It’s hard to believe that almost five years have passed since same sex marriage became a reality in the Republic of Ireland. I still remember the sense of pride and elation I felt when the country voted in favour of marriage equality in the 2015 referendum! And with same sex marriage now also legally recognised in Northern Ireland (as of January 2020), LGBTQI+ and same sex weddings are finally a reality across the whole island. Here at Tara Fay weddings we are huge supporters of marriage equality, and we love helping all our couples make their dream day a reality, whoever they choose to love.
The Marriage Act 2015 applies to civil ceremonies, which can take place in a huge variety of venues across Ireland. For example, castles, hotels, manor houses and museums. You can also opt for a Humanist ceremony for same sex weddings in Ireland (which can include outdoor locations). If you would like to get married on a private estate (ceremony venues must be open to the public), you can also choose to have a small legal ceremony and follow it with a symbolic ceremony in a location of your choice. Windswept cliff tops, fields, woodlands… wherever your imagination takes you!
While same sex weddings in Ireland are identical to opposite sex weddings in the most important way (i.e. legal status), it’s up to you how traditional you want your celebration to be. In fact, LGBTQI+ couples often feel less restricted when it comes to the details of the day, allowing us to create a day for them that feels completely personal. You make the rules! Here are a few elements to consider.
What to wear
Two tuxes? Two dresses? Matching or not? The answer is: whatever will make you feel incredible. There are a huge range of options, from dresses to suits to uniquely complementary ensembles. The most important thing is that each of you feels comfortable and confident. And, while you can choose to wear the same thing or matching versions, there are also lots of other ways to make your outfits coherent, from colours and fabrics to the flowers you carry or the accessories you wear.
Heterosexual Christian wedding ceremonies have a number of traditions, and many are defined by gender. For example, the bride’s family sit on the left, and the groom waits for the bride at the top of the aisle. With same sex weddings, you get to build the ceremony that best fits you as a couple. For example, you could walk down the aisle together, or towards each other from opposite directions. You also don’t need to include heteronormative phrases in your vows. Write your own, and personalise your ceremony with readings and music that you love.
There are lots of other wedding traditions that are defined by gender, and you can reimagine these exactly as you wish. For example, you can dispense with the bouquet and garter toss, or turn it into something new. You can have bridesmen and groomsmaids, a shared wedding party, or no entourage at all. You might also choose to have a first look, or to get ready together. It’s your wedding; your rules. And the same goes for your pre-wedding events, like hen parties and stag dos!
Whatever you decide on, remember this is your love, and your relationship that is being honoured. And, while all couples struggle with the expectations of family and friends, the most important thing is to focus on what matters to you as a couple.
I can’t wait to welcome more gorgeous couples home to Ireland for their same sex weddings in 2021 and beyond!
Slán go Fóill,
Images by Eric Kelley