Wedding Pride: Planning your dream day
The slate is clean. Now is the time to create new traditions
On May 23rd it became official. 1,201,607 people voted yes and Ireland became the first country in the world to make same-sex marriage legal by popular vote. Party time in the cities and towns around Ireland. When the dust had settled, many same-sex couples, without hesitation, began to formulate plans for their own dream wedding day.
"This is an exciting time for same sex couples", says Wedding Planner extraordinaire Bláithín O'Reilly Murphy (theweddingexpert.ie). Bláithín has over 10 years of experience in the wedding industry and during that time has planned hundreds of weddings & events for couples from all over the world. She says that Ireland voting 'yes' has given same-sex couples a clean marriage slate. They are free to create their own wedding traditions for the very first time in Ireland.
"Same-sex couples essentially get to write the book themselves now," she says. "There is no real precedent specific to this kind of scenario. I am very much looking forward to working with these couples and hearing the different ideas that they will have."
In fact, Bláithín says that she started to receive wedding enquiries from LGBT couples even before the 'yes' vote had officially come to pass.
"Prior to the referendum we began to notice an increase in enquiries for same-sex ceremonies from couples who are exploring their options. That has continued since the referendum which has been great to see. And for me it is very exciting to be able to work with these couples and help them to become properly married."
But how does planning a same-sex wedding differ from planning a heterosexual wedding?
Rosie Meleady (www.theweddingplanner.ie) has been planning weddings in Ireland and around the world for 12 years. She says that there are some subtle differences in the planning process.
"As there is no set etiquette, it is really up to the couple to decide what they want to do. Everything is up for discussion. Traditionally, a bride walks up the aisle to meet the groom. Often same-sex couples like to walk up the aisle together - this has been the case in the majority of the same-sex ceremonies that I have planned. However, other couples prefer to walk up separately and they can decide who walks up first and who goes second. Usually the couple gets a huge amount of enjoyment from planning things like the processional and a lot of thought does go into it."
There is much to consider, but Rosie says that the happiness of the couple must always stay in focus.
"Sometimes the couple will want to wear the same attire. Two brides might want to wear two different dresses. One might want to wear a suit while the other might want to wear a dress. It's about making things as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
"The ceremonies that I have planned so far have been great fun to plan. They are a great celebration because they have been waiting so long to get married and commit to each other with their family and friends."
"Heterosexual or same-sex it doesn't matter, every wedding is different," adds Bláithín. "What matters most is the couple themselves and what they want.
"From my experience, often with a same-sex ceremony the couple tend not to be as traditional in their ideas or décor. They often tend to inject much more personality into their weddings. And many couples are a bit more creative sometimes in their choice of colours and selections of what they do and what they wear. Their personalities often tend to shine through more in the choices that they make which is lovely to see."