To Tradition, or Not To Tradition?
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
...That is the question. When it came time to plan our wedding, there were a LOT of questions - both from ourselves and from society. You'll find that the world somehow has a lot to say about YOUR wedding. When you first get engaged, you're just full of excitement. Plus, you have a hundred Pinterst boards and you're going to incorporate them ALL! (Spoiler alert: you won't.) Then, when the initial high wears down a little, you realize that you now have to figure out how to plan a wedding without breaking the bank. You'll browse through wedding checklists for things that just aren't important to you. Plus, if you're two guys getting married, you'll be even more stressed because you're trying to cut costs all while navigating where you fit in this very heterosexual wedding industry. A lot of traditional ideas and themes may not even apply to you, like a garter toss. Or, since it's 2018, you boys out there may want a garter toss, and that's totally cool because this wedding is about you so do whatever you want. The point is, don't lose sight of who you are as a couple. It's your day.
Given that we are Two Guys On A Plane, we will mainly be discussing issues facing LGBTQ couples in this article. With that being said, to all our lovely readers that do not happen to be gay, we promise a lot of this will apply to you, too! We had a lot of fun planning our wedding because we got to throw so many old ideas out the window and start fresh with what we really wanted.
Who asks who, you ask? Before we got engaged, we had several conversations about how we would go about the proposal. We both agreed that it would be fun to get proposed to but also just as fun to pop the question. Rather than deprive one of us the experience, we decided we would both propose to each other. At this point in our relationship, we obviously knew that the other would say yes, so each proposal was more about creating a romantic gesture for the other person. We both popped the question at different times in our own individual way and it made for a special experience for both of us. We jokingly refer to this as Proposal Wars.
(For a detailed article about how we met and our whole proposal, check out Two Guys at the top of our blog!)
We didn't see the need to have both engagement rings and wedding rings, so we decided to propose with something a little less traditional. When we first met, it was on an airplane. Andrew gave Rich his phone number on a boarding pass. When it came time for Rich to propose, it was with a boarding pass that said "Will you marry me?" When Andrew proposed, it was with a ring pop. We're fun people who don't take life too seriously and we highly recommend you do the same! Plus, it's a really fun story to tell.
In this day and age, this one isn't so much of an issue anymore since nontraditional wedding venues are becoming increasingly popular. You don't have to have a church wedding with a country club reception anymore if that's not what you want. Find a place that really fits you as a couple and go with it. Whether it's a library, a brewery, a coffeeshop, a bar, it doesn't matter. If it has a story that you connect with, do it. It never hurts to think outside the box. While nontraditional may be fun, keep in mind there might be a little extra work involved with choosing a unique venue if weddings aren't their norm. Our venue, for example, doesn't typically do weddings so we had a few extra site visits to explain what we wanted to the venue and the caterer. Fortunately for us, they were very open to new ideas and helping us create the perfect day. We are both flight attendants who happened to meet on an airplane, so we couldn't think of a better place to get married than in an airplane hangar! We had our ceremony by a DC-3 and the reception by the US Airways 1549 Airbus. It was cool, it was different, and most importantly - it was us.
Walking Down The Aisle
This is one thing that we struggled with the most and there is so little out there about how this is done at a gay wedding. The possibilities are endless... which is a good thing and a bad thing. Both of you can walk in together or you can walk in separately. One of you can stand up front while the other walks in. Since we had a small wedding party, we decided to have each person walk in by themselves. Then, each of us walked in separately, escorted by our mothers. It was a sweet moment and it made both of our mothers happy to be part of the day in such a special way!
For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, until death do us part... It's not that we didn't want to promise those things to each other, but we wanted to make it more personal and more fun. Our friends Brittney and Chris got married about six months before we did and they did something we haven't seen before. They each wrote a personal letter to the other and then had alternating vows. They shared their letters with each other first. Then he vowed something, she vowed something, and they went back and forth in what felt like a heartfelt conversation. It was a touching way to include the wedding guests in their relationship and there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd. When it came time to make this decision for our wedding, we decided to do the same and write personal letters and present alternating vows. We vowed everything from "I promise not to eat all the french fries" to "Making sure that you wake up every single day knowing how much you are loved."
You know how in middle school you have those awkward slow dances where you just stand on the dance floor swaying back and forth not knowing where to put your hands? Well, we still dance like that, so the idea of a first dance was terrifying. We decided to get creative. For our wedding song, we chose Say You Won't Let Go by James Arthur. A friend of ours, Carl Michaels, is an amazing DJ in the Philadelphia area so we reached out to him to create a little remix of our song. We wanted the first portion of the song to be slow, so we could have our moment together, but then immediately turn into a dance track so that our friends and family could join in. This created minimal awkward dancing time for us as newly married husband and husband while also eliminating the uncomfortable task of getting people out on the dance floor.
Flowers can be incredibly expensive. After trial and error with a few Pinterest ideas, we decided to go with paper flowers. We committed to a travel theme for our wedding since it was in an airplane hangar, so we made all of our flowers out of maps. They were all beautiful, but it took a lot of work! Andrew and his family spent countless hours on the paper flowers but the outcome was exactly what we wanted. We used these for the bouquets, centerpieces, corsages, and boutonnieres. There were a LOT of map flowers. When you DIY something for your wedding, think about the amount of work versus how much money you will save. It may or may not be worth the hassle to do it yourself! The flowers, in this instance, saved us a lot of money. Plus, we didn't have to worry about the flowers dying so everything could be arranged ahead of time.
We all love cake, there is no question about it, but how much are you willing to spend on a cake for your wedding? When you add the word "wedding" to anything, the prices skyrocket. Wedding cakes cost anywhere from $400 to $2000+. We just couldn't justify spending that much on a cake so we explored alternatives to fit our budget. We went to Public (a grocery store) the day before our wedding. We asked for one small white round cake - to put the wedding cake topper on. We never once mentioned the word wedding. Then, we bought a bunch of small round cakes from the fridge that were already made, ranging between $8-$10 per cake. At our wedding, we had our caterer - the incredible Samuel Futcher in Charlotte - put together a beautiful display of cakes for our guests. We placed a sign on the table that said "We went wedding cake tasting and couldn't decide, so the choice is yours!" We left it up to our guests to decide what the wanted for dessert and they ate it up... literally and figuratively. In the end, we spent a total of $75 on something that we still to this day receive compliments on. This is one area where it is definitely worth looking past the age-old traditions.
The Wedding Party
What do you call bridesmaids at a wedding with no bride? Whatever you want! A lot of LGBTQ couples refer to everybody as attendants, but that felt too formal for us. We opted for groomsmaids since brosmaids didn't quite fit our personalities. We each chose one of our brothers and a female best friend to be in our wedding party and just called all four of them groomsmaids. They were all cool with it. You know you've chosen the right people for your wedding when they're willing to go along with whatever fits you as a couple! We didn't do it intentionally by gender, but the symmetry of it all was admittedly quite satisfying.
Looking back on our wedding day, it was everything we wanted and more. We relied on our friends and family to use their talents and skills to help make our day perfect. Regardless of what gender you and your significant other identify with, throw away stuffy old traditions and create your own fairytale.
What did you do for your wedding? Let us know in the comments!
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