The Definitive Guide to Same-Sex Wedding Style
Wedding planning is a pretty big undertaking — guest lists, decor, menus, deposits — the to-dos go on and on. And then there are the style considerations. While the entire day is a reflection of you and your soon-to-be wife, your “I do” attire (and bling!) is where your personality can really shine. Tradition dictates a lot of things, but this is YOUR day, and girl, you gotta do you. And that means saying sayonara to the BWD (big white dress) if you want to (hello, wedding suit!). From engagement rings to streamlined suits and modern gowns, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you along your same-sex sartorial journey. Keep reading for tips to make your wedding day feel uniquely you.
First Things First: The Engagement Rings
Even if you’ve been together for a decade, don’t cheat yourself out of the engagement stage. It’s an important, special time on the road to saying, “I do,” and trust us — it’s something to savor. That’s whether you’ve decided to pop the question (and nope — there’s no right or wrong answer as to who proposes. It all depends on the dynamic of your relationship) or the decision evolved organically out of a discussion between the two of you.
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all engagement ring, and there are a few different ways to approach putting a ring on it. It ultimately comes down to your own personal preferences and tastes. We’ve outlined a few ideas below:
Different Rings With a Unifying Element
There’s no rule that says your rings have to match. If you both have distinct senses of style or aren’t typically ones to follow tradition (life’s too short!), you can choose rings in two different styles and incorporate a unifying element into each ring. One ring might be minimalist and contemporary, while the other is more ornate and traditional, but both will feature a similar stone, engraving or other stylistic detail.
Splitting Up a Matching Set
Another option is to buy a matching set and have one of you wear the engagement ring, and the other wear the band. This is a great idea if one of you is more by-the-book, while the other has their heart set on something a little more pared down, modern or offbeat. A matching set allows you to maintain an element of cohesion while showing off your own style and personality.
Catbird Curved Snow Queen Ring ($1,296) + Blanca Monrós Gómez Champagne Diamond Solitaire Ring ($3,350)
Different Versions of the Same Ring
Some couples also opt to wear different versions of the same ring style, creating a unified look while staying in line with their own tastes and preferences. One of you might consider a glitzier version of the ring with differing metals such as rose gold or platinum.
Similar to choosing your engagement rings, there are a few different routes to take when selecting your wedding bands. Again, it depends largely on your preferences. Traditional, matching bands are always an option, but if you’re looking for something with a little more oomph, consider one of the options below:
Variations on the Same Band
Choose a consistent band style with different metals or widths to suit each partner’s unique style. You can go as elaborate and ornate as you like, or stick with the basics, opting for timeless brushed gold and rose gold bands.
Same Metal, Different Styles
Can’t agree on a similar style? It’s totally cool. You can still maintain an element of unity while showing off your fashion sensibilities by rocking one-of-a-kind bands in the same metal.
Saying “Yes” or “No” to the Dress
Oddly enough, one of the biggest things people will ask you about your big day — beyond the “theme” (why must there always be a theme?!) — is what you’ll be wearing for your walk down the aisle. Maybe you’ve had a vision for the ultimate “I do” duds in the back of your mind since day one, or maybe you haven’t given it any consideration at all. Either way, there’s one thing to keep in mind — there’s no right or wrong way to do it. The aisle is your own personal catwalk, and confidence is what ultimately makes or breaks an outfit. A $10,000 haute couture gown can look like a bargain buy if the wearer doesn’t feel comfortable in it. You do you — both of you. So even if she wants to wear a dress, it doesn’t mean that you have to. Not sure what your options are if a traditional dress isn’t in the cards? These ideas are guaranteed to straight-up stun.
Forget whatever you’ve heard: Finding a great-fitting suit that hits in all the right places and doesn’t over-accentuate your curves IS indeed possible. Custom tailoring is a fantastic option, providing you with the ability to create a design perfectly fitted to your body. Companies like The Tailory New York, Bindle & Keep,Kipper Clothiers and Saint Harridan specialize in creating bespoke menswear-inspired suits for women — they just get it. If custom isn’t in the cards, head to J.Crew. Women swear by the brand’s Ludlow Suit, a chic, slim-fit modern style that comes in a variety of colors and fabrics. And when shopping around for menswear suits, look for trim silhouettes and shorter inseams — and DO plan a trip to see your local tailor!
Bindle & Keep (Suits starting at $795)
Tailored Tomboy Suits
Men’s suiting might not be your thing, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw up the white flag. Opt for a stylish women’s blazer and tailored trouser combo (in classic white or ivory) instead. Throw in an elegant blouse and a killer pair of kicks (pumps, loafers, brogues — you pick) for a stunning look that strikes the ultimate balance of masculine and feminine.
