Weddings are changing. People are going outside the box – and the binary – to plan their perfect day. It can be exciting but tricky to plan a nonbinary wedding when you didn’t necessarily grow up with models of how to do it.
Not to worry! Creating a wedding that affirms your gender and makes all your guests feel welcome is possible, and while there is more representation now than ever, we need more options. Honestly, it will free you to have the wedding day that you really deserve, a day that feels like you.
Nonbinary Wedding Ideas
Whether you’re nonbinary or some of your guests are, these nonbinary wedding ideas will help you ensure everyone at your wedding feels affirmed and celebrated.
1. Find vendors who use inclusive language.
I follow lots of wedding vendors on social media. Yes, it comes with the territory, but I also love it. That is, until I see a post “calling all brides.” I’ve reached out to these vendors and asked them if they would work with a queer couple. In a lot of cases, these people have become friends. They tell me that they hadn’t even thought that their phrasing would feel exclusive.
Other times, it becomes clear that queer love is not welcome or celebrated in their businesses. That is always disappointing even when it isn’t totally surprising.
The thing is, as someone getting married, it is not your job to educate and train wedding vendors in being affirming. I’ll say it one more time: it is not your job. So how do you avoid all this?
Find vendors who use inclusive language in their social media and on their websites. Start with sites like Offbeat and Dancing with Them. If a vendor only uses “bride/groom” language, they may not be equipped to give you the affirming experience you deserve.
2. Look for vendors who celebrate queer love on their websites.
Just as vendors should use inclusive language, vendors should visibly celebrate queer love on their websites. If you don’t see people who look like you and love like you in a wedding vendor’s social media, they are not celebrating you.
You should never feel like your nonbinary wedding is a token in someone’s portfolio. I would hate for someone to hire their dream photographer only to realize months into the contract that they’re uncomfortable with queer people showing affection.
This principle goes beyond gender, too, and I’ve written about it before! If you have a squishy body, look for squishy bodies on vendors’ sites. If you’re Black, look for a photographer who can edit darker skin. If you have a disability, look for people with disabilities.
In short, you should see your love celebrated on vendors’ sites and socials. If you have to go hunting for queer representation, pass.
3. Invite people who will affirm you.
Guest lists are never easy. Everyone has that relative. On your wedding day, you want to focus on your connections with the people you love, not potentially avoidable tension. At a nonbinary wedding, you especially want to invite guests who will affirm your identiry and celebrate your love.
Leave people off the guest list if they don’t contribute to the wedding day you want and deserve. Don’t invite them to shop for wedding attire with you either. Their opinion will not help you. This goes for family of origin sometimes. I know it’s not an easy thing to navigate, but it’s so much worse having those people undermine your decisions or make you feel bad about what feels right to you.
4. Let your wedding party choose clothes that affirm their gender.
Just as you want your guests to affirm you, you want to do the same for your wedding party. Ask your wedding party what they would like to wear to your nonbinary wedding. Don’t put everybody in a dress – or a suit, especially if it doesn’t affirm them.
Luckily, the days are gone when bridesmaids stand in dresses on one side and groomsmen in suits on the other. Even straight cis couples are mixing it up! The world of wedding attire is so much bigger and more interesting than traditional binary fashions.
5. Find the perfect look for you.
How do you find attire for your nonbinary wedding that doesn’t just fall back on traditional styles of suits and dresses? I always tell my clients to take what they already love to wear and make it “wedding.”
What clothing makes you feel most confident and powerful? That should be your guide for your wedding look. Forget settling for what you’re expected to wear.
I’ll give you an example. I had a client for whom I’d started a top, but after a couple of fittings, she asked me if we could change it. The top wasn’t doing it for her. Of course, we changed direction. She sent me a picture of one of her favorite tank tops as inspiration.
This is one of my favorite approaches to custom design because it gives me a clear direction. I take shapes and design lines from your everyday clothes. Then I use elements and techniques from fashion design to transform it into wedding attire. This requires some creativity and know-how on my part, but the result is always clothing that makes people feel like themselves on their wedding day.
Remember at the end of the day, your nonbinary wedding is yours. Everyone from your vendors to your guests should affirm your identity and celebrate your love exactly as it is. Your wedding doesn’t have to settle for traditions that don’t suit you, including wedding attire. You deserve to feel empowered and powerful on your wedding day.
Are you looking for an affirming outfit for your nonbinary wedding? House of Breton can help you figure out the perfect custom design. Reach out today!