Non-binary wedding planning tips
Shoshy Cadoodle wedding vow books for a non-binary couple.
Planning a wedding as a non-binary person? Or maybe your partner identifies as gender fluid? Or maybe you both identify as gender queer? However you identify, when starting to plan your wedding, you may find yourself in situations that feel awkward, because, let's face it, the wedding industry can put a pretty heavy focus on sticking to gender norms and heteronormativity. This can be really frustrating if you're a gender queer; gender fluid or non-binary person. In this article I'm going to cover some tips for handling your wedding planning and look into some traditional aspects of a wedding... some of which you might decide you want to skip all together, which is totally cool, and brings me to my number one tip.
Do it your way.
Perhaps you're not yet engaged, but want to get married. People often talk of romantic proposals, where a man typically gets down on one knee, in an elaborately planned situation, where the woman is totally surprised. Let's pause right there. Why is it that the person who is male identifying, is expected to do the proposing and the female identifying partner is supposed to be on the receiving end of the proposal and the diamond ring? I don't know! But my point is, you can get engaged any way that resonates with you, maybe that does happen to involve an elaborate, whisk-you-off-your-feet kind of proposal, but it doesn't have to. Maybe becoming engaged is something that is a result of many a heart felt conversation over your views on marriage and your future together. Maybe you'll find yourself in a double proposal situation, where you both end up proposing together at the same time, planned or unplanned! But my advice is start as you mean to go on, and do what's right for you. Take this sentiment and apply it to your whole wedding, from the wedding planning, to the day of the wedding itself.
Find the right vendors
Look for wedding professionals that understand your gender identity. You might want to have a conversation with them about it to gauge their perception of what it means to be non-binary. This could help you filter out those that get it, and those that don't. Or, you could look for wedding vendors that have been recommended to you by a non-binary friend, or even search for wedding vendors who are non-binary themselves. Another alternative is looking for vendors who describe themselves as LGBTQ+ or LGBTQ+ friendly. However, sadly even some members of the LGBTQ+ community lack understanding for non-binary people, so it can be difficult, which is why you might need to have a conversation about it before you book with them. You want to build a team around you that makes you feel amazing, so it's worth taking time out to be sure of who you're booking with. Even if a vendor doesn't understand immediately, the important thing to look for, is someone who is willing to learn, is open minded and really wants to get things right for you and show you the respect and acceptance you deserve.
Ask for and accept help
Supportive friends and family might have already offered you help for your wedding, which is awesome! Take them up on that offer, whether it's helping you find your wedding outfit or look for your perfect venue. If they haven't offered, they'd most likely feel honoured if you ask them for help with your special day. The only thing I would say about this is to be considerate to them, especially if they're offering to do a favour for you that is utilising one of their professional skills. For example, if your cousin is a cake maker, offer to pay your cousin to make your cake, and don't expect for them to make it for free because you're family. This might be obvious to you already, but I feel it's worth stating as even though you're family/friends, they need to feel supported too! If they're kind enough to offer you a discount, or offer you something in lieu of a wedding present, then that's amazingly generous. Just don't expect it, just because of your relationship with them, as you wouldn't want them to feel taken advantage of.
Having friends and family help you with your wedding can be wonderful, even if they're just there for emotional support. Wedding planning as a non-binary person can, at times, be both challenging and tiring. They can support you if you're overwhelmed at the amount of people (often strangers or acquaintances you don't know so well) asking you those typical wedding planning questions that might not even apply to you. e.g.
"Have you picked out your wedding dress yet?"
"Is the groom helping you plan?"
"What are you doing for your hen party/stag/bachelor/bachelorette party?"
"How many bridesmaids do you have?"
"Who's doing your make up?"
Most people really don't mean anything negative when they ask you these questions, however, it can still feel draining to you, having to decide how to answer questions like this constantly. Having a team of people around you that understand how you feel can lift you up and help you power on through!
Have your say
I'd love to hear if you have any opinions on wedding traditions, if you planning to skip any or create your own. So do comment on this blog post if you have something to add. I would also love to learn from you. Is there anything in this article that I haven't covered when it comes to the challenges of non-binary wedding planning? Is there anything you agree or don't agree with? Please let me know.
I'd also be happy to help with your save the dates or wedding invitations if you're opting for wedding stationery and want someone who will listen to what you really want and need.
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