so much more work to be done. We will continue to work alongside our incredible community to ensure we remain accountable, whilst working toward a more inclusive future. Please do head on over to Pride At Rock My Wedding for more.