LGBT+ weddings are like heteronormative weddings in many ways–except there’s one major standout: the individuality is fierce and unapologetic. Photographing LGBT+ weddings is like coming up for fresh air. Couples tend to customize nearly all parts of their day, skirting the traditional route. Since I started photographing weddings, LGBT+ wedding trends have changed quite a bit. Yet some trends have stood the test of time. Here are my favorite timeless LGBT+ wedding trends:
Traveling to Tahoe to tie the knot + honeymoon
If you follow me on IG (@laurenlindleyphoto), you know traveling (in general, and) for destination weddings is my jam. But there’s something special about LGBT+ couples who come to Tahoe to get married.
Tahoe and California, in general, has been and is a safe and legal place for same-sex couples to get married and celebrate their love without having to worry about their safety. Plus, for couples looking for non-religious venues, the options are vast.
Better yet, LGBT+ couples who get married, whether in Tahoe or other nearby California destinations, love honeymooning here as well!
I’m happy to recommend non-religious venues, officiants, and local vendors who publicly uphold values in support of the LGBT+ community–just ask!
Smaller, more intimate ceremonies
While having a small (50 or so guests) to large (250+ guests) destination wedding is common, elopements and small circle weddings are rare gems. Many LGBT+ weddings I photograph are intimate: the couple is deeply focused on each other, less worried about entertaining guests.
Many couples choose to walk themselves, individually or together, down the aisle.
Some also choose not to have a wedding party or to have just one person of honor.
Like a concert, but better, LGBT+ ceremonies often include guest participation. Usually, the guests have been a part of many of the trials the couple has overcome–including acceptance in their communities. It’s no surprise that some couples choose to include their beloved guests in their vows. Before exchanging (usually non-gendered) vows, some couples invite their guests to support their union through a “we do” response. Don’t worry, it’s not a Rocky Horror list of callbacks to remember, there are usually just a few.
Whether it’s just the couple and officiant (+ me as witness!) or a small circle of loved ones, LGBT+ weddings set the standard for intimate, unforgettable weddings.
Name changing and name staying
More than any other couples, LGBT+ couples love to get crafty with name changing. Whether they choose to take one name, both names, hyphenate, come up with a combination of two, or a new one altogether, it’s a conscious, loving choice–not a given.
Although, I’m also seeing more couples choose to keep their names (way to skip the hassle!). If you aren’t sure if you should keep, change or hyphenate your names, here’s another post with suggestions on all your name options (and a few surprising ones).
Ultimately, my favorite, evergreen timeless LGBT+ wedding “trend” is that there’s a strong and unmistakable sense of partnership, all roles and expectations aside. The guests feel it, the vendors feel it, and there’s a distinct joy we feel in being a part of your union.
Lauren Lindley is Lake Tahoe wedding photographer, also available for elopements and family portraits in the greater Northern CA Area. She also services New Orleans, LA, Dallas, TX, and Austin, TX. Have camera: will travel. She is available to provide services for weddings across the U.S. and worldwide. She specializes in capturing artistic portraits paired with unique storytelling moments to produce photojournalism based wedding photography with classic, clean and vibrant images. Lauren Lindley is currently booking weddings from 2020 and 2021 in Lake Tahoe, CA and other destinations worldwide.
Not looking for LGBT+ wedding trends? You can find other LGBT+ resources on my blog.