Planning an LGBTQ wedding? We’ve got advice on talking to your officiant, booking a photo booth and what NOT to play.
I Now Pronounce You
When a couple asks you to officiate their wedding, you may feel flattered but also unnerved. Officiating is a big responsibility that puts you at the center of someone else’s major life event. We talked to several people who have taken on the task to get gather their top tips on the art of joining two people in matrimony.
It’s crucial you have the proper certification far enough in advance of the wedding to put the happy couple at ease. But you need not worry if you haven’t had a chance to attend a seminary.There are a variety of expedient options; the nondenominational online ministry Universal Life Church is perhaps the most well known option. Begin the process at themonastary.org.
Mapping Out Your Ceremony
When you sit down with the bride and groom to plan the ceremony, you have two main tasks. The first is to figure out what traditional parts of the wedding ceremony you will include (e.g., exchanges of vows and rings) and what form will they take (i.e., Will religious language be used?). From there, you can begin adding bells and whistles — readings and tributes by loved ones, acknowledgments of those in attendance, and, of course, music.
To help gently steer the couple away from cliché, you may want to present them with a few ideas. Shakespeare, Lorca, Whitman, Neruda and Rumi are great writers to consider incorporating. Anecdotes and stories from the couple’s personal history can also liven up a ceremony, but keep them light and fun.
After the service, don’t forget to have your grooms sign their marriage license, mail one copy to the county and one to the happy couple.
Find LGBTQ-Friendly Resources
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- Finding a Great LGBT-Friendly Therapist or Counselor in NYC
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Looking for something fun for guests to do between showing off their dance skills and indulging during the Viennese hour? Consider having friends and family create instant memories in a wedding photo booth.
Your first step will be to decide whether you want an open or closed booth. Closed are more like the vintage photo booths you’ll find at arcades: intimate, enclosed spaces with a curtain and room for a few people at most. Open booths are more like photo shoots: There’s usually a big (sometimes customizable) backdrop and a photo area that can potentially accommodate over 10 partygoers at once. They also allow other guests to enjoy the spectacle of watching people pose. Whether you’re going open or closed, ask whether the provider will offer props (always fun) and on-site attendants during the reception (often necessary).
As for the results: You may have a soft spot in your hearts for classic photo-booth print-outs that plop out of a slot, three or four poses at a time. But nowadays, the options can be far more varied. Some services record videos or offer suitable-for-framing 4-by-6-inch prints on site. Some will help design a personalized event graphic or logo to appear on all prints. You can even find booths that allow guests to instantly access the files via their smartphones so they can start sharing them on social media right away. Meanwhile, newlyweds may want a service that offers you the entire evening’s shots in high-resolution format on a CD or USB drive or the ability to convert favorite shots into thank-you cards or custom wall art.
You don’t need to approve every track of your DJ’s playlist, but — unless you want your wedding dance floor to turn into a hackneyed festival of the Hokey Pokey, the Chicken Dance and “Who Let the Dogs Out?” — you might consider offering some guidance in the form of a “Do Not Play” list. We put together a sample list of 10 tracks we’ve recently heard spun at weddings that we think are too sappy, too raunchy or just plain played out:
1 “Electric Boogie” (The Electric Slide) – Marcia Griffiths
2 “Celebration” – Kool & the Gang
3 “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge
4 “I Gotta Feeling” – Black Eyed Peas
5 “Angel” – Sarah Mclachlan
6 “Y.M.C.A.” – Village People
7 “Drop It Like It’s Hot” – Snoop Dogg
8 “My Heart Will Go On” – Celine Dion
9 “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
10 “Temperature” – Sean paul
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Last modified: August 20, 2019