Ireland's Gay Marriage Referendum: Three Years On

Three years ago The Republic of Ireland held a referendum on equal marriage and the public voted overwhelmingly in favour. By November 2015, the first gay weddings were taking place.  It was a huge result for the country’s LGBTQ community as homosexuality had only been decriminalised in 1993. 
The YES vote – which accounted for more than 70% of returned ballots – made Ireland the first country in the world to legalise equal marriage by popular vote.
But whilst Irish support for same-sex marriage had surged in the years before the referendum, it was, for many, still a hard-fought campaign.  

Referendums can be difficult – Brexit, anyone? – But there are few topics as divisive as gay marriage.  It can split families. It can divide communities. It forces us to see what people really think about homosexual relationships. Suddenly, Karen from three-doors-down isn’t just the nice lady who puts out your bins but OMG! THAT Karen who has a vote NO poster in her window. 
Defending same-sex marriage…

Gay Wedding Venues: The Best Western Marks Tey Hotel near Colchester

We LOVE that The Best Western Marks Tey Hotel near Colchester, Sussex, caters for all sizes of wedding.  It isn’t every venue that offers couples a choice of ten function rooms.  Whether your guest list includes a handful of names or a helluva lot of them, The Best Western Marks Tey Hotel can provide a range of wedding packages to suit all budgets. 
The venue can cater for up to 180 guests at the reception with the added bonus of extensive grounds to enjoy. 
Allow the wedding coordinator to intercede on your behalf to keep the planning as stress-free as possible OR if you’re looking for something a little more bespoke, more personal to you and your partner, then the wedding team can help facilitate your vision of the perfect day.

Guests are welcome to stay overnight at the hotel, too, so there’s no need for the reception to end prematurely. Why not take a moment before your big day to unwind in the hotel’s spa where you can enjoy the steam room, sauna, air-conditioned gym, pool and outdo…

LGBTQ Wedding Venue & Vendor Spotlight

There are some fantastic gay-friendly wedding venues in the Pink Wedding Days directory, and we’ve always been proud to host such a diverse range of venues and service providers dedicated to giving couples the happiest day of their lives. 

But choosing the venue or vendor for your same-sex wedding or civil partnership can be tough.  Sometimes we don’t know what we want OR we only know what we don’t want to see in our ceremonies.  It could be that we want to be surprised, to see something different or unique or a mix of the modern or traditional. Things are made more complicated by the sheer number of magazines, websites, brochures, magazines, fairs, television shows etc offering inspiration and choices. 

It’s easy to become overwhelmed. 

It’s easy to feel underwhelmed by the whole thing, too. 
One thing you can do is give yourself some space before you start the serious business of wedding planning. Think of this time as a buffer between the engagement and the big decision making and st…

Wedding Favours: 5 LGBTQ Charities to Donate to

The average wedding costs around £27,000. Couples could be forgiven for thinking that an invitation is favour enough without adding a small gift on top.  Wedding planning is stressful and shopping around for trinkets and tokens to add to place settings can seem an unwelcome drain both on time and budget. 
But favours are still popular. 

They do make a cute addition to the tables at the wedding breakfast, too, when they’re chosen to complement the reception's overall aesthetic or theme.

One of the biggest trends in recent years has been serving retro sweets and chocolates as wedding favours. Sweetie carts and jars where you fill your own bags are a regular feature at receptions and are popular both with younger and older guests.  It’s easy enough to find out which sugary treats are fan favourites; you can read the results of a recent survey on the nation’s favourite candies and chocolates here.

But is there still a place for the traditional favour: the small gesture of thanks that sits…

Wedding Favours: The Nation's Favourite Sweets and Chocolates

What is wedding planning if not just a series of choices made about things you wouldn’t normally worry about.  Your big day needs big decisions, and you may quickly find yourself becoming an expert in fields you’d never even considered before: décor, flower arranging, interior design, conflict management (you can’t sit HER next to HIM…) to name but a few. Fortunately, some decisions are more enjoyable than others:  Food tasting, cake sampling, wine pairing, honeymoon planning, anyone?
And one of the best jobs has to be researching what goes on the sweetie cart.Guests love retro sweets, and offering a selection of nostalgic candies and chocolates has been one of the most popular reception trends of recent years.Sweets make great favours, too, and are popular with both young and old guests.Affordable, colourful, nostalgic and, most importantly, tasty as hell, retro sweets are brilliant because as everyone knows, calories don’t count at weddings.
So what are the nation’s favourites sweets a…

Gay Wedding Venues and Vendors on Pink Wedding Days

Looking for a gay-friendly wedding venue or service provider? Pink Wedding Days can help.We list UK businesses eager to assist you and your partner in the planning of your same-sex marriage ceremony. We’ve got venues and vendors across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and they come in all shapes, sizes and for all budgets.
For example, looking for a wedding venue in Scotland with a view?  Then don’t miss The Vu – this centrally located venue sits between Edinburgh and Glasgow in the Bathgate hills, on the gorgeous Ballencrief Reservoir.  Couples are married in the Water Lily Suite that actually extends out onto the water.  It doesn’t get much better than that.
Or maybe you’re looking for luxury transportation for your wedding?  Fancy arriving in something special? BK Executive Cars has a fleet of superb vehicles that won’t just get you to the ceremony on time but in style – your bridesmaids and families, too.

