While all kinds of articles focused on specialty gay weddings, gay rings and gay marriage, alternative wedding ceremonies are nothing new. Throughout history, couples have found ways to customize their ceremonies to reflect their own personalities and the principles they hold dear. For some that has meant recreating ancient ceremonial rituals such as hand fasting and jumping the broom while, for others, it has meant incorporating Star Fleet directives and elements of Dr. Seuss.
Weddings with specific themes or which incorporate ancient rituals are becoming increasingly popular with every type of couple. LGBT couples find these alternative ceremonies especially appealing as they are finally able to plan their own dream wedding. Here we’ve gathered together 10 great gay and lesbian wedding ceremony ideas that run the gamut from pop-culture fun to truly traditional.
1. This One Time … At Wedding Camp ….
Nature lovers will fall all over themselves for a camp inspired wedding. As a bonus, it offers up endless opportunities for American Pie jokes for any friends who think camp is just a euphemism for sex. There are plenty of options for camping inspired cakes, decorations and invitations. Plan to have the ceremony outside either at a local state park or campground in order to give it that authentic feel. Most state and national parks have places you can reserve for a day and then bring in camping inspired tents and decorations to complete the picture.
Of course, no list of alternative themed weddings would be complete without a nod to the zombie and horror fans. Horror themed weddings have always been a bit on the fringe, but the rising popularity of movies like Twilight and shows like The Walking Dead have gone a long way to bringing frightening into the mainstream.
3. Medieval Times
No, not like the theme restaurant. Think instead of inspiration from Robin Hood, Monty Python’s Holy Grail and, of course, the insanely popular Game of Thrones. Or go truly Old School and have a wedding based on the practices and rituals of actual medieval weddings. In medieval weddings, brides normally worse blue which represented a transition of purity and the feasts after the ceremony often features specialty dishes and spiced wine – a tradition we still have today.
4. Grimm Fairy Tales
Combine a bit of Happily Ever After with a touch of Gothic darkness by incorporating the original elements of classic Fairy Tales into your ceremony. This can be done through decorations and Gothic fashion as well as incorporating the themes throughout your vows and choosing bright and colorful gay wedding bands that would would impress any fairy tale princess … or prince.
5. Video Games
Looking to include some lightheartedness into your ceremony and reception? Show off your geek pride by including elements from your favorite video games. This is perfect for the couple who doesn’t take things too seriously and loves to have a good time.
Maybe themes aren’t really your thing, but you still want to have a creative and memorable ceremony. Perhaps it’s not a theme you’re looking for, but instead a different and unique ceremony that is still memorable for guests. These ceremony options offer the perfect mix of eclectic and somber for couples who want to make an almost spiritual connection with guests.
6. Circle Ceremony
A circle ceremony can simply be that your guests sit surrounding you as opposed to one of each side of the aisle. It can be something a bit more involved. Drum and prayer circles can all be adapted to fit any combination of religious beliefs or to be entirely non-denominational but still spiritual.
7. Group Wedding
Since marriage equality remains relatively new, there are many couples just itching to finally walk down the aisle. Group weddings have sprung up as a way for LGBT couples to be a part of a public, peaceful demonstration and also ways for close friends to share a special, magical and long awaited moment.
Intercultural marriage was once seen as fairly taboo, particular when those cultures were separated by a number of rituals, customs and beliefs. Today, we know that two people coming together to start a life often means combining their own familial and cultural histories. Intercultural marriages offer a great way to honor each person’s ancestry while creating new traditions for their newly formed family.
Couples marrying from different faiths was once seen as revolutionary as same sex marriage is today. Now, of course, people coming together from different faiths isn’t seen as being much of an issue and couples who want to celebrate their individual beliefs often opt for an interfaith marriage which combines readings, rituals and traditions from each person’s faith into one cohesive ceremony.
Finally, of course, there is the ultimate private ceremony – elopement. For some LGBT couples this is exactly what they need – a chance to run off and get married by themselves without the worry, hassle or expense of putting together a more inclusive ceremony. Going this route doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate back home with family and friends – it just means the ceremony itself will be something the two of you share privately.