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Orchestra weddings is an Italian wedding agency exclusively addressed to LGBT couples that choose Italy for their destination wedding
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italian civil unions and gay wedding

Civil union vs marriage: rights, duties, and differences

In many countries same-sex marriage is now a consolidated reality. In Italy it is not still permitted, instead there is another form of legal union for both same-sex and straight couples, called civil union. But, beyond the formal aspects of a gay or lesbian ceremony, let’s see what’s the real difference between marriage and civil union.

Difference between marriage and civil union

Let’s try to understand what separates civil union from marriage.

For marriage we mean the civil celebration, not the religious one. Both civil union and marriage are legal acts protected by the Italian constitution. But, while the civil union is permitted for same sex couples, marriage unfortunately, is not. There is not yet a real equality between same-sex couples and straight coupes.

This celebration does not necessarily imply a ceremony and there are not preliminary obligations, but both acts implicate duties and rights to respects during life as a couple.

The civil union newborn law does not include a legal recognition for stepchild adoption. Moreover it does not require fidelity as the marriage does.

For what concerns all other aspects, the celebrations are almost identical. The civil union do not implies necessarily a ceremony, but only a declaration in front of a public officer (a mayor, an alderman, a councilman or a civilian with delegation) made by the couple at the presence of the two witnesses. The act will be after transcribed on a registry.

Civil union vs marriage: rights and duties

As for marriage, the civil union implies the mutual obligation of cohabitation, of community property state (or separation of property according to what the couple has decided), obligation of moral and material assistance, obligation to contribute to common needs, and, in case of death of the partner, it includes the acquisition of the pension rights. Lastly, in the event of serious illness of one of the partners, the other partner has the right to decide to accept or not the eventual care policy.

De-facto relationship

Italian common law already included also the legal procedure for the recognization of de-facto relationship. In this case, the partners have to formalize the relationship with corresponding duties and rights, with no necessity of getting married. The de-facto relationship can be seen as a lighter alternative to the legal marriage, open to every kid of couple, aiming to the recognization of duties and rights, solution that has to be formalized by a notary.


Gay wedding photographer: six tips to chose the right one

To chose the right gay wedding photographer could seem a obvious and simple task but, as for the choice of all other suppliers, it’s necessary to pay more attention for what still represents, for the majority, an event outside of conventional canons.

Here six tips to help you in choosing a professional gay wedding photographer for the ceremony.

1. You have to appreciate the work of a gay wedding photographer

This can seem an obvious observation, but it is fundamental. Out there there is an impressive number of photographers, but you have the task to find out the one able to represent your wedding exactly the way you see it. Have a look to his/her previous works, be tireless in this and at the end, do a stringent sorting, so to have a final and very restrict selection of “candidates”.

2. Try to understand how many gay weddings he has in his portfolio

Try to understand how many gay weddings he has in his portfolio, and if among these, there are a few same-sex, if you don’t want that you wedding will be use as a testing ground. If there are no gay wedding try but you undoubtedly love his/her work, try to understand if he feels comfortable with it

3. Do not save money on the wedding photographer

Among the different budget lines that you can review to arrow the budget, do not put the photographer. A small discount can be ok but pay attention to those photographer offering their services too a low price. After all when all guests will be back home, all that will remain will be the result of his job.

4. He/she has to feel comfortable in working with a same sex couple

Even if it’s his/her first time, be sure he’s casual to your union, beyond his/her technical abilities. If he/she feels uncomfortable in front of a gay kiss or and embrace, he/she is simply not suitable for the job,

5. The photographer has to be able to represent creatively your couple dynamics

Gender roles changes in same sex weddings and, consequently, change the way the are represented. A good gay wedding photographer has to demonstrate, more than in a straight wedding, a great sensibility to family dynamics, that have to be handled with care and empathy.

6. There has to be empathy at a personal level

This is the fundamental point, and every good photographer can’t but agree with it. You can love his work but if there’s not empathy between you and him/her, it’s not assumed that from his work you will obtain the best.

Wedding dresses: a tradition adopted by lesbian wedding outfits

Same-sex weddings are rewriting a whole tradition. In most cases they are reinventing a completely new one. Despite this, most of the straight wedding apparel tradition has been adopted (and re-adapted) by lesbian wedding outfits. And among things that are not meant to be left, there is the wedding dress, still long, still white.  

What do today’s same-sex couples want to keep and what do they want to throw away about straight bridal wear tradition?

1 – You can’t see the bride’s dress before wedding

bride's dress

With some exceptions that naturally exist, being wedding a intimate and personal moment above all, the trend among same-sex couples is not to give importance to this tradition that seems stale and sometimes forced. Gay and lesbian couples generally think that keeping the wedding wear a secret has no much sense, especially if both are wearing the same outfit.

2 – White dress for the brides

The new LGBTQ tradition about wedding has increased the customization level, also for what concerns gay or lesbian wedding outfits. Gay and lesbian couples feel much more free to express their personality through their personal style. Despite this, most of lesbian brides still choose a white dress, probably leaving behind the symbolic meaning of purity and virginity but still wanting to keep a link with tradition.  

