How to Plan an Affordable Same-Sex Wedding

July 6, 2022
6 min

In 2015, gay marriage was legalized in the USA. Finally, same-sex couples were given the opportunity to get married. Gay weddings can be fun and exciting, but they can also be expensive and daunting. We here at Courtly believe that celebrating your love shouldn’t be either of the two. So, relax! We’re here to help. 

Shall we start?

Tips on how to plan your beautiful and affordable same-sex wedding

1. Choose a location

Your wedding day is a very important day in your life, so be sure to choose a location that you love. Wedding locations can be an expression of the couple’s personalities.

There are two basic location types that couples can choose from: indoors and outdoors. Depending on the couple, these locations could also be religious or secular.

These locations show different sides of the couples getting married. Those who enjoy nature or the beach may decide to go with an outdoor wedding. Couples  that don’t have a religious affiliation may prefer to have a secular wedding as opposed to one in a church. 

Each location has its pros and cons. For example, outdoor weddings offer great views and scenery for the ceremony and reception but are very dependent on the weather. On the other hand, indoor weddings don’t have natural scenery but provide shelter in cases of bad weather. It’s best to weigh your options when deciding.

It could be on an exotic island, in your hometown, or even online. Whatever your decision is, make sure that your wedding location connects with who you are, both individually and as a couple. 

2. Find a venue that fits your needs and budget

At the beginning of this article, we said weddings can be expensive - but they don’t have to be. One factor in cheap same-sex wedding planning is finding the right venue. Make sure your venue can give you what you need it to. While it sounds obvious, you should choose a venue that lines up with the image of the wedding you have in your head. If you’re having a micro wedding for a more intimate atmosphere, then maybe go for a smaller venue that you can afford. 

When thinking about your budget, remember that some venues charge more than just rent. Depending on what is included in the package you’re selecting, some venues offer in-house catering, some packages also include decorations and floral arrangements which add to the cost of the venue.

You could also consider reaching out to friends and family members for help finding venues. Maybe someone could have a spot they could offer you or one you could get a deal on. 

Whether it be outdoors or indoors, it’s important to choose a venue that compliments and enhances the theme of your wedding. So whether it’s in your neighbors’ backyard or in an old church, make sure that the venue fits you and your needs.

3. Hire vendors who are LGBTQ-friendly

 Finding LGBTQ-friendly vendors can sound hard, especially if you live in a more conservative area. The good  news is that most ally vendors are vocal of their support for the community, so a quick Google search should lead you to them. 

Once you find some vendors, reach out to them to inquire about prices and see which ones can work in your budget. 

4. Determine the guest list - who do you want to share this day with you and your partner?

There’s no need to invite every single person you’ve ever met in your life. Sit down with your partner, and make a preliminary list of the people closest to you then expand from there - or don’t. It’s your special day, so invite the people you want to celebrate with.

In recent years, online weddings have been rising in popularity, with Zoom weddings allowing more people to attend your wedding without needing to be there in person. This could serve as an affordable alternative to having everyone attend in person, as this means you wouldn’t need to pay as much for catering.

If you’re doing a hybrid wedding, you can also make two guest lists: one list for those you want to be with you in person, and one for those who you wouldn’t mind joining online.

5.  Select an officiant - someone who can legally marry you and your partner

It’s important that you find an officiant that is legally allowed to marry you and your partner, who also shares your values. You can look around your local communities for officiants who would be willing to conduct the ceremony for what you can afford.

Another alternative is getting someone close to you and your partner registered to marry the two of you. This adds the additional benefit of having someone significant to you be an integral part in your celebration, but also can be more affordable and easier than finding an ordained minister.

If you need more help with this, we at Courtly are honored to marry couples of all backgrounds because love is love, and love wins.

6. Pick out your wedding attire - will it be traditional or more modern/casual?

Make sure that the clothes you wear at your wedding fit your style. On a day like this, why would you wear something that you feel uncomfortable in. Dress the way you feel confident, attractive and fully you in.

Whichever attire you pick, the fit and quality of the garment is the most important thing, so don’t feel pressured to buy the most expensive stuff. Some local clothing makers may offer some great options at cheaper prices than the more famous brands.

7. Create a ceremony and/or reception timeline to make sure everything runs smoothly

Having a timeline for the order of events will help ensure nothing will go wrong on the big day, letting you focus on what is important - you and your partner. This also makes sure people go to certain spaces on time and don’t overstay (which could add to additional fees depending on the venue).

8. Decorate your venue to reflect your personal style

You found a venue that fits your needs and your budget, now all that’s left is to make it feel like you. Make sure your venue fits who you and your partner are as people and together. That wayway your guests, and you, can really celebrate the magical moment.

Decorating your venue can easily make a cheaper smaller venue feel special. From the floral arrangements to the color of the tablecloth, take full advantage of the opportunity to express your style.

9. Determine what type of wedding you want

This whole article has been about how to plan your no fuss, affordable gay wedding. The most important part of the wedding though, is you. Make sure it’s the kind of wedding that you want.

Traditional weddings are wonderful, and if that’s what you want, then absolutely go for it. Let yourself fully enjoy the traditions and wedding flow you’ve always wanted.

If you don’t want a traditional wedding, don’t feel pressured to have one. Gay weddings are a great opportunity to change things up, to do your own thing.

Whatever you decide, make sure it’s the one for you.

Oh, and remember - have fun! It’s a day for you and your partner to celebrate each other. This shouldn’t be so stressful that you stop being excited for it.

Bonus Tip:

This is one of many big days you’ll have. Don’t expect it to be perfect. Make sure you enjoy the moment and your day.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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