Roundup: Queer Wedding Style

Wedding style for the masculine of center and the femme partners who love them


Because the APW staff is made up of shallow creatures who like shiny things, one of the best parts of Pride Week is getting to handpick some of our most stylish readers to source queer style roundups. Last year the incomparable Aly to put together all the glittery femme goodness you could ask for, while our intern Elisabeth consulted her partner K for dapper butch dress clothes. A few months ago, we had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Deragon of The Identity Project at a workshop at Makeshift Society, and knew we had to work with her on something for Pride. Sarah’s work with The Identity Project explores the labels we identify with when defining our gender and sexuality. Looking at Sarah’s images suddenly made the standard butch/femme roundup seem impossibly narrow (and a little too reminiscent of the wedding industry’s constant reinforcement of the gender binary). So instead, we asked her to pull together inspiration for queer wedding style that runs the gamut from butch to masculine of center to androgynous and all the way over to femme (because this is APW we’re talking about, after all), while also giving us her best pointers for masculine-of-center shopping (inspired by her wife Natalie). We might just hang this one in our offices, because it’s that hot. Image of Sarah and her wife Natalie by Diana Rothery Weddings.

—The APW Team

Shop Suits For Women: Clockwise From Top Left 1. Saint Harridan 2. Tomboy Tailors 3. Bindle & Keep 4. Androgyny 5. Kipper Clothiers

When I was planning my wedding (three years ago in April), I was shocked and disheartened to find that there was a huge lack of LGBTQ imagery on most wedding blogs. Looking through Pinterest to find anything for my butch identified partner to wear kept coming up with the same five photos over and over again. If I did find a gay wedding online, clicking through to the wedding photographer’s website, all I’d find was a statement on the “About Me” page saying they supported marriage equality, but none of this was reflected in their portfolio. Well, thankfully, a lot has changed in the past three years because of sites like APW pushing the boundaries of the wedding industrial complex!

My intention for this round-up is to highlight the fabulous opportunities for high quality, perfectly tailored, extremely fabulous suits and other clothing designed for masculine of center/butch/boi/trans/androgynous folks and the women that love them. Small queer owned businesses like Saint Harridan, Kipper Clothing, Tomboy Tailors, and Androgyny are offering folks custom made suits and formal wear, so head on over to their websites to find out more information. Your big gay wedding is a wonderful time to buy a nice suit, but if you’re on a budget, of course you can just rent a tux at the Men’s Warehouse (that’s what my partner and I did for our first ceremony and it worked out okay for us) or even get one for about $500 from the Express Men’s section.

1. Via Dapper Q, A Very Dapper Wedding: Rebekah and Lydia 2. Via Two Birds Nest, Photo by Ronnie Andren Photography and A. Park Photography 3. Via Wedding Chicks, Photo by Emily Scannell Photography 4. Via APW, Photo by Kelly Prizel 5. Via Rock N Roll Bride, Photo by Amanda Thomsen Photography 6. Via H&H Weddings, Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona Wedding Photography, Style by H&H Weddings 7. Via Emma Freeman Photography, Photo by Emma Freeman Photography 8. Via Monica Garcia Makeup Artistry, Photo by Imagery with Impact, Styled by Gia Zopatti Wedding Design and Coordination Co. 9. Via Miki Vargas Photography, Photo by Miki Vargas Photography 10. Via Diana Rothery Weddings, Photo by Diana Rothery 11. Via Rock N Roll Bride, Photo by Kat Hill Photography 12. Via Kelly Kollar Photography, Photo by Kelly Kollar 13. Via Rock N Roll Bride, Photo by Our Labor of Love Photography 14. Via On A Bicycle Built For Two, Photo by Amber Wilkie Photography 15. Via Rad + In Love, Photo by Rad + In Love 16. Via Miki Vargas Photography, Photo by Miki Vargas Photography

The amazing thing about deciding what to wear for your big gay wedding is that there are no rules; sure, some of us will go the more traditional route, but we might as well have fun with it! Most of the couples featured here feature a femme partner—I love anything that sparkles and I wore a cocktail length bridesmaid dress (ordered in white) to my wedding along with some super cute sparkly shoes—but obviously any of these looks could be paired together for two brides in suits (or suit alternatives). (Apologies to all of the “we are both going to wear wedding dresses” folks out there, but I’m just focusing on masculine of center/femme partners in this piece.)

I hope that this collection of images inspires you to push the boundaries of your big gay wedding and take heart knowing that as marriage equality continues to spread across the country, we’ll be able to share more and more images of real LGBTQ weddings! I love seeing how sophisticated folks have become with their clothing options—and please don’t ever ask which one of us is the bride!

