Equally Wed Pro Blog

LGBTQ+ weddings and cishet weddings: learn the key differences

inclusivity insights

One of the most common misconceptions I hear from people of all identities and orientations is that there is no difference between LGBTQ+ weddings and cishet weddings. (More accurately, some people claim that straight weddings and same-sex weddings aren't different, but I don't use that language anymore.) And while that statement is true enough for the purpose of fighting for marriage equality because we all deserve the right to have our marriages recognized by our government, it’s not true when you peel back the layers of what it takes to execute an LGBTQ+ wedding. There are many ways LGBTQ+ weddings and cishet weddings are different, but here are some standouts.

How LGBTQ+ and cishet weddings differ

  • LGBTQ+ weddings are challenged socially in a way that cishet weddings never are.
  • LGBTQ+ people must consider where they and their guests will feel safe during the ceremony and their reception.
  • LGBTQ+ people carefully cull their guest lists for people who haven’t always supported them, whose support isn’t clear and who vote for politicians who work against the LGBTQ+ community. It’s not as simple as putting differences of opinions aside like it might be with other political battles. This is a matter of dignity, humanity and respect. Planning an LGBTQ+ wedding brings all these painful elements in families to the forefront.
  • Most LGBTQ+ marriers report to Equally Wed that they encounter all manners of discrimination from microaggressions to unapologetic rejections to ignorant statements from wedding and event pros.
  • In LGBTQ+ weddings, it’s far more likely that at least one—if not all—heteronormative wedding traditions will be questioned, evaluated and either intentionally kept or happily discarded by the marriers.
  • LGBTQ+ marriers are not as constrained by societal oppression of gender expression and therefore often feel free to wear clothing that represents themselves and not anyone’s expectations.
  • Society's policing of bodies and clothing creates friction and fear in many gender-expansive and trans people within the LGBTQ+ community when shopping for their wedding attire.

To learn more about challenges the LGBTQ+ community faces while planning their weddings and how you can be part of the solution, enroll in our LGBTQ+ Inclusive Certification Course.