The fourth annual International Wedding Trends Report is hot off the presses, just in time for you to become familiar with the hottest trends and what is in store for weddings in 2018.
I was honored to be asked to contribute to share my predictions for LGBTQ weddings (flip to page 112!). Overall, LGBTQ wedding trends are falling closer in line every year with those of weddings in general, and more so the farther we get from the 2015 landmark marriage equality legislation that legalized same-sex weddings in the U.S.
The average age at the time of marriage for same-sex couples compared to hetero couples is getting closer, as is the average length of planning (12-13 months). Yet, for all of their similarities to hetero weddings, same-sex weddings are still maintaining a style and flair of their own.
Here are few highlights of trends shared in the report from of our favorite equality-minded wedding pros:
Evolving Wedding Parties
The face of same-sex wedding parties is changing. Destination Weddings’ Megan Velez is finding that multi-gendered wedding parties are becoming more popular. “Couples no longer care what sex their bridesmaids or groomsmen are,” says Velez. “They just care that their closest friends and/or family are up there with them – man or woman!”
Love List member Sarah Pete Rizzi of Sincerely Pete and Wanderlust Wedco reports that LGBTQ couples are “doing away with wedding parties” altogether, but, “incorporating family more, such as having a family member officiate, read at the ceremony or provide special toasts.” They are also skipping the traditional vows and writing their own.
Focus on the Guest Experience
Much like couples in general, LGBTQ couples want highly personalized, highly engaging weddings. They don’t want their weddings to be typical, according to Chanda Daniels of A Monique Affair. We will see them request venues that guests have never been to, as well as customized stationery, “because they don’t want anything anyone else had,” says Daniels.
One can’t-miss experience for same-sex clients in 2018 is the extended after party. According to Velez, couples are requesting special accommodations to ensure that the dancing and fun can continue into the wee hours of the morning. Live entertainers like fire dancers and surprise singers make the after party one that no one will want to leave!
LGBTQ couples will continue to travel to say I Do, but will move away from all-inclusive resorts and instead create retreat weekends at U.S. destinations, like Charleston, Newport, Tahoe, New Orleans and Northern Michigan, or abroad in countries like Greece, Italy, Ireland, Iceland and Spain. “To personalize their experiences, couples rent large villas or buyout small boutique hotels and host all of their guests,” says Rizzi.
Daniels predicts that many same-sex couples will choose scenic Northern Californian vineyards in order to give their guests a unique wine experience. “Beautiful wineries as wedding venues paired with wine and amazing food will be seen a lot this coming season,” says Daniels.
Which 2018 LGBTQ wedding trends are you most looking forward to?