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Inspiration » Wedding Planning » Your Guide to Planning an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Wedding

Your Guide to Planning an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Wedding

by Joy Editors
Two newlywed women embracing on their wedding day

Weddings are a joyous occasion for couples and their guests, but all too often in the wedding industry non-inclusive terminology puts a damper on the big day for LGBTQ+ couples and their loved ones. 

This doesn’t sit right with us, which is why we’ve developed an Inclusive Wedding Glossary to serve as a guide to creating an inclusive and joyful wedding experience for all. 

Inclusive Wedding Glossary

  • Bride and Groom → “Nearlyweds” or “To-be-weds”
    • Designed to replace the heteronormative “bride and groom” phrase and implies that someone is engaged without being specific to any gender identity. 
  • Bridal Suite → Wedding Suite
    • Preparing for the ceremony can involve many loved ones and this term keeps it general to anyone close to the nearlyweds. 
  • Bridal Shower → Wedding Shower
    • Everyone deserves a shower before their big day, and this term keeps it universal to whomever is celebrating before the big “I do’s.”
  • Bridal Party / Bridesmaids + Groomsmen → Wedding Party
    • This phrase ensures that everyone helping to celebrate the nearlyweds feels valued and included, and represents the people standing by the side of the nearlyweds on their big day.
  • Bachelorette Party → Nearlywed Party
    • This phrase allows all persons to have fun with their wedding party before the big day and keeps the celebration inclusive. 
  • Best Man/Maid of Honor → Best Person + Person of Honor
    • These terms keep it gender-neutral while still highlighting the people of importance at your wedding.
  • Father/Daughter Dance + Mother/Son Dance → Family Dance 
    • This dance symbolizes a celebration with your family and this term can include every family member. 
  • Flower Girl → Flower Person/ Flower Child
    • This refreshed term allows for flexibility and inclusivity., whether it be an adult or someone who identifies with a different gender. 
  • Groom’s Cake → Second Cake 
    • This tradition is a fun way for one partner to celebrate the other after the main cake tasting, so it is also fitting to call it the “second cake.”
  • “You may kiss the bride” → “You may kiss your partner”
    • This famous phrase often concludes the ceremony and this makes it gender neutral while continuing to celebrate the union. 
  • “Please welcome for the first time, Mr. and Mrs…” → “Please welcome the newlyweds”
    • This announcement is an exciting time for the couple to officially be married and this phrase keeps the meaning and excitement while including all couples.

Making these inclusive changes to your wedding terminology creates an inclusive, joyful space for all. 

Additionally, here are a few helpful tips for planning an LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding.

Address Pronouns through Your Wedding Website. 

Use the Q&A section of your wedding website to express your preferred pronouns. Guests will appreciate knowing how to correctly address you and your to-be-wed.  Pay your guests the same respect by creating a custom question in the RSVP section of your wedding website that allows them to share the pronoun they identify with. This way you can also address wedding guests by their preferred pronouns in your wedding communications.

Partner with Wedding Pros that are LGBTQ+ Allies.

When selecting your wedding vendors, look for companies that represent and celebrate all types of couples on their own website and content, that publicly assert their commitments to equity and inclusion, or that display an Equally Wed badge to showcase they are an LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pro. Joy is a proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to wear the Equally Wed badge of honor.

Introduce Your Wedding Party Inclusively. 

While some wedding websites still have the wedding party separated by “bridesmaids” and “groomsmen,” Joy offers one section that includes everyone in your wedding party. You’re able to share photos of your wedding party, and fun or heartwarming tidbits about the special people in your lives, without having to apply gender labels to anyone.

Support the LGBTQ+ Community through your Registry.

Use your wedding registry to support the LGBTQ+ community. Add gifts from LGBTQ+-owned businesses (Joy’s All-in-One registry lets you easily add items from anywhere online), or create a charitable donation fund that guests can contribute to in lieu of buying you a gift that supports an LGBTQ+ philanthropy.

Make Your Website Uniquely You.

Get creative with your wedding website to showcase your love story and set the tone for your big day. Customize your website’s design, colors, photos, welcome message, event schedule, Q&A details, and the ‘Our Story’ section to paint the picture of your wedding and get guests excited about the big day.

The most important thing throughout your wedding planning and wedding website is that your big day feels authentic to you and your partner and you are able to create an inclusive, joyful celebration for all.

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