In March 2020 I marry my best friend and soul mate, who is a woman.
I believe huge progress has been made over the past few years in the UK for LGBTQ+ acceptance and visibility. I came out 6/7 years ago & in that time i’ve seen people go from not being able to understand the LGBTQ+ community, to celebrating it with us at pride events. When I was first coming out, I only knew of a very small handful of gay people. Now it seems people are less ashamed to hide who they are, and more and more people ‘know someone who is gay’.
” ‘oh is it a double wedding?’ – Who actually has a double wedding? “
However there is still a lot of confusion and arrogance towards LGBTQ+ people getting married, especially for a same sex couple. Whether that’s because the LGBTQ+ community make up a fraction of the UK. So, the amount of LGBTQ+ people getting married is even smaller. There just isn’t the representation of same sex marriage, especially in the media.
When you think about it, homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1967. The UK has had over 50 years to accept the idea of homosexuals. Same sex marriage was only legalized in 2014, it took 47 years to get to that point. So there may be a long way to go before the idea of same sex marriage is more widely accepted.
Since being engaged my fiancée and I have been to a good handful of wedding fairs and unfortunately, they haven’t always been a pleasant experience. As a lesbian couple, explaining to suppliers and event staff that we are both the bride and that we’re marrying each other. It’s had some interesting reactions and frankly level of arrogance that is still present towards same sex marriage from people within the wedding industry is ridiculous and unacceptable
The most frequent comment we’ve had after explaining were both getting married, on the same date is ‘oh is it a double wedding?’ – Who actually has a double wedding? And why does the idea of a double wedding seem to be the most logical answer. Like the idea of us actually marrying each other seems absurd and as I said, this is coming from professionals within the wedding industry. You would think, 4 years into the legalization of same sex marriage, these people would be a little more clued up.
On one occasion, we attended a wedding fair in Poole, my fiancée was completely ignored by staff after explaining she was a bride and we we’re both getting married. One wedding supplier had been going through her wedding photography packages. When we told her we’re marrying each other, she responded stating her civil ceremony packages are cheaper if it’s not a wedding.
And worst of all, we have had family members, who we had believed were supportive of our relationship, not agree to our engagement. Our initial engagement was unfortunately ruined by a huge family feud – due to people who could not ‘accept’ this decision. However those same people had previously encouraged us to get a 40 year mortgage together for our first home. But I guess, that’s all behind closed doors and a ring on your finger, gets people asking questions and is much more visible.
“For now, we’re on the hunt for wedding items are aren’t ‘Mr & Mrs’.”
On a positive note though, we have met some lovely supportive people along the way. We have booked suppliers who have been previously done a same sex wedding. Or have not yet had the chance to but would like the opportunity to showcase all types of love on their portfolio.
We’ve booked our wedding venue, who we’re very excited to have us, we did have to ask if they are ok with a same sex wedding as there wasn’t a single representation of a same sex wedding on their website or gallery – so maybe, we can be their models. For now, we’re on the hunt for wedding items are aren’t ‘Mr & Mrs’.
Edited by Charlotte Summers
I’m Nic, a twenty something lesbian living in Bournemouth UK. I’m an advocate for all things LGBT and Mental Health. I’m a bride to be, marrying my best friend in 2020