And now, some shopping for your wedding day outfit. Because as evidenced above, it’s obviously all about the accessories:

Black & White: 1. Modcloth Sparkle and Dine Flat in Evening ($36.99) 2. Asos New Velvet Bow Tie ($13.34) 3. Ampersand Handkerchief, from Cyberoptix Tie Lab ($12) 4. Alexander McQueen Floral Print Tie ($195) 5. Simon Carter Wing Tie Bar ($47.64)

Nature & Neutrals: 1. Express Metallic Brogue ($49.90) 2. River Island Tie with All Over Floral Print ($22.86) 3. Paul Smith Animal Pocket Square ($76.22) 4. Zelma Rose Personalized Good Luck Horseshoe Bow Tie ($85) 5. Silver Deer Antler Collar Clip, via Etsy ($15)

Summer Brights: 1. Paul Smith Foster Captoe Kiltie Monkstrap, from Zappos ($332.99) 2. Geometric Silk Pocket Square, from Nordstrom ($39.50) 3. Easy Reader Multi Color Marker Watch ($65) 4. 2-Panel Neon Stripe Bow Tie, from Vineyard Vines ($55) 5. OMG Cuff Links, from Saks Fifth Avenue ($250)

Didn’t get your fix of awesome queer wedding style from this post? We put all of the pictures Sarah found that didn’t make it into the roundup right here in our Queer Wedding Style Pinterest board.

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  • Caitlin_DD

    This roundup is not directed at me but I have to say THAT WATCH!

  • CH

    OMG the outfits in #6 above……..INCREDIBLE.

  • sarahderagon

    Thanks so much for letting me do this round up! I had a blast!

  • swarmofbees

    If I had $700+ for a suit, would I ever be in heaven now. So beautiful, and so beautifully tailored. sigh.

  • JDrives

    +++ so many for Saint Harridan! My friend is a model for them and sings their praises often.

    And – the suit in #6 is TO DIE FOR.

  • EF

    I realise it’s PRIDE week, but this: ‘…clothing designed for masculine of center/butch/boi/trans/androgynous folks and the women that love them’ could so easily be ‘clothing designed for masculine of center/butch/boi/trans/androgynous folks and the PEOPLE that love them.’

    Some of us just don’t fit into the femme category, but have men that love us (or third-gender, etc) too. And whilst APW has profiled a couple of gender-nonconforming weddings that are still, uh, hetero…it’d be cool if the language were a bit more inviting on both sides, that’s all.

    Otherwise, man, I’m just gonna go find me the tux from #6 now.

    • lesanon

      since lgbtq people have to face wedding language being hetero 99% of the time, i think you can live with one article being a tiny bit lesbian-centric once

      • EF

        right, so, like, people who I’ve interacted with here also know that I will consistently point out when there’s language leaving a group out. And so I do it now: not saying heteronormativity is better — that’s not what this is about. The post itself admitted that it was buying into the gender binary a bit too much. I’m simply pointing out that there’s an obvious turn of phrase here that does specifically support a certain kind of relationship: the femme and the masculine, both women, that’s how it’ll work.
        But by changing ‘women’ to ‘people’ it’s inclusive not just of all sorts of different couples, but the super-often ignored trans* and other non-binary people. What’s the harm in that?

        Finally, there was a super cool twitter trend a couple months ago: #IAmNonBinary. Let’s all be a bit more inclusive.

        • lesanon

          yeah straight people def need to be stuck up for when they’re left out! nahhh. if your actual concern had been non-woman identified queer people that would be one thing but instead it was “men that love us” and “gender nonconforming weddings that are still hetero” with the ONLY mention of non-woman-identified queer people being one time in parentheses. so like let’s not act like an apparent afterthought is the real original crusade here.

          • EF

            so APW doesn’t like fights in the comments, so I’m just gonna underline what I said before, though admitting I should have phrased it ‘all sides’ rather than ‘both sides’ and that’s my bad.

            Standing up for non-binary is what i did in the beginning. It’s what I do frequently. It’s what I do in my line of work. I’m not going to be trolled by someone in reply to what I was trying to word gently, rather than harshly, because again, not the appropriate forum. Real life for group of people isn’t an afterthought for me (though you accuse me of it), but indeed is something we should *all* be pointing out, just like how 5 years ago we were all pointing out the importance of including gay+lesbian in language. We shouldn’t be forgetting the T, and that the asterisk belongs, in LGBT*.

          • lesanon

            there’s no need for being “inviting” on “both sides” when one side gets 99%.

            your primary concern mentioned was hetero couples. just own up to that. so i hope dismissing a lesbian as a troll while you parade your ally credentials makes you feel like you won this.

          • EF

            identifying as LGBT =/= a troll free card. it really doesn’t, this is why dealing with TERFs is super frustrating (and if you ever deal with them, surely you’ve felt this?).

            look, I’m sorry you feel I worded things poorly, and I admitted I did. But I continue to stand by the point that inclusivity needs to be working on all angles. My hesitancy in saying ‘hetero couples’ is because (and I really thought this would be clear) many of these couples *don’t* identify as hetero, but not any other category either. so in the spirit of inclusivity, change a word. That’s what this is about. APW makes huge attempts to be inclusive whenever it posts how-to guides, or advice stories, or columns, or what-have-you. But this post both acknowledged it hard a problem and then carried on with the problem. I don’t think the author meant to, I think it was just old habits. And how do we change these habits? Point them out, argue for progress, carry on carrying on.

