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GLBT weddings: who wears what?

by | 16 August 2014 | Wedding Apparel

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender weddings are a relatively new affair to the wedding world. And because of that newness, conventions haven’t had a chance to blossom. But that’s definitely not a bad thing. The fact that there isn’t a skeletal wedding-day structure (yet) means tying the knot as a same sex, bisexual or transgender couple can be whatever you want it to be.

Some couples embrace the traditional tropes of marriage and incorporate them into their big day. Others might have an equal balance of tradition paired with their own creative flair. And some ignore tradition completely, making the most of that blank canvas. However the wedding pans out, there’s always one common question that seems to crop up: ‘What am I going to wear?’

And the answer? Whatever you want. If you’re recently engaged or in the middle of planning your wedding, what you wear comes down to the type of person you are and what you feel comfortable in.

Don’t feel pressured by stereotypical values or tradition

Some lesbian and bisexual couples take the more traditional approach to wedding attire: one might wear a dress (it doesn’t necessarily have to be white and puffy) and the other might wear a suit. But don’t feel like you have to. If you both want to wear matching dresses or suits, then go for it. You can even mix tradition with your own taste like my lesbian friends did last year. They aren’t into dresses, so they both wore matching tailored suits but with different coloured ties, socks and shoes. They looked gorgeous and the splashes of colour was a nice nod to their individual personalities.

Gay couples might also want to wear the same outfit, or they could go for two very unique looks that complement each other and their wedding theme. And transgender couples could take their wedding attire wherever they want. They might go down the androgynous route, or turn up the feminine or masculine aspect with a frothy, white gown with an endless train or a shiny black tuxedo with a stiff, starchy collar. Tuxedos are a popular choice for trans-men because they not only make the wearer look handsome, they also symbolise both a ‘gentleman’ and ‘playboy’. But they’re not the only option to amp up the masculine side of your personality.

Pick an outfit that works with the climate

If you’re getting married in the heat of summer, you don’t want to be sweating in heavy fabrics and dark colours as you say your vows and dance the night away. If you both plan to wear a suit, you might want to look into lighter colours and materials, like white linen or cotton. Or you could have a bit of fun with it and don a smart look on top and shorts on the bottom.

The type of ceremony you have can impact on what you wear

Another factor to consider is the nature of the wedding. If a couple are having a civil ceremony at the city hall, they might choose to wear more business-looking outfits. Think suit and tie, daytime dress or co-ordinated tops and bottoms.

If the ceremony has a religious aspect to it, couples might go for a more conservative, traditional look. Or if the ceremony is the coming together of two people from very different religious backgrounds, they might each want to pay homage to the other’s faith. There’s no need to look exactly the same, but it’s really worth looking at ways your outfits can complement each other.

As you can see, there’s no set way in who wears. Many couples create unique styles that suit their personalities and the type of ceremony they’re having. And some eschew any part of tradition. Whatever you do, remember that it’s your wedding day. Your outfit should represent who you are, and you should feel comfortable wearing it. If you feel like you have to surrender to tradition or stereotype, then shake it off and remember, there are no set rules.

If you’ve recently tied the knot with your partner, we’d love to hear what you both wore and why. Let us know in the comments box below.


About the author

Jo Wigley

From her word-nerd studio (way) down under in New Zealand, the copywriter in Jo crafts websites, advertising campaigns, scripts, blogs and brochures for businesses across the world. While the creative consultant in her helps brands, big and small, find their voice in one heck of a noisy world.


Wedding Apparel GLBT weddings: who wears what?