Instead of wearing all white, as tradition typically dictates, stand out in a classy black suit, sleek loafers and a structured blouse. If you’re eager to show off a little more of your own flair, add a printed top or one-of-a-kind add-ons (heirloom jewelry or a bright bow tie, for example) to your look.
Take the opportunity to go all-out — the occasion certainly warrants it — by layering a show-stopping printed blazer, like this star-studded stunner, over a pair of classic trousers — your own personal version of a glitzy white dress. Metallic steppers and a bow-neck blouse (a nod to the more standard tie) complete the look in true street-style fashion.
Feminine Pant Suits
A feminine look without the endless layers of tulle and organza? We’re so down. A pretty pantsuit offers the perfect alternative to a classic gown (and we won’t deny its practicality for the dance floor either). To keep things feeling sophisticated and formal, look to luxe fabrics, elegant embellishments and streamlined silhouettes.
Going classic on top? Jazz up your look with a set of sequin-studded bottoms that would feel right on cue for a glam urban affair or vintage-inspired soiree.
Elvi Sequin Wide Leg Pants ($160)
Putting a feminine touch on a menswear-inspired look is as easy as stepping into these billowy beauties. The high waist and palazzo styling create a column silhouette that’s downright statuesque. Pair it with a silk cami and a glitzy cover-up for a timeless ensemble with Old Hollywood edge, or go all-out modern muse with an embellished crop top and sleek mules.
Jump On It
Why let suits get all the attention? Jumpsuits bring just as much polish and versatility to the table. Did we mention the re-wear potential? It’s so real. Just add an edgy embellished pump and a statement bauble or two for an incredibly effortless wedding day look.
This streamlined tuxedo style was practically made for a swanky soiree with your closest family and friends. The silk fabric is light and airy, so you can play the social butterfly (and dance) sans problem all night long. For a formal affair, pair it with strappy metallic sandals, a glitzy box clutch and ornate drop earrings.
This chic jumpsuit is just as swoon-worthy as any lace-trimmed dress. Featuring an ethereal overlay, refined tailoring and a gilded belt, this ultra modern bridal style checks all the boxes. Downplay the rest of your look, opting for natural-looking makeup and an undone updo, to let this striking suit take center stage.
Garden parties and nuptials at historic estates call for a touch of ladylike lace, and this beautiful brocade jumpsuit more than fits the bill. Team it with a blusher veil (if that’s your thing), vintage-inspired drop earrings and lace-up pumps for a sweet yet modern look.
Skirt the Issue
Dresses, pants and jumpsuits aren’t the only route to racking up the style cred on your wedding day. A skirt is a perfectly acceptable alternative to traditional wedding attire, especially if you’re planning a more laid-back event. Be it a stint at City Hall followed by a celebratory dinner at your favorite local spot or vows at a picturesque vineyard, a skirt won’t disappoint. If you’re worried about formality, go big on the extras (jewelry, headpieces and shoes) for an instant style boost.
This ‘50s-inspired pencil skirt has cool bride written all over it. The high waist makes it perfect for pairing with a crop top, while the subtle sheen and bright white hue provide an ideal backdrop for an arsenal of unique accessories.
Donning a Dress
Been dreaming of walking down the aisle in a sweeping white dress? Do it up! You and your partner definitely do NOT need to rock matching styles to achieve matrimonial bliss — take cues from your day-to-day style and choose a design that speaks to you. If you both love lace, embrace it. And if your style is modern, while hers is more on the preppy side, opt for a chic column gown with cutting-edge details (we’re obsessing over the gilded elements on this halter number) and let her say “I do” in a floaty ball gown. It’s really that simple. Before heading to the bridal salon, have a clear vision of your wedding’s style and chat with your partner about what your expectations are in terms of attire. You don’t want one of you showing up ready for a white-tie event, while the other’s getup is firmly grounded in beach-chic territory.
The accessories you choose will largely be determined by what you decide to wear, but there are a few ways you and bae can tie your two distinct looks together.
Coordinate by Style and Material
Create a sense of cohesion between your two ensembles by coordinating details like jewelry, headpieces and the like. Start by choosing a metal (gold, rose gold, silver, etc.) and style (think: ornate, geometric or minimalist), then shop together or share inspiration to narrow down pieces that will work together. An example we love? She styles a luxe floral headpiece alongside an ethereal A-line gown, while you wear a pair of Renaissance-inspired drop earrings with a sleek ivory suit. Swoon.
Play With Color
Add a pop of color to your wedding day look by selecting accessories in coordinating colors. Be it a striking pair of shoes or a classic bow tie, the vibrant hues will add visual intrigue to your ensembles, while playfully tying the two outfits together.
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