It’s almost summer, the perfect time for you and a loved one to tie knot, if you feel you are ready of course.
Over the past week or so, two high profile gay couples have got hitched in beautiful ceremonies that have brought both a lump to our throats and – because they are so damned handsome – a lump to our pants. Cheeky!
Tom Daley and fiance Dustin Lance Black got married at Bovey castle, while Jim Parsons and his beau exchanged vows in front of friends and family at the Rainbow Room in New York.
Both ceremonies looked as though they were filled with love and made us all feel a bit jealous.
But you don’t need to be famous with pot loads of cash to have an amazing day. All you need, as the Beatles once sung, is love. And ideas. Here, is GuysLikeU’s guide to organising your dream wedding…..
So. The question’s been popped, the champagne’s been quaffed and you’ve told all your mates that you and your fine fella are getting hitched. All that’s left for you to do is to plan the bloody thing.
Now, while it’s all very exciting thinking about the funky 1D-style designer suit you’re planning to wear or the lavish mansion you’re intending to hold the ceremony in, you need to slow things down. For real.
A wedding is something you most definitely should not rush in to. A successful ceremony is rarely achieved at the breakneck speed of a Don’t Tell the Bride bash. If you want to have the perfect day, then it will take a fair of bit of planning and a little bit of patience.
Here is your cut out and keep guide to what you need to remember when planning your big fat gay wedding.
- First up – the budget!
This is probably the most important part of your special day. Come up with a realistic figure and see what you can do with it. Do you want 20 bridesmaids, a fleet of topless spunks and a live band on the day? Then work out if you can actually get them within the budget. If you can’t, then sorry, you’re going to have to ditch them! well the 20 bridesmaids at least!
But remember, weddings don’t have to be expensive – there are ways of cutting costs, so always think outside of the box. Could a nice kindly aunt offer to bake the cake in lieu of a wedding pressie? Can you and some mates spend a night away from Old Compton Street for a night and whip up some handmade table settings instead?
If you can afford a wedding planner, then do so, because they will be very strict with the budget you give them!
It might be worth checking out wedding fairs too – just walking around one will open your eyes to what kind of services are available and may even inspire you to try something different from what you were expecting. Websites like thegayweddingguide.co.uk or thebiggayweddingdirectory.com will be handy to see what other couple shave done in the past.
Speaking about his big day, happy groom Andrew Jeremry told us: ‘You can’t spend whatever you want. You can only spend what you have! We were lucky that our parents helped us search for deals. I’m an accountant, so there were definitely spreadsheets involved!’
- The date
Choose a date that gives you enough time to plan everything. A lot of venues have waiting lists so be very aware that you may have to wait a while to get your dream venue. Also bear in mind that weddings that take place on weekdays are usually cheaper than those that take place on weekends. Think too about when in the year you choose throw your bash? Are you happy to risk the wind and rain of the winter? Or the potential blistering heat of the summer? All worth considering when you’re walking down that aisle trussed up in your finery!
- The venue
As a couple, discuss what kind of venue you would like to have your wedding in. Ensure it’s one that you both like – it’s never very nice if one of you has had to compromise, it’ll just come up in arguments. Pick three or four that you like and then check to see if they are available on the date you have chosen for your big day!
Important things to consider when choosing a venue:
- Does the venue have a wedding license?
- Size – will it accommodate all your guests comfortably?
- Cost – can you afford it? Does it work within your budget?
- Location – how easy and expensive is it for you and your guests
- Extras – can the venue offer other elements to make your day go with a bang?
- Does the venue have a wedding package?
- Are pets allowed? If you want your pooch to be a ring bearer, will he be allowed?
- Will the venue let you use your own suppliers?
Check out sites like www.gay-friendly-wedding-venues.com/ to see what kind of venues are available.
- What you’re going to wear
Of course you both want to look your best on the day so what you wear is of the utmost importance and should be thought about ahead of time so nothing is rushed at the last minute.
Do you and your partner want to look matchy-matchy? Or do you, like most couples these days, want to express your own individual style?
Moss Bros are a popular store who can supply you with a traditional looking suits and were among the supporters of the 2014 law change. However if you want quirkier styles, try http://beggarsrun.com/ or Bespoke HQ.
The best advice is to start shopping around the minute you announce your engagement. But don’t snap up the first set of suits you see. Try them on and remember to tie them in with whatever theme you have opted for the day.
- Who to invite?
The number of people you invite on the big day will most definitely impact on your budget.
Does your fifth cousin from New Zealand who you barely speak to have to be there on the big day?
Could extended members of your family attend the evening function instead of the whole day?
Remember the numbers of guests will cost you so be ruthless, but respect your family in case they are easily offended.
- The cake
Just looking elaborate and beautiful doesn’t make a wedding cake taste heaven sent. So make sure you do a tasting first and don’t just rely on written descriptions. You may gain a few pounds in the process, but by golly you’ll have fun! There are many suppliers of cakes but Tuck-Box.com specialise in cakes that are colourful and rather extraordinary.
What you must remember when ordering your cake:
- What size cake you need for your number of guests?
- When is the best time for it to be delivered before the ceremony?
- Popular flavours to satisfy your guests!
- How long can you keep leftovers?
One of the most important aspects of the day is the pictures and choosing the right photographer is essential. After all, once you get them back after the big day, it’ll be too late to do anything different.
- First up, check out a variety of snappers. Do you want elegant and classy pics? Or something a bit more modern and reportage-y? Photographers have their own style so make sure you check out their websites to see a variety of examples.
- Once you have chosen your photographer, get to know them so that you are relaxed with each other on the day. Perhaps hire him or her for a dummy shoot to see how you work with each other. The last thing you want is a grumpy ogre spoiling your day by barking orders at you!
- Before the big day arrives, go through the running order with your photographer so that he is prepared for every eventuality. If you plan to start the first dance after dessert, then he’ll need to know when to move his equipment so that he’s ready and waiting for you to strut your stuff.
- Cut down on group shots. Most snappers will advise that group pictures take up a lot of time during the drinks reception. Have a list of the guest combos you require, so you don’t waste time wondering who you have left out.
- Another way of capturing the day is to hire a photobooth, which gives normally camera shy guests the opportunity to relax and have fun. KingOfTheBooth.com are just one of several companies who provide this service. A quirkier take on this service, is provided by ThePortraitMachine.co.uk, a booth in which an artist sketches portraits of the guests! Cute!
- Annahardy.co.uk, PaulUnderhill.com, PhilDWeddingphotography.co.uk, Babbphoto.com
It might sound obvious, but every couple will tell you that the day is so jam-packed (and often alcohol fuelled) that the day will fly by without you realising it. Take time to sit back and soak in the love from your guests and enjoy every single minute. As journalist James Kleinmann told us about his 2014 wedding that took place at Brighton Pavillion: ‘Your wedding should be a fun celebration of your love for each other. Don’t lose sight of the main reason for the day – the exchanging of vows. If that part happens okay, then the rest of the day is all gravy.’
Amen to that! Good luck and have a great day!