Lesbian couple at the wedding altar

10 Trends Transform the LGBTQ Destination Wedding

How LGBTQ Couples Are Personalizing Their Weddings

Today, LGBTQ couples are not only choosing popular U.S. destinations for their weddings, but several international cities and countries are also rolling out the welcome mat for a happy couple who wants to travel abroad to tie the knot. LGBTQ couples are also customizing their wedding ceremony to reflect their own unique tastes in a variety of ways. We’ve pulled together 10 trends reshaping the idea of what the perfect destination wedding is for LGBTQ couples. 

Non-Traditional Locations

LGBTQ couples usually seek out resorts, properties and vendors that are accepting to the community. So, it’s not surprising that Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and U.S. destinations, including Hawaii and Florida, have been some of the most popular wedding destinations for LGBTQ couples, who are usually very independent and older when they’re getting married. Having a destination wedding on a beautiful secluded island or the place where you first met one another is a possibility as a LGBTQ couple because you don’t have to worry about inviting everyone if you’re intentions are to invite supportive relatives and your chosen family for a small wedding party size. 

Married lesbian couple on a ranch posing near a horse.
non-traditional locations - LGBTQ couples are exchanging their wedding vows in venues that have some significance to both partners. 

Sharing the Aisle

Walking down the aisle together, rather than being escorted by a family member, is growing in popularity for couples of any gender. It can be a powerful signal of union and equality within the marriage. Some couples are skipping the processional altogether, having their guests walk in to see them already waiting at the end of the aisle.

Couple walking hand in hand
Side by side - Instead of walking down the aisle with their parents, some couples have opted to make the journey to the altar together.

Industry Changes  Cater to LGBTQ Couples

The wedding industry continues to be sensitive, flexible and provide equality to LGBTQ couples. Wedding pros are offering couples more options that cater to their beliefs and expectations, which includes wedding attire and formalities that take place during the big wedding day.

Gay male couple holding their son in front of their wedding guests
industry changes - Travel specialists are doing whatever they can to accommodate LGBTQ couples, as well as their family and friends, to ensure that it's moment that everyone can enjoy. 

Mixed-Gender Bridal Parties

According to a recent survey from The Knot, only 20 percent of LGBTQ couples had all-male or all-female parties. You’re more likely to see a mix of genders when it comes to the wedding party standing beside the happy couple exchanging their vows. And if you’re looking for a gender-neutral name for your wedding party, our recommendation is to call them “honor attendants” rather than bridesmaids or groomsmen. Not limiting bridal parties by gender is not only a growing trend, but it’s also a way to include your closest friends regardless of how they identify themselves. 

Grooms and their bridesmaids
mixed Wedding Party - Wedding parties have become mixed gender, which means the wedding party may not be all-male or all-female anymore. 

Getting Ready Together

Skip the surprise of seeing your significant other for the first time as he or she walks down the aisle. A popular new trend is getting ready together for your big wedding day. After all, getting dressed up can be one of the most enjoyable parts of a wedding. It really is all about you both, so why not spend more time together before your ceremony. It can also be useful to get your partner’s opinion on attire before the day arrives, and making sure you both look your absolute best.

Groomsmen fixes his partner's bow tie.
get dressed together - Ensure that you both look your best and get dressed together. It also allows you to spend more time together on your big day!

Sit Where You Want

Often when you go to a traditional wedding, most guests are seated based on which person in the happy couple they may know as a sign of support. But times have changed and now it doesn’t matter if you sit on the “groom’s side” and “bride’s side” of the aisle. These differentiators have become an antiquated concept and often a bit awkward. What if one party has more attendees? What if a guest accidentally sits on the wrong side? More and more couples are encouraging guests to sit where they want during the ceremony, which gives people an opportunity to mix and mingle with new people.

Gay male couple hugging at the altar and surrounded by friends and family.
sit where you want - Guests no longer have to sit on a specific side of the aisle. Mix and mingle with other friends and family members to celebrate the union of two important people.

Personalized LGBTQ Wedding Ceremony

Many couple are customizing their wedding ceremony to make it uniquely personal. For a double ring ceremony, consider having the rings passed around among friends and family for them to make a silent wedding wish. For a beach wedding, family and friends can simultaneously toss shells into the sea as a way to wish a couple best wishes as they embark on their new chapter together. LGBTQ couples can also seal a box that contains a bottle of wine and a love letter written by each other to serve as a reminder of their commitment to one another and to be opened on their 5th wedding anniversary. Join the growing trend by commemorating your special day with creative unforgettable moments.

Lesbian couple happy after getting married
personalized Ceremony - Couples are now taking the initiative to personalize their wedding ceremony so that it's not only a memorable moment for them, but it's also an unforgettable experience for their guests.

Increase in Cultural Weddings

More LGBTQ couples are “owning” who they are completely, including their culture and ethnic heritage. There continues to be an increase in cultural weddings such as Jewish and South Asian. And gone are the days of the cookie-cutter destination wedding with couples bringing their own style and traditions for their walk down the aisle. And resorts are welcoming couples from all types of backgrounds and catering to couples looking for more customized weddings with unique experiences.

Indian bride and bridesmaid preparing for a wedding
cultural weddings - LGBTQ couples can celebrate who they are completely (ethnically and culturally) by incorporating traditions and  creating cultural experiences as part of the wedding ceremony. 

Go High-Tech to Share Special Moments

Couples are using video sharing apps (like WedPics) or group chat apps (such as WhatsApp) to make sure their family and friends, wherever they are, feel included in the celebration. Livestream your wedding using a personalized hashtag on Instagram so that the anyone can watch the fun as it happens. And if you don’t want everyone to see, there are password-protected websites and apps to keep out people with prying eyes.

People taking photos during wedding reception
go high-tech -  Apps and online services have provided a unique way to share those special wedding moments especially for family and friends who may not be able to attend a couple's destination wedding.

Non-Traditional Attire

Gone are the days when you the bride and groom have to wear a traditional tux and wedding dress. LGBTQ couple recognize that this traditional wedding attire may not fit their style or story. Expect more couples to opt for custom suits, tuxedos, dress, etc. in non-traditional styles and colors. This is their big day and the biggest party they will ever throw – why not wear something unique that makes you feel like a million bucks or will create memorable moments that neither of you will soon forget. 

Customize your perfect LGBTQ destination wedding. One of Vacation’s on-call travel experts will match you with a LGBTQ travel specialist, who can tailor the dream wedding itinerary that you both deserve.

Lesbian couple dressed in non-traditional wedding attire
non-traditional attire - Some LGBTQ couples still continue to wear traditional attire, but more couples are wearing what they want, which can set a free and fun tone for wedding celebration.
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