Wedding 101

Courtesy of Life Design Event Planning, Nov. 6, 2014.

Since Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage was declared unconstitutional Oct. 17, 2014, the 31st state to achieve marriage equality had been buzzing with celebrations of love.

While this is a moment our community has been waiting decades for, the sudden change in law has left some couples asking, "now what?

The world of weddings is historically heterocentric, with many traditions that date back centuries. And because same-sex marriage is a relatively new concept, there are not a lot of resources to help couples their non-hetero dream wedding.

Here are 7 tips to help ensure your wedding successfully reflects you and your spouse to be:


Decide up front how much you are comfortable spending and then stick to it! So many couples forget to do this. Instead, they get excited and fall in love with the first reception venue or first photographer they check out. Overspending early in the planning process makes for a very stressful situation two weeks prior to the wedding when you're trying to figure out how to feed all 200 guests with the leftover budget scraps.


Before you do anything else, you should talk about whether or not you want to hire a wedding planner. A good planner an investment (which could cost $5,000 or more), so if you don't have the time or expertise to plan your big day this could be the most important money you spend.


This might be the most difficult part, but it is something you need to do early on to make sure it's clear from the get go. Keep in mind that each guest will represent a dollar amount spent on your wedding and one way to control costs is to control the guest count. 


Are you going for intimate and luxurious? A casual bash with all friends and family? Will it be outdoors or inside? Each of these things are important for your vendors to know, so you should make these decisions as a team before you start shopping around.


Now that you know what you want to spend, what you want it to look and feel like, and how many guests you're inviting, you can start interviewing vendors. Some vendors are not going to be very excited about the new laws in Arizona and they can deny service to gay couples. So, if you want to know which vendors you can trust, go to and find gay friendly wedding vendors who are excited to work with you!


There are no rules when it comes to choosing who will stand with you during your ceremony – think about who is nearest and dearest to you and go from there. You can choose any combination of guys or girls and you don't need to have an equal amount on both sides. Your wedding party can and should be as unique as you are.


Both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license. You will both be required to provide a valid government-issued photo ID. There is no waiting list, so you can be married on the same day you apply for your license, and you will receive the license on the spot (the license expires one year from the date of purchase). For more information on where to obtain a marriage license, visit

Lastly, don’t turn into bridezillas and groomzillas! You don't have to rush down to courthouse and you can have a dream wedding on any budget.

Congratulations to all of you engaged couples and happy planning!

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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