If you're having a wedding with two brides or two grooms, often the aisle is the biggest cause of stress - do you both walk down? Does neither of you walk down? Who walks you down? What about your outfits?! Do you go matchy-matchy or do you coordinate...? Worry not! Because luckily for you the RMW readers are a wise bunch. We've rounded up the best pieces of advice on having a same sex wedding from our real couples. They have covered all the things you need to consider and all the things you really don't need to worry about. Read this and also listening to this episode of our podcast and we promise that your mind will be put at ease.
Matthew the Groom: We had both agreed early in the planning stages that we didn’t want to wear the same suits and that we wanted to coordinate without being too “matchy-matchy”. We decided that I would wear a classic black tuxedo and Adam would wear an off-white jacket and black trousers with different textured bow-ties (Adam’s was velvet and mine was satin).
Mike & Jay: When there are two Grooms it is a little challenging to ensure that the outfits complement each other, while not matching or competing, but the selection of a simple pallet and clean lines does help. Jay’s fixed requirement was to wear his late father’s waistcoat to the wedding, although this needed some serious alterations as he was 6 feet tall. We didn’t want any “single-use” clothing as for us the items are more meaningful if they have a life after the big day.
Sarah The Bride: We always knew that we wanted to be two brides in two dresses. We are quite traditional and didn’t want to see each other’s dresses before the day, so I sent Kate’s sister a picture of my dress so that when they went dress shopping she could steer her away from anything that might be too similar or clash. Due to the heat we both opted for quite light dresses (we got married in Thailand), but Kate still had to have a few layers removed during the alterations.
Jessica & Claudia: We tried to keep our dresses a secret but since our first date we’ve done everything together and it was incredibly strange to be making such big decisions separately - when you discuss every new dress purchase together to then buy such a meaningful one on your own is very strange! We cracked just a week before the wedding and showed each other pictures of our dresses for reassurance.
Gemma & Kara: One of the big worries with two brides is the dresses, we both needed to find our perfect dress to make sure they complimented each other without telling one another what we were looking for! One top tip is to make sure that there is one or two people that go on both brides dress shopping trips (but not too many people as everyone has different opinions), it also helps to go to the same shop and pick the same colour white. We've also published some beautiful weddings with two brides where one of the ladies chose to wear a three-piece suit, a cobalt blue jumpsuit or a tailored black Kooples suit. Our brides know that they don't need to wear a dress to be super stylish on their wedding day.
Matthew the Groom: We each had a best man, Daniel (Adam’s brother) was his and my best-friend Gareth was mine. We knew that we wanted them in black fitted suits and searched all over the high street to find one that suited them both. Don't forget you can sack the traditions on the wedding party too, if you want your male best friend as a bridesmaid, or a female 'best woman' then go ahead! It's your wedding day.
Matthew the Groom: We decided to stay apart the night before the wedding so I stayed in our house with my best man and a group of friends and Adam stayed at his Mum and Dad’s with his best man. The getting ready part was relatively simple for us as we didn’t have to contend with hair and make-up on the day. We got our hair and beards done the day before by our favourite barber and we treated our Mum’s to their hair + make-up on the morning of the wedding. Lots of couples also decide to stay together the night before their wedding. If it feels alien to you to be apart, then don't do it! You want your wedding morning to be fun and relaxed - a relaxed brunch and pampering morning together sounds blissful.
Mike & Jay: We wanted a spiritual, rather than religious, ceremony but finding an accommodating officiant (who you get on with), even in a city as large as Durban was rather tricky. Eventually, we found a lovely lady who could help. We kept the ceremony itself brief but impactful as we have been to enough weddings to know that a 3 hour long affair wouldn’t do! Inspired by couples who described the rush between ceremony, photos and venue as being chaotic – we chose to have our ceremony under a huge tree in the park adjacent to Freedom Café, and do our photos in the surrounding lanes. This way, no one needed to drive around, and we didn’t disappear for hours while having photos taken. Pinterest had helped in providing us with outdoor ceremony ideas and we settled on choreographing a circle of our loved ones to bear witness to our vows. This also eradicated the need for anyone to choose a side, or walk down an aisle. Same sex weddings have the opportunity to break traditions and create their own.
Emillie the Bride: We didn’t have one central aisle as there were two of us (!) so instead we made two aisles down either side of the ceremony room as well as a central aisle for us to exit down together once we were married. We spent the evening before apart so the first time we saw each other was when we entered for the ceremony and we were both trying to look through our guests to the other side of the room as we were walking in to get a peek. When we got to the top of the room and turned in towards one another, it was amazing!
Ruth had her dad to walk her down the aisle and I had my brother. When we left, rather than confetti we gave each guest a party popper to pop as we walked out! It was brilliant! You can use that aisle whatever way you like on your wedding day. Both walk down separate aisles as Emillie and Ruth did, decide on one of you to meet the other at the top of the aisle or simply walk down the aisle together. You could scrap the aisle altogether as Mike and Jay did and greet your guests together and head to your celebrant before the ceremony begins.
For more chat about the aisle - from logistics, to styling then make sure you listen to the latest episode of Rock My Wedding: The Podcast. You can catch up on previous episodes here.