3 – The bouquet

lesbian wedding bouquet toss

Even though you can still see lesbian bride holding it, and tossing it to sigle women with the believe that who catches it will be the next to merry, its’a tradition borrowed from straight weddings that is slowly disappearing.

4- Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

4- something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

These are the four things that must be part of the lesbian wedding outfits and that the bride should wear while she’s walking through the isle. This is supposed to bring good luck in her marriage. This tradition comes from a traditional rhyme that details what a bride should wear for her wedding:

Something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue,
and a sixpence in her shoe.

This custom comes from England and probably dates back to the Victorian Age. Another tradition is about to be forgotten, without regrets, by same-sex brides and grooms.

5 – Bridal veil as part of the lesbian wedding outfits

bridal veil

A tradition that is slowly disappearing in same-sex weddings. The tradition of the wedding veil comes from old times, when weddings were in most part pre-defined by families. At that time the groom’s family did not permit the groom to see the bride before the ceremony to prevent him to refuse, once he saw her, to get married.  In more recent times the veil was worn to keep the bride look secret and as a symbol of good luck.

topper for a gay wedding cake

Gay wedding cake: colors and flavors more popular among celebrities

Are there particular direction to observe when choosing the cake for a same sex weddings? Not really. The gay wedding new tradition has already shown that the possibilities are many, it depends from several factors such as the style of the whole event, and, of course, the taste of the couple.  A gay wedding cake has not necessarily to be a rainbow one, and the choice of the topper is optional. So LGBTQ or straight, let’s get inspired by the best celebrity wedding cakes!


1. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi

ellen degeneres and portia the rossi gay wedding cake

Already ten years has passed but Ellen and Portia’s wedding remains one of the most stylish. They choose a beautiful red velvet cake in vegan version, adorned with pink and purple roses.

2. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

meghan and harry wedding cake

Definitely a more classical one: Meghan and Harry decided to brake the royal tradition with their wedding cake that differed from other royal cakes: instead of the traditional fruitcake the couple have chosen an elderflower cake decorated with buttercream and fresh white flowers.

3. Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley

Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley wedding cake

A white four-tiered cake, which was half-chocolate and half-vanilla (reflecting the different tastes of the couple) decorated with white roses.

4 . Pippa Middleton and James Matthews

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews wedding cake
A traditional and colorful multi-tiered fruit cake for Pippa Middleton sister of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

5. George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin wedding cake

A magnificent white and golden three tiered art deco-style wedding cake for the Hollywood actor that got married in Venice to Amal Alamuddin.

6. Bianca Balti & Matthew McRae

Bianca Balti & Matthew McRae wedding cake

The Italian supermodel got married to Matthew McRae in California. The wedding cake was a naked cake, decorated with flowers and lemon and orange fruits and leaves.


Gay or lesbian wedding rings: from tradition’s origins to the present

Wedding ring is still today a symbol of the eternal bond between two people that wearing it promise to join their lives with the partner. That of the wedding ring is a tradition coming from ancient times. Let’s find out more about its origins, its meaning nowadays, the differences with the engagement ring and which is the right finger for gay or lesbian wedding rings.


The anulus (in latin) was a “small circle” used from ancient times to adorn hands or arms and, sometimes, also feet. But beyond this aesthetic function the ring has assumed during time other symbolic meanings, thanks to its particular shape, without beginning or end, able to represent the spacial perfection of the life circle ant that of eternity. The ring was also used as a royal seal, starting from ancient Egyptians that used to put on them snakes or beetles. The ring was also used to indicate a social status, as emblem of power and authority. The Greeks used to apply cameos or engravings on it, Roman matrons a small key, sign of their authority in the house. For centuries, Roman senators and magistrates had the exclusive right to wear the golden ring. During the middle age, from the ninth century, kings during their coronation, and bishops for their consecration manifested their authority wearing a golden ring.


The Christian use of the exchange of ring during the wedding celebration is probably dated back to Ninth century. The mystic circular shape, perfection of the union, assumed the meaning of mutual loyalty, while the gold, usually yellow, instead of iron, represents in the christian tradition, the eternity of the bond. So that the braking of the ring predicts disasters. In sixteenth century people started to wear one or more rings with seals or precious stones and became widely used to wear the ring also after the ceremony. Only in eighteenth century became common use to engrave inside it names and dates.


An ancient Egyptian belief thought that a small artery, called in Latin vena amoris (vein of love) ran through the ring finger of the left hand directly to the heart.

Not everywhere the ring is worn on the left hand. In Eastern and Northern Europe the wedding ring is worn on the right hand. The same in some countries of South America, while in the past, in England it was worn on the thumb finger.


Now that same sex wedding has been institutionalized, the question is: is there a different tradition in wearing a gay or a lesbian wedding ring? As it often happens with still in the making traditions, we can trace a tendency, that of wearing the engagement ring on the right hand, and the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand, as in straight wedding, but there are many exceptions, mostly among lesbians, that prefer wearing the engagement ring on the left hand and the wedding ring on the right. 


