Today's LGBTQIA+ Couples

  • On average, LGBTQIA+ couples are waiting until their mid-30s to get married and the vast majority live together before marriage. Couples are generally engaged for more than a year and a half before getting married. 

  • Over the past five years, LGBTQIA+ couples have become significantly more likely to share the news of their engagement on social media—71% of couples do so.  This shift coincides with an overall increase in support for the LGBTQIA+ community in the US. According to Pew Research, 61% of Americans now support gay marriage, though roughly 3 out of 10 oppose. 

    • When it comes to social media announcements, couples who both identify as female are more likely to spread the news on Facebook, Instagram and other websites than couples who both identify as male (74% vs. 63%).

Parental Involvement Is Increasing

  • Parental involvement among LGBTQIA+ weddings has steadily increased since 2015. More parents are being approached to give their blessing (+22% since 2015). This is more likely to be done by couples who both identify as female compared to those who both identify as male (45% vs. 27%). 

    • Since 2015, the number of LGBTQIA+ couples seeking the blessing of parents has more than doubled, though it’s still not being done by a majority of these couples (40%).  

  • More than half of LGBTQIA+ couples are being escorted down the aisle by their father (+39% vs. 2015), though many are also opting for different approaches like walking down the aisle together or with other loved ones. Additionally, parent-child dances are now being done by over 60% of LGBTQIA+ newlyweds (+45%). 

    • Female couples are 44% more likely than male couples to have one/both members of the couple be escorted down the aisle by their father.

LGBTQIA+ Couples Lead the Charge in Inclusive and Hyper-Personalized Celebrations

  • LGBTQIA+ couples have been leading the way to make traditions more inclusive and incorporate hyper-personalized details that are now commonly done among many non-LGBTQIA+ couples.  From having mixed-gender wedding parties so all loved ones can be included to creating their own vows, LGBTQIA+ couples are ushering in the trend of crafting a wedding that’s uniquely their own.

  • Over the past five years, LGBTQIA+ couples have largely preferred to have their ceremony in unique venues like backyards/private gardens (15%) or barns/ranches (14%). The majority walk down the aisle to non-classical music and continue to have mixed-gender wedding parties, like this female couple who opted to have a best man and bride's men.

  • LGBTQIA+ couples have also spearheaded the trend of couples writing their own vows. The majority opted to write their own vows in 2015 (59%) and even more did so in 2019 (70%). This continues to far surpass usage among all couples (44%).

LGBTQIA+ Couples Put Their Own Twists on Tradition

  • LGBTQIA+ couples have become more likely to incorporate wedding traditions—though often with a twist.

  • One of the most popular reception elements is having a first dance. More than 8 in 10 LGBTQIA+ couples had a first dance at their reception in 2019 compared to 42% in 2015.

  • Similarly, cake cutting-ceremonies have also gained popularity at LGBTQIA+ weddings. Just under 70% jointly cut the wedding cake, up from roughly 50% in 2015.

  • Among couples who both identify as female, wearing white has increased in popularity—63% indicate one or both wore the traditional color in their ceremony (up from 29% in 2015).

  • Post nuptials, nearly half are changing their last name to their partner’s. In fact, this has doubled in the past five years.

    • Couples who both identify as female are far more likely than those who both identify as male to have one person change their last name (59% vs. 20%). 

Couples Prioritize Guest Experience When Planning and Budgeting

  • Similarly to all newlyweds, LGBTQIA+ couples say the most important aspect of their wedding is that guests are well taken care of and have a good time, whether that means choosing a stunning location, surprising guests with late-night s’mores, or handing out unique favors. 

  • The average spend for the ceremony/reception is $28,500 among 2019 LGBTQIA+ couples, though guest size, location, and number of vendors hired can all have a significant impact on spend. 

    • In terms of who pays for the wedding, LGBTQIA+ couples, on average, report paying for 61% of the wedding themselves, which is higher than the average for all couples, who pay for 47% of the wedding themselves.

Looking Ahead

  • LGBTQIA+ couples have a lot to celebrate regarding progress in marriage equality, but the community still has hurdles to overcome. Despite strict non-discrimination policies by wedding companies, stories continue to regularly appear in the media about couples being turned away by wedding vendors due to their gender identity or sexual orientation.

    • In June 2020 the Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQIA+ individuals are protected from workplace discrimination. This is no doubt a landmark and celebratory moment in history, though questions remain as to how this ruling will be implemented.

  • Additionally, many states do not offer inclusive options on legal documents such as marriage licenses and driver’s licenses.

    • In fact, only 18 states and Washington D.C. currently allow residents to mark M, F, or X on their driver's license.

  • The wedding industry will need to continue to evolve in the coming decade to ensure that it's meeting the needs of all types of couples.

About the Study

WeddingWire's Marriage Equality Study is based on data among 566 couples married in 2019 and 189 couples married in 2015. “All couples” includes results from 4,518 respondents across all backgrounds. A respondent is considered LGBTQIA+ if both partners identify as the same gender or at least one individual describes themselves as non-binary/gender nonconforming. The surveys were sent to users who have provided their email address to WeddingWire. Please contact for more information.

*There were not enough responses among non-binary/gender nonconforming to separately breakout responses and tell the story of this cohort.