I'm normally one to say something like "screw the rules and reinvent the wedding" and we do - every day with the gay weddings we produce. But anyone who knows me knows my obsession with wedding ceremonies and the wedding flow, so I really do believe a great wedding should follow some simple rules because, no matter how beautiful your 20 foot bar is, it makes no difference to your guests if they are waiting in line 20 minutes for a cocktail.
My rules for planning a fabulous gay wedding:
1. Care about the ceremony and put some thought into it. After all, if you really think about it, gay weddings change the world and it all starts with the celebration of marriage.
2. Think about the guests' experience. How do they know where to go, where to park, where to walk? What is the first thing they see, hear, touch, taste, smell and experience when they enter the space? How do they feel welcome and accommodated?
3. Hire enough bartenders and order enough food. Cocktail hour is the busiest time of a wedding. If you don't have enough bartenders, your guests will get annoyed. If you are afraid that there will be a huge line at the bar, then have servers passing some drinks to guests. Order enough food so that the guests aren't waiting for food to come out of the kitchen and the hors d'oeuvres don't run out before cocktail hour is over. Don't skimp!
4. Make your wedding interactive and provide conversation starters, particularly if you pass on wedding traditions. Don't just have dinner and dancing but add enough elements so your guests aren't bored.
5. Be Yourselves. These rules can be interpreted and personalized any way you want - it's your wedding and your expression of your relationship and now, marriage. It's not your mom's or sister's gay wedding. Follow your heart and your instinct and put your own stamp on the experience.
Do you think these rules are too strict? What rules are you following for your own wedding day?
(one of the happy couples that followed my rules - photo by Closed Circle Photography)