Wedding planner: less stress and more fun for the stars of the party!

You probably happened to attend a wedding party and see the overwhelmed bride or groom desperately waiting for the party to start to grab his/her first drink and forget all sorrows! If we’re talking about a destination wedding, the stress level increases exponentially because the couple has to face every aspect of the planning process from far away, often trying to solve problems in a language they do not know, within an unknown legal framework.

That’s the role of an Italian destination wedding planner: to manage all paperwork, to organize every detail not only of the creative process but also all those less appealing aspects, often from a far timezone, giving the grooms/brides the chance to think only to pleasant things while he/she solves out most of the problems.

The destination wedding planner is a professional that knows in depth Italy and can help you to find the region that most suits your needs. He/she is ready to support, suggest and help you to keep calm while waiting the big date. So that you can have fun searching wedding attire or decoration  ideas on Pinterest.

But the most important goal of the wedding planner is to help you to stay on budget. Once you have defined a budget, he/she can help you to obtain the maximum from it optimizing every cost item.

The wedding planner experience also prevents you from unpleasant surprises because he/she already knows most of suppliers. If you chose a real professional you can fully enjoy both the organizational period and, above all, the party day.

But how much does a wedding planner cost?

It depends from the services you need, it can be only a consultancy service or the full wedding planning service.  Many wedding planners charge a fixed fee based on the kind of wedding you want, other professionals charge by a percentage of the budget. In both cases, you won’t have to renounce to the services of a wedding planner. If you choose the right one he will be able to pay back his fee by making you spare a good amount of money.


How a wedding is organized: timing and priorities

When organizing a destination wedding there are priorities that you have to take in account in order not to risk thinking to flower arrangement or to invitations while missing fundamental factors that may affect the success of the event.

What are the things to do first?

Pick a date

The venue you chose determines in most cases the exact date, especially if it’s in hight demand, many venue are booked  months in advance, even years if it’s a very popular one, so in many cases the availability is not guaranteed. So you’d better start the search with a precise date in mind, it will simplify all work.

Paperwork first

Same-sex wedding is now recognized in many countries, but it’s important to have a clear idea of the Italian legal framework. If you decide to celebrate a legal marriage and not only a symbolic one, you must get properly informed in good time about the documents to produce. Also consider possible delays in receiving answers or documents.

Fix a budget

It’s important to have a clear idea of the total expense to understand the margin you can have and to measure all choices in function of the budget.

Find a location

The starting point is to find the right location, first of all to ensure the availability on the date, and also because it is a significant cost in the budget and once booked you can start thinking to all smaller cost items. Moreover, the venue is the choice which other stylistic choice will be all about.

What is a reasonable time to start planning a wedding?

Much depends from one’s character, but generally 18 months is a reasonable time. Considering that not only there is a wedding to plan, but you have also to arrange every aspect concerning guests, from information on accommodation and transports, and that every negotiation has to be done with a foreign vendor, it’s better to start well in advance.


Why a Gay wedding Agency

The ongoing struggle of the LGBT community for the recognition of equal rights should not – and in our opinion can not – be interpreted as the will of this community to identify themselves within the traditional institution of marriage as we know it today. Above all, we need  at this \”prehistoric\” stage of the gay marriage institution, to consolidate services and ceremonials elaborated on the specific needs of LGBT couples who do not want to simply borrow rules and canons from the traditional marriage, but need an attentive service to specific requirements. This is why we believe in the need to create a wedding agency specifically dedicated to the relationship with LGBT customers.


Your gay wedding in winter


Traditions are a very important part of the Italian culture, and the wedding ceremony is one of those events in which these tradition are still very much alive. Moreover all these traditions vary from region to region, and that’s what makes the famous “Italian wedding” so intrguing.
Now that Italian law recognises same-sex unions, LGBT couples can incorporate Italian Wedding tradition in their big day, and Orchestra can help them doing this.
Orchestra is the first Wedding Planner offering a LGBT wedding ceremony in an authentic Italian style.

Bomboniera, an Italian wedding tradition

bomboniera is what it’s usually called ‘party favor’; It’s a little sachet or box with confetti (sugar almondsin it that is given away at weddings or other parties. It very often comes with a more or less useful little object. It’s a tipical Italian tradition introduced at the end of XV century, from France. Its name comes from the use of aristocrats to bring with them little boxes with candies (bon bon in French) or other sweets in them.

In 1700, with the wedding of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Elena of Montenegro the bomboniera becomes part of the Italian wedding tradition as a thanking gift offered to all guests. Traditionally was a precious little object made of silver, crystal or porcelain

These days a bomboniera can be any sort of object, according to the bride and groom’s taste. It can be a usefull, traditional, glamour, echologic, fair trade or designer fancy object. It has become a tradition also the bomboniera made with some typical food products or traditional handicrafts.