A Very Pink Wedding

You are saving my life right now!!! My partner and I are getting married this year and if it wasn't for your book I'd have had a coronary. Johnny

I would just like to say what a fantastic book 'A Very Pink Wedding - A Gay Guide to Planning Your Perfect Day' is. It has helped my partner and I in taking the first steps in planning our big day and highlighted many things that we had not thought of!!! Sara

A Very Pink Wedding: A Gay Guide to Planning Your Perfect Day, written by Nicola Hill, co-founder of this website is tailored exclusively for gay and lesbian couples whether searching for a fabulous gay-friendly venue, a fantasy cake or a dream honeymoon.

An essential guide to planning your civil partnership, from the initial stages of proposing through to writing speeches and preparing yourself for the big day.

The book is packed with useful checklists, a countdown timetable and a wedding budget planner. There are so many money-saving tips, you'll save the cost of the book instantly.

There are also case studies of gay men and lesbians who have already celebrated their civil partnership.

Contents include:

  • History and legal implications of civil partnerships
  • Timeline counting down to the wedding day
  • How to choose the right venue
  • Budgeting for the ceremony, honeymoon and hidden extras
  • Booking suppliers such as photographers, caterers and toastmasters
  • Choosing your outfits and jewellery
  • Deciding on the wording of your ceremony
  • Useful resources

The book is available in good book shops and re-sellers on Amazon. If you can't get hold of a copy please ask your bookshop to order it from the publishers, HarperCollins.

You may also be interested in our 40-page e-book, Planning your ceremony, which has suggested wordings and music for your civil partnership ceremony. It costs £2.99 plus VAT.

Comments on the book

Your book is fantastic. It's like having a really wise, fun, best friend or big sister to guide you throughout the process. The book is a real treasure.


Your book was invaluable and became a bible as the weeks progressed, thank you for all your tips and useful advice.

Trish and Julie

Just wanted to extend our absolutely huge thanks on your book and the website. We bought a copy of the book the day we got engaged and read it cover to cover that afternoon!. It's brilliant, very empathetic whilst still tangible and full of great practical tips. We also used your site to source our gorgeous venue, which is now booked.

So, thank you for making such a massive contribution to our day, we really owe you one!

Jayney and Vic

A few weeks ago, my best friend bought your book as an engagement gift for me and my partner. It has given us many ideas, and proved to be very useful.


Just wanted to tell you I brought your book and I was very impressed with the range of coverage and the details - well done. I will be recommending it to my customers !!

Lorraine, photographer

We find A Very Pink Wedding, which is now stocked by the library, to be excellent...a good read and very well researched.

Burlington Bertie and Shophound Alexia, Contributing Editors
Out & About in London

I have had many positive comments about your book, they say that whilst it is directed at Pink ceremonies, it is the must have guide for all celebrations as there are so many tips and hints.

Peter York, Toastmaster

It is fantastic, informative, logical, entertaining and very well written. I think it is going to be a great success!


It was fantastic to get a signed copy of the book - I've read a fair bit of it already - mostly on the train back from Brighton today. I must be such a softy - some of it was making me cry! Specially the personal accounts from people about what the partnership means to them. They were really wonderful. You've done an amazing job - it's so comprehensive.


I did purchase your book which I am finding extremely useful. In fact we purchased a copy each for our best men as well.

Thank you for your help.


I just wanted to say, you are saving my life right now!!!

My partner and I are getting married this year and if it wasn't for your book I'd have had a coronary. He proposed to me on Tower Bridge last year and (presuming I'd say yes), afterwards he handed me a gift bag containing 'engagement presents' (as if the ring wasn't enough) and one of them was your book. I've had my nose in it every day since.


Read the reviews

Read customer reviews and other information on Amazon's site

Article that appeared in Dyke Life in October 2007

Your book is a very comprehensive guide for planning our wedding days. There are other guides on the market - what makes yours different?

A Very Pink Wedding is based on personal experience of planning a gay wedding and also draws on the experience of other gay men and lesbians who have tied the knot. It is very practical with lots of money-saving tips, checklists, wish lists and a budget planner.

I hear you got married recently. Were you inspired to write A Very Pink Wedding after trying to plan your own wedding?

Yes, I was fed up with reading guides aimed at straight people and felt that we deserved a book catering to our needs. I also learned a lot of tips from working in the wedding industry and planning my own wedding, which I thought would be useful to pass on.

How did you meet your partner and what finally made you decide to 'tie the knot'?

We met at London Friend, a gay and lesbian organisation. It took six months before we started dating each other and ten years before I popped the question. We decided to marry, partly for romantic reasons and also to protect each other financially. We also wanted to gather all our friends and family together to celebrate our civil partnership.

How long did it take to research all the information for the book? How did you find all the married couples in the book?

