A few weeks ago I shot my first same sex weddings (both were of the female persuasion), pretty much back to back. Beforehand, I was slightly more nervous than usual, in the way I might be if it's a different type of location to what I'm used to or if the groom was super tall and the bride was tiny. You're always going to feel more comfortable shooting a wedding in familiar territory. Other than that, I was quite excited because I want to photograph as many different types of weddings as possible, to keep everything fresh, creatively.
I wondered if I'd need to change my approach for the couples shots, particularly for those which are perhaps a bit more 'man holding woman in protective way'. I thought it might be hard to fit in two lots of bridal prep. But to be honest, as with most weddings, I think about these things but I rarely sit down and decide what I'm going to do. I prefer to just let it come naturally on the day and hope my artistic instincts get me through (they never let me down). Of course everything ran smoothly and there's nothing noteworthy on that front other than the fact that I definitely rely on the groom to hold flowers or help the bride with her dress; when there's two people with big dresses trying to navigate their way around woods/fields/grass it's slightly more tricky! So same sex couples are exactly the same as everyone else: they're completely different. These two pairs in particular were polar opposites; one couple were very cuddly and affectionate, and the other couple were giggly and playful, so the same adjustments in how I get the best photos in any situation applied.
However, two things I noticed at both weddings and LOVED, were:
1. Women doing speeches. Please can this be done more? In the first, one bride did a speech, and it was lovely to hear things from her perspective. I think women are more likely to be emotional than men (in my experience) and its a beautiful thing to see all that FEELING come out during the speech. In the other wedding, the speeches were done by an all-female cast. *insert women power emoji here*. Both their dads were there, but they didn't do speeches. So we had two sets of bridesmaids and each bride giving a speech, and it was an absolute breath of fresh air. Funny, emotional, heartfelt, personal. You get used to hearing similar(ish) types of speeches from proud dads/grooms and best men trying their hardest to embarrass the groom, but this turned everything on its head. The whole room was captivated and there were tears of every type. So ladies, please don't be afraid of doing a speech. You'll be funny and charming and if you cry it's totally cool.
2. Being gay wasn't A Thing. I didn't expect it to be, exactly, but we live in a world where even the most accepting parts of society will still view this as something to be commented on, however innocent the intention. I mean, I'm writing this blog so effectively doing the same myself, but I have to say it was 100% NOT A Thing at either wedding. I guess it makes sense given that everyone there was presumably someone they know and love, but I wondered if there would be a mention in the speeches perhaps? Nope, it was the same as every other wedding and was about two people who love each other and nothing else. It was like temporarily being in a world where a famous person wouldn't have to publicly come out and for it to be front page news; it was completely refreshing and basically wonderful.
More weddings where I come away with the impression that they're refreshing and wonderful, please! Okay now I'm off to shoot another wedding of two people who love each other :-).