Wedding professionals, start your preparations. Spikes in same-sex weddings are imminent as a result of the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, says Diane Anderson-Minshall, executive editor of The Advocate, a leading gay news source.
“Some people are going to rush and get married immediately,” Anderson-Minshall says. She guesses others will begin planning their weddings now and next summer will see another wave of nuptial ceremonies.
While Anderson-Minshall says most often, a “wedding, is a wedding, is a wedding,” the survey found a few interesting differences between same-sex couples and their straight counterparts.
Only about 58 percent of same-sex couples, for example, said that they had a formal proposal, compared to 91 percent of straight couples. Anderson-Minshall says same-sex couples are likely to have discussed marriage due to legal and social issues before proposing.
“And then if you’ve already talked about these things, your romantic moments are going to happen somewhere else, maybe not around the proposal.”
Wedding planning responsibilities are more evenly divided between same-sex couples according to the survey. More than half who responded said they split planning duties, compared with 19 percent of straight couples. This egalitarian approach may be in part to same-sex couple’s increased likeliness to pay for the event themselves, says Anderson-Minshall. The majority of respondents, 86 percent, paid for their weddings, compared to 40 percent of straight couples. Though this statistic may be changing.
“I have a queer friend, who is marrying a transgendered man, and both of their parents are paying for the whole wedding,” Anderson-Minshall says. “This is new to me and my generation.”
Another tradition many same-sex couples have adapted is personalizing vows and readings. Same-sex couples are more likely to write their own vows — around 45 percent from the survey. Readings drawn from poetry and literature are also a popular alternative to Bible verses. Anderson-Minshall also knows couples who have used language from the Supreme Court opinions.
She imagines that couples will continue to make traditions their own.
“Maybe they are going to be the first generation of gay, lesbian and transgendered [couples] to have their dream weddings.”