It took four or five months to do all the research. I found the married couples through contacts in the wedding industry, from our website www.gay-friendly-wedding-venues.com and friends who had attended civil partnerships.

What are some of the wilder things that people have done for their CPs?

Two men featured in the book, literally turned their day into a theatrical performance with a leather and feathers theme. They hired a theatre for the event and divided the day into three acts. The ceremony involved them singing to each other. They also had a gay men's chorus singing and a guest performing an aria from an opera. At the reception another friend performed a drag act.

A lesbian couple I know hired stretched pink limos to take them and their guests through London, two other lesbians hired a fairy tale castle in Scotland and had bagpipes etc and two others piled their guests onto a steam ship on Lake Windermere. Many gay and lesbian couples have tied the knot on the London Eye.

Were there any disaster stories?

One lesbian couple left a suitcase at home, which had key items inside such as wedding shoes. They only discovered it on the morning of the wedding, when it had snowed heavily outside their hotel. A guest bravely made the hour-long journey through the snow to avert disaster.

Guests who were hiring morning suits turned up after the hire shop had shut. They had to scrabble around to find another shop, which was open on a Sunday morning.

What are your top 3 tips for a successful day? And what are the top 3 things to avoid?!

1.Start planning as soon as possible and build time into your diaries for key stages
2.Make sure you are in control of the planning and don't let anyone else take over
3.Have a detailed running order for the day and share it with everyone involved in organising your civil partnership

To avoid

1.Don't leave too much to the last minute
2.Don't lose control of your budget
3.Don't lose sight of the reasons why you chose to have a civil partnership

On a more personal note and for our readers, what books did you enjoy reading growing up?

Some of the earliest books I remember reading were from the Bobby Brewster series. I also enjoyed the Jennings series - obviously a bit of a tomboy! At secondary school I enjoyed reading some of the classics like Pride and Prejudice and Lord of the Flies.

What is your favourite lesbian novel?
Tipping the Velvet

Which living person do you most admire and why?
Nelson Mandela for sticking to his strong beliefs despite adversity

What's the most romantic thing you have ever done?
Proposed to my partner, Laura at the Temple of Dionysus in Athens

Who was your first crush on?
k.d. lang

Have you begun a new project yet? What do you think you will bring us next?
Yes, I'm working on a TV script and another non-fiction book - can't say more than that at the moment.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and for creating a much-needed guide for gay weddings

Review that appears on Pride West's website

A Very Pink Wedding, from freelance journalist and founder of website gay-friendly-wedding-venues.com Nicola Hill, is a sensible, accessible and practical guide to planning the perfect civil partnership. Tailored exclusively towards gay couples, this handy little book takes you through every stage of the planning process, highlighting what you should focus on first and counting down through the final weeks to the big day itself.

It's all based on a 12 month timetable, and is chock full of advice on every aspect from setting out a budget to finding a venue, organising a reception and booking the honeymoon. With loads of anecdotes from people who have already taken the plunge (I love the story about the blind lesbian couple who, quite rightly, included their dogs in their big day), Nicola's book is essential reading for anyone considering the walk down the aisle. With gay marriage a staple part of today's society, guidance on the essentials from gay-friendly wedding venues to the perfect flower arrangements is needed now more than ever and, as a recent newlywed, the author has clearly done her research. A great gift for anyone planning their perfect wedding.

Review that appears on a blog on SoYoureEngaged.com

Having an older sister who knows what you're going through rocks-because even if she hasn't read the book, she will still pass it on to you. Such was the way Alex and I came by Nicola Hill's A Very Pink Wedding: A Gay Guide to Planning Your Perfect Day.

The more in-depth, paper resource to the online, UK site Gay Friendly Wedding Venues, the book has advice on everything from the UK Civil Partnership Act of 2004, the engagement, the big wedding decisions (venue, catering, registrar), suppliers, to-do lists and, most importantly, you.

While it is so refreshing to be reading about wedding planning by and for gay couples (*cough* like So You're EnGAYged! *cough*) it is also rather frightenly thorough (even including 'ice sculptures' and 'drag king/queen' on their budget list!). This, however, is probably more to do with my fear of budgeting than any fault of the guide's.

What I appreciate most about the book is that it is a hands-on guide about wedding ettiquette, traditions (gay and straight), and a checklist Alex and I can reference for our 'perfect day' that is written to reflect our union-not all 'gay wedding guides' actually do this. It is also handy for us because our home and our first wedding is planned for the UK.

So, if you're looking for a book to snuggle up with (and get down to business with), this SYE blogger highly recommends A Very Pink Wedding. If nothing else for the wedding wishlist, timeline and budget checklist.

Budgeting, yes, I think that will be my next step (and post!). Wish me luck!

Visit our Amazon store for other books, music and software to help you plan your civil partnership ceremony. There are also useful ideas for civil partnership presents.