Want to plan a same-sex wedding but don’t know where to start? Are you still unsure how to place your priorities for the Big Day? Want to know more about the legal requirements? On 1st September 2017, Malta enacted the law allowing same-sex marriage after previously introducing same-sex civil union in 2014. We have prepared the steps and procedures for your wedding planning need to eventually make sure that your wedding day is all about your partner and you!
When to start planning?
Being a same-sex wedding or otherwise, makes no difference. Holding a destination wedding requires some additional steps, thus you have to think about your wedding planning well in advance. Start to plan 10 to 12 months before the Big Day so you can fully prepare for a destination wedding!
When we look at the best time to marry, you should think about getting married during the off-season as you could choose your perfect date instead of having the last available day.
Allow the first 2 months for choosing the destination, set two proposed dates and check documentation needed. Malta offers great spots against stunning backdrops that can fit every budget and taste. Once the destination and date are taken care of choose your wedding planner to help you out with obtaining the legal documents, local arrangements for the venue, catering, flowers, photography and other services during the next 10 months. Send out save-the-date cards to your guests to book time off work and make other arrangements. Your planner can check out for accommodation for group rates if a sufficient number of guests will be joining.
How could we plan our pre-parties?
Don’t be afraid and think because you are two bachelors or bachelorettes you should have one pre-party for both of you. Of course, you could still celebrate it with your own friends and enjoy your last hours as a single man or woman. However, if you have the same interests or prefer to celebrate it together than see this as an opportunity to both enjoy one bachelor or one hen party and celebrate your last hours of being single together.
What shall I dress?
For same-sex weddings, when it comes to clothing there is a big question. For a lesbian marriage, you could think about both getting a dress, both getting a suit, or one of you wears a dress and the other one a suit. It’s your choice, you can be creative and break the conformities. This also reflects on gay marriage.
Choose whatever you feel comfortable in and don’t let anyone judge you on the most beautiful day of your life. Whether that is a dress, suit or even matching outfits. As long as you are comfortable in your outfit, that’s all that matters.
How can we walk down the aisle?
In most same-sex weddings the grooms or brides usually walk down the aisle together; however, this is really for the couple to decide. Brides can walk down the aisle one after the other with either of their parents. For grooms, they mostly arrive alone following each other or together at the same time. You can be as creative as you want and walk, for instance, hand-in-hand or one from each corner at the same time. It depends on what you’ll comfortable with.
How does the Registrar call us?
You have to talk with the Registrar before the wedding how he/she is going to call you during the ceremony. For same-sex weddings, you can use partners for life or spouses for life. However, if you prefer to be called husbands or wives that is also an opportunity. To avoid any annoying situation make sure you discussed this.
Should I keep my own name?
Usually, same-sex couples keep their own names. When you and your partner decide to have children, you decide yourself which name you prefer. But in this case the traditional stereotypes don’t apply.
What documents shall I provide?
The exact requirements vary in every case thus needs to be checked carefully. Your wedding planner shall guide you accordingly through the steps. Documents such as birth certificates, passports and other documentation need to be gathered, authenticated and validated. The validity time window is for 3 months before the wedding date as per Maltese Law. Same-sex couples would not need to obtain a residency permit, though it is advisable to arrive on the island 2 to 3 days before the wedding to finalise the details and relax while enjoying the beauty of the Maltese Islands.
Where to go on our honeymoon?
You can extend your stay in Malta and make it the location for your honeymoon while guests have returned to their home county. Otherwise, you can make a list of the countries you want to visit! You will love to look at your map and find the best destinations. However, make sure you do some research on cultural acceptation and legal protection before you go because it could be that what is normal in your country could be prohibited in other ones. Be sure to choose the best destination to enjoy the most your trip there!
What about engaging a wedding planner?
Finally, planning a wedding can be rough and stressful. Especially with a same-sex wedding, you have a lot to think about as mentioned in the answers above. In addition, a wedding planner is a professional who can make your life so much easier. They can help you find the best gay-friendly suppliers to avoid any awkward situations, recommend you the right venue and even help with the legalities.