Maybe you’re after Victorian splendour in historic Brighton?  If so…

Trinidad and Tobago's Ban on Consensual Gay Intimacy is Overturned

Trinidad and Tobago’s High Court has ruled that it is unlawful to criminalise same-sex intimacy between two consenting adults. 
Anal intercourse was previously punishable by up to twenty-five years in prison. Sexual intimacy – without intercourse – risked a sentence of five years.
This is fantastic news for the island’s gay community, but it also highlights the severity of homosexuality laws in a number of Britain’s previous colonies.That two gay men could face a twenty-five-year prison sentence for having a consensual sexual encounter is unbelievably draconian, and it’s Britain’s fault.  These laws are a hangover from a time when Britain treated homosexuals like criminals and told its colonies to do the same. 
Theresa May has now said that she ‘deeply regrets’ Britain’s role in creating and enforcing anti-LGBTQ laws in Commonwealth nations. Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has promised that he will ‘raise LGBTQ rights with foreign leaders of countries where homosexuality is illegal’. 

Gay Wedding Venues: The Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel

Brighton is home to one of the UK’s largest LGBTQ communities making this Victorian seaside resort ideal for same-sex weddings.

Whilst there are plenty of gay wedding venues in Brighton here’s one that should definitely be on your must-see list: the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel.
Couples have a choice of ceremony spaces: the Clarence Suite, the Ambassador Suite, and the Regency Suite which is the largest of the three. For guests with a more intimate wedding in mind, there is also The Chartwell Suite at the top of the hotel which commands excellent sea views. 
Located in the heart of Brighton, The Hilton Metropole is less than an hour away from Central London by train.  This hotel boasts Victorian splendour, effortless charm and impressive attention to detail and all with magnificent sea views.
Here's what the venue has to say in its own words: 
There couldn’t be a more romantic location for the biggest day of your life, than Hilton Brighton Metropole. Set in the heart of one of the U…

Win Your Wedding Reception at Sandon Hall

How about winning your wedding reception at the gorgeous Sandon Hall in Staffordshire?

Sandon Hall has teamed up with award-winning caterer Vanilla in Allseasons and The Estate Boys bar service to offer this amazing prize worth £10,900 including venue hire, catering and a DJ.
All you have to do is send them your proposal story in five hundred words or fewer (with supporting photographs and video) before May 4th. 

Full details of this amazing prize-package are listed on Sandon Hall’s blog and include:
Exclusive use of Sandon Hall for the wedding reception on Saturday 27th April 2019Use of house and grounds for photographyUse of conservatory for arrival drinks and canapésUse of Saloon for wedding breakfast and evening party until Midnight
Value: £6,750
Exceptional service courtesy of a multi-award winning teamArrival canapésDelicious three-course set meal for up to 40 guestsCutlery, crockery and table linensBacon and sausage baps for up to 80 guests at the evening reception
Value: £2,650

Lesbian Wedding Etiquette: 4 Tips for First Time Guests

Gay marriage was legalised in England, Scotland and Wales in 2015 and Civil Partnerships a decade earlier, so why do some people still need to be schooled on how to act at a same-sex ceremony?
Or maybe it isn’t specifically an LGBTQ issue.  We’ve been writing about weddings long enough now to know that they can bring out the worst in guests regardless of the happy couple’s sexual orientation.
And it isn’t just guests who aren’t 100% on board with homosexuality that can be a problem.  There are the over-enthusiastic first-timers, too: the ones who mean well but treat the day like a novelty sideshow.

“I’m SO excited about your gay wedding.”
“I’ve never been to a LESBIAN wedding before” “I think it’s amazing that they let YOU get married now.”

Being excited about a wedding, any wedding, is what any soon-to-be-married couple wants but remember that most gay couples have spent their entire lives having to defend their sexuality, being reminded that their relationship isn't the same and that …

Europe’s Top 10 LGBT Friendly Destinations

We’re at the start of the wedding season, and if you’re about to start planning your same-sex ceremony and reception, then you’re probably itching to book your honeymoon, too.
Only it isn’t as straightforward for LGBTQ couples.  It’s not just following the sunshine, checking the Foreign Office website, noting the strength of the pound against the Euro or Dollar or picking somewhere pretty from a glossy brochure.
There are countries in the world where homosexuality is still punishable by death. There are honeymoon destinations where gay people can be flogged, imprisoned, murdered without impunity.
There are popular sunshine destinations where holding your partner's hand could expose you to abuse.
So we were intrigued when the fab people at James Villas sent us Destination Pride’s research into Europe’s Top 10 LGBT-friendly destinations and there are some fab spots in there.
Each score is out of one hundred and has taken into account 6 factors: marriage equality, sexual activity laws…