At Weddingbells, what we love about weddings is that each wedding is absolutely unique in its own way—no two weddings are the same. Regardless of colour palette and location, every moment and detail is personalized to the couple. In celebration of Pride Month, we’ve curated some of the best, most romantic moments from the same-sex weddings we’ve covered over the years to inspire your own big day.
Brides Solange & Cheryl had been together for 14 years before getting engaged. The couple wanted to give their guests a wedding where they could expect the unexpected. Instead of the typical toasts at the reception, the couple had 10-minute speeches about their love. “We wanted an unplugged ceremony so guests would be focused on our vows rather than distracted by cameras trying to capture images and moments,” Solange explains. “Let’s just say there was loads of laughter and not enough tissue for all the tears of joy shed by everyone.”
Justin & Jamie
Instead of a first dance, Justin and Jamie opted for to do a mother/son dance with their mothers at the same time. “It turned out beautifully and was such a touching moment to be able to forget everything and focus on the most important women in our lives,” Jamie shares. “Near the end of the song, our fathers stole our moms away, and Justin and I had just enough time to get a quick dance in together while our dads danced with moms.” Toward the end of the song, the couple was surprised with a flash dance mob, planned by Justin’s brother and the couple’s good friend. “Justin’s brother owns a dance studio, so he rallied up as many people as he could to teach them a dance before our wedding,” Jamie explains. “Justin’s sister dressed up as Lorraine (from MADtv), as this is an inside joke. It was SO funny and good. We’ll never forget it!”
Mark & Barry
Mark and Barry wanted to ensure they had personalized details throughout their celebration. One special detail was the wedding bands they exchanged, which the couple made themselves at The Devil’s Workshop in Toronto. “They came from the same piece of gold, which we then cut, shaped, welded and polished into rings ourselves,” Barry shares. “It was a really personal touch which we loved doing, and it was so meaningful.” The couple exchanged vows at their venue, the ballroom of the Gladstone hotel. “It was truly the highlight,” Barry explains. “We were both so nervous beforehand, but once up there in front of everyone, it all fell away and became about the two of us.”
Darin & Glen
Darin and Glen had been together for 25 years on the day they were wed. One day, about 2 years before our actual wedding, we both looked at one another and said at the exact same time, ‘Do you want to get married for our 25th wedding anniversary?’” the couple shares. They knew that would be the right time for their top hat and martini themed celebration. They wanted to make the ceremony their own, without having it look like a traditional bride and groom ceremony. “It took a lot if planning and talking with one another, but we ended up blending a traditional wedding ceremony with a not-so-traditional grooms wedding ceremony, and we must say, it was magical!” the couple says.
Ryan & Rob
Ryan and Rob wed in sunny Palm Springs, California, in an over-the-top two-part affair with an evening ceremony. Beginning at sunset, guests made their way poolside, where a screen displayed a side-by-side video picture of the couple with a ten-minute countdown overlaid on top. “As the timer concluded, our side-by-side images faded,” Ryan shares. “Music lifted and separately we would each fade in and out telling the story, as we remember, of how we met and how we’ve felt over the last 13 years together.” As the countdown ended the screens lifted to reveal Rob and Ryan in bright pink and orange suits for the start of an emotional, tear-filled ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, one of the world’s top drag queens, Morgan McMichaels, came out and performed for the guests. “We needed to turn the tears into a party!” Ryan says.
Alison & Chantal
With Alison being from England and Chantal from Canada, the couple wanted their intimate wedding to be very personal. “Our officiant was amazing—she had spoken to our friends prior to the day to gather stories, and we were blown away by how well she understood us as a couple,” the couple shares. “We also had some different touches such as an aboriginal elder performing a traditional wedding song to represent Chantal’s family heritage and to pay homage to the reserve our venue was situated on.” During the reception, the couple was able to eat, just the two of them together. “Our decision not to have a head table felt fairly controversial when we made it, but in the end, having time just the two of us made our dinner so memorable,” they recall. “Having intimate time together amongst our guests was the perfect time for us to discuss the ceremony and view our guests from a new angle—seeing people who don’t know each other sharing stories and making memories was priceless.”
Rob & Leon
This couple’s wedding was full of amazing surprises and unique, eclectic touches. From the sign of the venue, which they changed from The Gates On Roblin to The Gays On Roblin, to the bridesmaids, who carried adoptable puppies instead of bouquets down the aisle, every detail of their wedding was memorable and personal. “Between the music, the fun vibes, and being surrounded by loved ones, this was FUN on another level!” the couple shares. “The band and orchestra during the reception filled with the room with an energy that got everyone on their feet.”
Aly & Jason
Known as “The Style Guys” and based in Calgary, Aly & Jason hosted 150 of their nearest and dearest in a fun-filled destination wedding in Palm Springs. The event kicked off with a cocktail hour, followed by the ceremony, in which the couple’s parents walked down the aisle first, to the sounds of hoots and cheers. Music was an integral part of the event—for the entrance into the reception, the pair chose Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” appropriate for the location, as Sonny was the mayor of Palm Springs. For the first dance the couple swayed to “Lets Stay Together,” by Al Green for a retro and classic feel. “This song’s lyrics are so soulful and loving,” says Aly.
Derek & Simon
Derek and Simon’s love story began seven years prior to the proposal, when Derek had noticed Simon—who was from the U.K. and was in Toronto to open his new store on Queen Street West—outside of the Toronto Eaton Centre, in need of directions. From there began a friendship, a relationship and eventually a proposal at a wedding in the South of France. One year after the proposal, the couple wed at an intimate ceremony with just 28 guests at the University Club of Toronto. “One of our favourite moments of the wedding was sharing our reaction to the beautiful dining room with our guests,” Simon says.