          • lesanon

            yeah, but you, a presumably straight person, need to think about why you jump to label someone, who IS part of the umbrella group being discussed, a “troll” for disagreeing with you. there is absolutely nothing trollish about my comments here, unless you count the fact that they’re not couched in deferential formal language or something.

            anywayyyyy i’m done here.

          • EF

            ‘presumably straight person.’


            I hope you wrote that with the same hesitation that it took me to try and find something that works for nonbinary couples.

          • Meg Keene

            Stay tuned for a femme married to someone off the gender binary tomorrow!

          • Meg Keene

            Look, it’s absolutely not ok to assume any commenters sexuality, including people in mixed gender relationships. I totally get that the initial wording was off putting, but assuming someone’s sexuality to make a point is also not ok.

          • Meg Keene

            We do, in general, make everything super inclusive. We don’t, as policy, do that in Pride week. Instead we try to present a lot of different options honestly. We’re not going to present every option, we’re always going to fail on that. (Like, this week, we don’t have any trans relationships! We have in the past, but we don’t this week because we didn’t have the content, and I’m not thrilled with that, but you can’t always do everything at once!) But we’re not going to make every post EVERYTHING. Instead of being inclusive in one fell swoop, we’re going to present a lot of different perspectives. Editorial choice! The other choice is a good one too, and obviously how we usually operate over here, but it’s not the choice we make during pride.

          • EF

            This makes a lot of sense. And thanks for the clarification Meg!

      • emilyg25

        I’d imagine some couples are also made up of two masculine of center/butch/boi/trans/androgynous folks, so yeah, I don’t see the problem with changing “women” to “people.”

        • Emma

          Well, or changing “…clothing designed for masculine of center/butch/boi/trans/androgynous folks” to “masculine of center/butch/boi/trans/androgynous clothing,” since you totally don’t have to identify or appear to identify in any of those ways want to wear wedding pants/a suit!

          I’m not into the (pretty common) idea that only ladies who NEVER wear a skirt/dress would wear pants to their weddings. In my experience, it is *totally mind-blowing* to people if you tell them you are planning on wearing a wedding suit while you are wearing a skirt.

    • Meg Keene

      We do a lot of different things in pride week, and instead of trying to do everything in one post, we do different things in different posts. Pride is about speaking loud and proud about who YOU are, not having to speak for everyone.

      We’ve got masculine of center/ masculine of center weddings coming up, and two brides in a dress weddings coming up, and queer relationships with someone living outside the gender binary coming up. This post was written by someone who identifies as a women who’s in a relationship with someone who identifies as more masculine of center. For me, as an editor, this isn’t the week to change her language to make sure it fits everyone. This is the week to let her be loud and proud of who she is, and what her relationship is. We can all rain confetti on that, and confetti on the next person tomorrow.

      I get what you’re saying, and that generally IS how we would edit, but we make a bunch of editorial exceptions in Pride week, intentionally.

      • Alyssa M

        As someone else who was kind of put off by how binary this article was, thank you SO MUCH for explaining the logic here.

        Confetti for everybody! now off to show this to my two masculine of center bridal attendants still searching for clothes :D

    • S

      I am flabbergasted by the APW community that this comment is receiving less ‘likes’ than the reply challenging it for being too concerned with straight relationships. All this commenter, EF, is doing is saying we should think HARDER before we use language that boxes relationships up into neat packages, and it’s read as being pro-straight? What in the world? If anyone is anti-genderqueer relationships here it’s the replier defending reductive language use, rather than this original comment by EF which points out that relationships are versatile and that language is important. I am really just surprised and disappointed by the APW community on this one.

  • drooling.

  • te

    It is seriously a bummer that trans men are again lumped in with queer women and lesbians on a website I really enjoy reading. Just, damn. I thought better of this place. If you mean “trans and queer,” you’ve got to say “trans and queer.”

  • Monica Roy

    What’s this I see? Sarah Deragon writing for A Practical Wedding? Love it! :)

  • Helen

    Number 15’s wedding is my favourite Hollywood-hot-and-totally-queerspiration. I die for it.

  • Meaghan

    THOSE PANTS in photo #6…. I would’ve gotten married in those in a heartbeat.

  • chris

    I’d just like to thank the awesome APW staff (and guest writer!) for this post. I identify as masculine of center with a, shall we say, not off-the-rack body type (clothes are hard when you’re 6’4″, y’all), and this post came at the perfect time. I’m starting to try to circle in on what I want for my wedding suit, and had no clue where to start. This post has given me so many great ideas! Thanks again!

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