Hi everyone! My name is Matthew and my partner Ryan and I are LGBTQIA+ social media creators. As a couple, our goal is to make people smile one piece of content at a time, all whilst normalising being a same sex couple in today’s day and age.
We’ve been together since 2015, and met the traditional way - Tinder, of course aha! Though we’re very much in love now, our relationship didn’t start that way, in fact, it was a bit of a bumpy ride.
- Our Story
- There’s No Bride Here
- Planning a Wedding That Feels Like ‘Us’
- We’re# AlreadyWeddingReady, and So Are You!
Our relationship began talking on Tinder, with one of us actually ignoring the other to begin with - the *audacity* right?
Despite a few rocky months, we ended up bumping into each other on a Halloween night out, with me dressed as a Fab ice cream lolly, looking like a complete and utter mess. Ryan - a professional makeup artist - was obviously horrified by my attempt at makeup, but it was that night that he realised I’m a real kind geek at heart.
That night led to the most amazing first date at a fairground when we realised we’d found our soulmates in each other, and the rest is history!
Fast forward to Spring 2023, when Ryan and I took the trip of a lifetime to Japan. As we stood at the bottom of Mount Fuji together, after seven years of dating, I finally got down on one knee and proposed to Ryan.
It went better than I’d even planned, but not without one small hiccup - I thought I’d found the perfect location to propose - so I got the camera set up, and everything was recording, I put my hand in my pocket slowly reaching for the ring box to ask one of the most important questions of my life… Ryan decided to then turn around and say, “Babe, I don’t really like the view up here, shall we head back down to the lake?”
You can imagine how I felt, but it worked out in my favour as that evening, with the sun setting and Mt Fuji in the background clear as day, we came across a small private beach with no one else around - it was perfect. I asked the love of my life to marry me and he said YES!
We documented the whole proposal for our socials, obvs, but I actually had to cut part of the footage as Ryan was so speechless he didn’t say anything for so long, being completely in shock!
Our ups and downs led to us finding our soulmates in each other, and now we’re getting married - but the process hasn’t been as easy as we’d imagined.
There’s No Bride Here
Now, we’re in the process of planning our wedding, and we always knew we would want things to feel authentic to us and our relationship. It’s important for us to take some wedding traditions on board, whilst not feeling pressured to do or have certain things just because traditional weddings have them.
When it comes to the wedding day itself, we want to make sure we both feel equal. Our reality is that there are two grooms getting married, and neither one of us should, or wish to be compared to a bride. Our plan is to both wear white, both walk down the aisle and of course, showcase grooms doing the bouquet tossing!
Ryan has always been wedding ready, growing up knowing one day he’ll eventually get married, so his Pinterest board has very much come in handy when it comes to inspiration for planning the wedding.
That being said, we have struggled to find inspiration for same-sex relationships. As we’ve already said, we want to feel equal when planning a wedding, but the harsh reality is that our experience so far of planning a wedding as a LGBTQIA+ couple has definitely opened our eyes as to how ‘bride and groom-focused’ the wedding industry still is.
We recently went to a wedding fair, and in all honesty, it was quite a weird experience for us. The fact was everything was tailored towards brides and grooms meant that we struggled to connect with any of the suppliers.
From the marketing brochures and flyers we were given, to the pictures and visuals everywhere, we just couldn’t envision ourselves connecting with any of the suppliers there, which was something that we look for when hiring people to be a part of our wedding.
We ask ourselves the same questions whilst hunting for our venue, photographer, florist and any other wedding vendor: Do we feel comfortable? Is it awkward? Are we having to change any aspect of our wedding for this?
Planning a Wedding That Feels Like ‘Us’
In the early stages of planning our wedding, we thought, who’s walking down the aisle? Do we both walk down? We had so many conversations about some of the simplest aspects of the wedding day, because without inspiration we could connect to, we were struggling to visualise our own day.
We found planning and thinking about these aspects so confusing because the lack of representation of LGBTQIA+ weddings online and in the industry meant that we couldn’t use other people’s examples to help us plan our own.
There is no ‘right way’ to get married as a same-sex couple, and there are very few traditional wedding elements that cater to us. Instantly, we started stressing out - but that’s when we took a step back and reassessed the situation.
We decided to throw all of society’s gender stereotypes and wedding expectations out of the window and write our own.
Ryan has always been very opposed to gender expectations, being a male who loves wearing makeup and all, so it became apparent to us that planning a day that *we* wanted, focused on our true, authentic selves was what mattered most to us. And this meant completely ignoring the stereotypes of what grooms normally should and shouldn’t do.
As soon as we started to focus on planning a wedding that represented us, things started really falling into place. We stopped putting pressure on ourselves to include all the wedding norms, and instantly things felt lighter.
We decided that Ryan will have a wedding bouquet, and both of us will wear white. We decided against bridesmaids, best men and any wedding party roles, as both of our friendship groups fall into one, so it didn’t make sense to us to separate the group and assign roles that meant they had to wear specific wedding attire.
We began to feel so happy, knowing that we had made choices that didn’t succumb to society’s expectations of what a wedding should look like. We were already wedding ready!
We’re# AlreadyWeddingReady, and So Are You!
We know it sounds really simple to say ‘be your authentic self’, but as an LGBTQIA+ couple it can be easy to make sacrifices or get confused with what you want when planning a wedding.
But hear us when we say it’s completely okay if a traditional wedding doesn’t appeal to you at all.
Don’t allow pressure from society to mould your wedding in any shape or form, and just like us, make sure you are comfortable with your suppliers and venue - this is super important!
Your vision is all that matters, it’s *your* day, and remember, you are already wedding ready!
Want to read more inspirational stories from people who are #AlreadyWedding Ready?