Essential wedding advice from a bride who's been there

A newlywed shares her top tips and stunning big day photos


Images © S M K Lambert / Photography credit to Sadie Osborne Photography


The commitment of marriage had always been important to my wife, but not something I’d really considered until we met. I’d never fantasised about a dream wedding or the big white dress whilst growing up and, when I realised I was gay in my late twenties, the thought of marriage somehow seemed even less likely.


So when my wife proposed, I felt incredibly humbled that she had chosen to spend the rest of her life with me. The concept of marriage then took on a whole new meaning to me and wedding planning became an exciting new challenge!


My wife is Catholic, but as the Catholic Church still does not conduct same-sex weddings, neither of us had a preconceived idea of how or where we’d like our wedding to take place. We eventually decided upon an intimate afternoon ceremony near our home in Dorset, involving only our closest friends and family, followed by a big party in the evening with everyone else on our guest list.


Bridal fashion - what to wear to walk down the aisle

We both wanted to wear bridal dresses that would complement each other. We have opposite body shapes and so needed to wear different styles, but envisaged our gowns being made with the same colour fabric and the same details for consistency. For this reason, we planned to get them both custom made. However, on a chance visit to a bridal boutique to look for ideas, my wife found her perfect dress and we bought it straight away! The challenge for my dressmaker was then to match the colour and details for my dress, but it gave us a good starting point. I managed to source the same applique detail and worked with the dressmaker to design a bespoke dress that made me feel elegant and comfortable all day.


Our first dance - how to overcome those nerves

One of my favourite moments of the day was when our friend sang our first dance song. We’d both been nervous about dancing in front of everyone, but didn’t feel self-conscious at all once the music started. After a minute or so, our Best Man joined us on the dancefloor with his boyfriend and all our guests were invited to join too. I looked around and saw everyone dancing together - gay and lesbian couples, straight couples, friends - all in great spirits and enjoying the celebrations. It was a beautiful moment that I’ll never forget.


Images © S M K Lambert / Photography credit to Sadie Osborne Photography


The best advice I would give to anyone planning their wedding is:

1. Never lose sight of what the day is about, which is two people making a lifelong commitment to love and be there for each other. What you wear, who attends, if it rains or shines, doesn’t really matter - the important thing is that you are both there and say your vows to each other.

2. Don’t let wedding planning take over your life, or you risk being left with a void when it’s all over instead of basking in married bliss.

3. Plan the day that you both want, irrelevant of any other opinions. If you do it your way, then it will be the best day of your life.


Same-sex marriage is now well-established in the UK, with thousands of venues licensed for civil ceremonies. And whilst the rest of the world is slowly catching up, be aware that not all foreign destinations are gay-friendly when planning your honeymoon. It’s recommended that you seek advice from a travel agency before booking, to make sure that you can celebrate your first weeks of marriage with pride.


Follow S M K Lambert on Instagram at @smklambert.



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