June 27, 2014

Second Annual Same-Sex Wedding Survey Highlights Trends in LGBT Nuptials

Survey from TheKnot.com and The Advocate Showcases New and Old Wedding Traditions for Same-Sex Couples

NEW YORK (June 27, 2014) –  To commemorate Pride Month, the striking down of same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Indiana, and the anniversary of the overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), TheKnot.com, the number-one online wedding planning destination, and The Advocate, the world’s leading gay news source, announced the results of their second annual same-sex wedding survey. This study looks at many aspects of weddings, from the engagement ring to the honeymoon, comparing the traditions that same-sex couples are following in their wedding ceremonies with those of their straight counterparts.

“Here at The Knot, we’ve been proud supporters of marriage equality from day one,” said Rebecca Dolgin, The Knot editor in chief. “In researching for Gay Weddings from The Knot, a special digital magazine we just released to celebrate equal love for all, we wanted to look further into the traditions the LGBT community is following, and making their own.”

“One year after the Supreme Court’s landmark rulings on marriage, this survey illustrates their enormous impact playing out in the lives of couples who want to marry. As you might expect, same-sex couples are much the same as everyone else. We share a passion for the great traditions in wedding celebrations—from exchanging rings to marrying in a suit or tuxedo—but we also like to add our own unique twist on the celebrations,” said Joe Landry, the executive vice president, publishing, for Here Media.

Top Stats from TheKnot.com and The Advocate Same-Sex Weddings Survey

As marriage equality continues to be legalized in more states across the country, the words “commitment ceremony” and “civil union” are becoming scarcer. Eighty-two percent of same-sex couples refer to this occasion as their wedding in invitations, up from 70 percent in 2013.

Seventy-one percent of same-sex couples will have a ceremony and reception, as opposed to 96 percent)1 of straight couples. Twelve percent of same-sex couples will only have a ceremony, and 7 percent of couples are planning to simply host a reception.

Same-sex couples are less likely to have a formal proposal (58 percent) than straight couples (94 percent)1.

Proposing with a ring is not as common for same-sex couples, with about two out of three couples (62 percent) exchanging an engagement ring before or after the proposal.

When it comes to wedding attire, nearly all (91 percent) of same-sex couples know what their partner is wearing in advance, with 49 percent of male same-sex couples and 20 percent of female same-sex couples wearing matching outfits.

As a nod to customary wedding wear, 42 percent of both female and male same-sex couples are wearing a suit or tuxedo as their wedding day attire.

The “walk down the aisle”: Less than half (45 percent) of same-sex couples did or plan to walk down the aisle. Of those couples, 59 percent of female same-sex couples will be escorted by a family member, along with 37 percent of male same-sex couples.

Forty percent of male same-sex couples and 30 percent of female same-sex couples plan to walk down the aisle together.

Straight couples are more likely to tie religion into their ceremony (63 percent), while only 38 percent of same-sex couples will incorporate religion.

Writing vows is more common for same-sex couples, with nearly half (49 percent) writing their own, compared to about one in four (23 percent) straight couples.

Only 35 percent of same-sex couples plan to set up a wedding registry, compared with 87 percent of straight couples.

In a more traditional move, 79 percent 1 of straight brides will change their last name to the groom’s last name, while 54 percent of same-sex couples will keep their given last names. Forty-one percent of female same-sex couples and 23 percent of male same-sex couples will change their last name to their partner’s.

Although same-sex couples are spending less on average ($15,849) on their weddings than straight couples ($29,858 1), they’re having more intimate affairs (77 guests on average versus 138) and still investing just as much on their guests, with an average spend of $205 per head (compared with $220 per head for straight couples).

When it comes to finances, 85 percent of same-sex couples are paying for their wedding themselves, compared with only 13 percent of straight couples.

The 63 percent of same-sex couples going on a honeymoon are taking more luxe trips than straight couples, with an average spend of $4,965, compared to$4,744 for the 77 percent of straight couples who take a honeymoon.

While same-sex weddings have always been prominent on TheKnot.com and in The Knot Magazine, Gay Weddings from The Knot is a special digital magazine released in honor of Pride Month that features wedding inspiration, planning tips, advice from top experts, beautiful real weddings and more.

Download the Gay Weddings app from the App StoreGoogle Play, or Amazon to read the issue on your IOS, Android or Kindle device – or read it on your desktop on ISSUU.com.

For more information, please visit TheKnot.com or Advocate.com.

1= TheKnot.com 2013 Real Weddings Study

About The Knot 
The Knot is the nation’s leading wedding resource, reaching nearly every couple in America through the #1 wedding website, TheKnot.com; The Knot national and local wedding magazines; The Knot book series; syndicated columns in newspapers nationwide; and mobile apps. The Knot is the flagship brand of XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXOhttp://www.theknotworldwide.com), the premier consumer internet and media company devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between, providing young to-be-weds with the trusted information, products and advice they need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives. Follow The Knot on Twitter @TheKnot.

About Here Media 
Here Media Inc. produces and distributes niche content across all platforms worldwide. Here Media’s iconic brands distribute gay media with universal, humanistic appeal. Its distribution platforms include television, VOD, broadband, online, print and mobile.

Here Media owns and operates a variety of media assets, including:

  • Iconic brands OUT, The Advocate, Here TV and Gay.com.
  • Web properties Gay.com, Advocate.com, Out.com, OutTraveler.com and SheWired.com.