As of 2017—just two years after the Supreme Court ruling—over 1 million LGBTQ+ Americans got married. And while no official study has been conducted since, that number is surely still rising. (Clearly, if you’re here reading this blog post!) As you and your fiancé plan your special day, the opportunities to show your pride are endless, which can be overwhelming! To get your creativity flowing, we’ve come up with a spectrum of ways to showcase your pride—from subtle to civil-rights-inspired. All these ideas are easy to implement, without skimping on the pride.
Before we get started, please note that we use rainbows to represent the overarching LGBTQ+ community. However, you can replace the colors of the rainbow with the colors that best reflect your sexuality or gender identity to celebrate LGBTQ+ pride in a personal way. This is, after all, your special day!
1) Rainbow Cake
A rainbow layered cake is a fun, subtle way to celebrate your LGBTQ+ pride. Ask your cake designer to create a matching multi-colored exterior. Or invoke the element of surprise with a white fondant outer layer, so the inside colors really pop. Make sure you discuss flavors beforehand, though, because certain flavors might not mix well with the food coloring. For example, if you have your heart set on a chocolate cake, the lighter colors, like yellow and orange, might not show up. However, plain ol’ vanilla isn’t your only option. Instead, consider a lemon cake for your summer wedding, or coconut pecan for the wintertime.
2) Coordinated Ties or Pocket Squares
Are you having a large wedding party? Coordinate everyone’s ties, pocket squares, or shoes to form a rainbow when they’re up at the altar. Give the first groomsmen or bridesmaid something red, the second something orange, then yellow, all the way until purple. When they all stand together in photos, they will form the colors of the rainbow. For super large wedding parties, incorporate all eight colors from the very first rainbow flag, or include you and your spouse to complete the colors.
3) Don’t Forget Violet
The violet flower and color have symbolized lesbianism and bisexuality among women since the 600s B.C. Attributed to the writings of lyrical poet Sappho, it was originally used as a code to represent her love for other women. Although modern scholars still debate her sexuality, there are many writings where Sappho longed for maidens—even some who wore violet flower crowns. Since then, purple has been embraced by the LGBTQ+ community to represent spirit (on the rainbow flag) and community (on the asexuality flag).
You can incorporate violet into your special day with the color, of course. Simply don purple shoes, a patterned shirt, or bold tie. Or, you can explore the flavors of purple with lavender. Serve a lavender-flavored cake, and create lavender centerpieces with candles and flowers.
4) Words From a LGBTQ+ Writer
Whether you’re writing your own vows, printing formal programs, or hanging decorative signs throughout the venue, it can be difficult to use your own words. And the good news is—you don’t have to! Celebrate your love with words from eloquent LGBTQ+ writers. Because Sappho is often viewed as a symbol of female homosexuality, many couples schedule a poetry reading into their ceremony. Or you can choose from the works of Audre Lorde, Andrea Gibson, Allen Ginsberg, and any other LGBTQ+ writer you resonate with!
Some couples even choose to recite parts of the Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage, or write out a line or two on a sign, to celebrate the civil rights victory. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s final statement sums up the sanctity of marriage between two people—any two people:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were….They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
5) Invite Supportive Guests
It may be 2019, but that unfortunately doesn’t mean that every friend or family member is going to be supportive. Your wedding is about you and your partner—and no one else. Only invite guests who are going to be supportive and loving on your special day. This might be difficult, and we certainly hope you have loving people in your lives to help you through it! But you shouldn’t have to worry about any negativity or drama during one of the happiest days of your life.
6) Socially Aware Photo Booth
Looking to make a more permanent statement with your LGTBQ+ wedding? (You know, aside from spending the rest of your lives together?) Rent a photo booth with rainbow accessories for guests to take pictures with during the reception. Then, along with any personal hashtag you create, ask friends and family to post their photos with #loveislove or #lovewins to join the various social movements in support of LGBTQ+ love. It’s a great way to capture fun memories from your wedding, while making a statement at the same time.
However you choose to celebrate your LGBTQ+ pride, the most important part is that it represents you and your soon-to-be. At the end of the day, LGBTQ+ pride is about being true to yourself. That is so important every day, and especially on your wedding day. So let your pride flag fly! Or be baked into your cake–whichever you prefer!
What are other ways to show LGBTQ+ pride? Let’s see how many ideas we can add to this list!