A new survey reveals that gay couples are taking a strikingly different approach to wedding planning than their heterosexual counterparts.
The Knot teamed with The Advocate to survey gay and lesbian couples about their wedding planning habits, and released the results of their first Same-Sex Wedding Survey on Friday. The findings indicate that same-sex couples are more likely than straight couples to forgo tradition in many aspects of wedding planning.
Same-sex couples were less likely than heterosexual couples to have a "formal" proposal (40 percent simply "decided to get married"). They were also more likely to evenly split wedding planning duties and pay for the wedding themselves (86 percent, compared to 40 percent of straight couples), as well as call their wedding "casual."
Straight couples reported having more pre-wedding events -- 22 percent had a bridal shower and 25 percent had a bachelor or bachelorette party, while just 8 percent of gay couples had a shower and 13 percent had a bachelor or bachelorette party.
On the Big Day, gay couples were less likely to be walked down the aisle by a family member -- 35 percent will be escorted, compared to 74 percent of straight partners. Same-sex couples were more likely to be married by a justice of the peace (22 percent, as opposed to 8 percent of straight couples). And while 39 percent of straight couples said religious vows, 45 percent of gay couples wrote their own.
The survey found that 76 percent of brides take their groom's name after the wedding, whereas 62 percent of gay couples kept their own names.
However, lesbian couples were more likely to adopt traditions like a formal proposal, a walk down the aisle and one partner’s name being taken by both.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act that made it illegal for married same-sex couples to receive federal marriage benefits and repealed California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8. An estimated 37,000 gay and lesbian couples are expected to wed in California over the next three years, according to UCLA's Williams Institute.
According to Pew Research Center, at least 71,165 gay couples have married in the U.S. since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004. A Pew poll revealed that 52 percent of LGBT Americans would like to get married some day.
Click through the slideshow below to see gorgeous same-sex wedding photos.
There is so much love in this passionate smooch! Gorgeous lighting for your wedding Photo by: Mi Belle Photography on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly
Two grooms take part in the tradition of jumping the broom. Dozens of ways for guys to rock their ties Photo by: We Are For Each Other on The Brides Cafe via Lover.ly
This bride looks so in love as she gazes at her new wife. The prettiest birdcage veils Photo by: Alternative Life Photography on Equally Wed via Lover.ly
We can't help but get a little teary whenever we see an emotional bride or groom. Order custom hankies for your big day Photo by: Lisa Lent on Polka Dot Bride via Lover.ly
The fact that these two have spent the past 33 summers in Cape Cod -- where they also wed -- makes their wedding all the more romantic. Chic nautical wedding ideas Photo by: Ralph Alswang Photography on Equally Wed via Lover.ly
When famed wedding photographer Jose Villa got married, we knew the photos would be amazing and this candid shot from the oh-so-talented Elizabeth Messina proves us right. Get inspiration for couples portraits Photo by: Elizabeth Messina on Kiss The Groom via Lover.ly
We love this first look from two super chic brides. See more fabulous hair flowers Photo by: Borrowed Blue Old and New on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly
What a kiss! Pretty purple wedding ideas Photo by: Kyle Bromley on Equally Wed via Lover.ly
These two look like they are having so much fun. Wedding bouquets for every couple Photo by: Weddings By Catherine on Equally Wed via Lover.ly
We love this intimate cake cutting moment. Find the perfect wedding cake Photo by: Adventure Wedding Photos on The Brides Cafe via Lover.ly