Same-sex wedding planning checklist


Even though it appears the political landscape is shifting in favor of gay marriage, getting legally wed still poses some unique challenges for same-sex couples.

There are a series of questions and issues gay couples must face when planning their wedding that hetero couples simply don’t have to worry about.

We spoke with Bernadette Coveney Smith — founder and president of the New York- and Boston-based gay wedding planning company 14 Stories and the same-sex wedding style website Fourteen— about the major challenges and questions gay couples must face as they plan the happiest day of their lives.

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‘Are You Gay Friendly?’

One of the biggest challenges couples address when deciding who to invite to the wedding is which of their family members and friends are supportive of same-sex marriage.

“Some people don’t mind if their nephew has a ‘roommate,’ but they do have an issue with gay marriage,” Coveney Smith explained to us. “It’s more an issue with gay marriage than with the relationship.”

The question also comes up in relation to vendors, since 29 states don’t recognize sexual orientation in their anti-discrimination laws, meaning that it’s perfectly legal for a florist or country club in Texas to tell an LGBT couple that they refuse to plan the wedding because they’re gay or transgendered.

“There’s also more subtle discrimination: Not returning phone calls or emails, or all of a sudden becoming booked once they realize it’s a same-sex wedding,” Coveney Smith added.

So unless they hire a wedding planner to do it for them, the couple must come out to every vendor, venue, and photographer they contact. “Many of the vendors I refer my clients to are also gay-owned businesses, so they speak the language, they understand the culture, and they’re obviously more than happy to work on a same-sex wedding,” Coveney Smith said.

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