Etiquette for Gay and Lesbian Weddings
By Liz Washer
Were getting married! What a thrill it is to finally be able to say these words, or to hear dear friends announce them. While were all caught up in the excitement of making history, it might be time to step back a bit and consider how our weddings will work and how we will act at them. What are the rules and are there any?
The good news is, common sense and good old-fashioned etiquette still rule the roost (and dont let anyone tell you otherwise). But for the wedding challenges that are unique to same-sex couples, as well as those that are important no matter who you are marrying, here are some guidelines.
1. Two white gowns, two tuxedos, one of each or neither?
There are no hard and fast rules, so just go ahead and wear what feels
right to you. A samesex wedding is a great opportunity to break
away from traditional wedding apparel. Some couples prefer traditional
clothing, and others prefer to have a theme, such as Elizabethan garb.
The choice is yours!
|8. Don't be afraid to announce your engagement
in the local newspapers. GLBT or alternative newspapers are usually happy
to include your listing and will almost certainly accept a display ad, but
dont skip the mainstream papers if that is your desire. The more same-sex
couples make this request, the more likely the papers will change their
9. To change your name or not. This is a very personal decision. Choices include keeping your own names, taking one or the other person's name, hyphenating your names, merging your names, or picking a whole new name. Make sure to check with someone who knows the law in your state, and don't forget to change everything including your social security card and driver's license.
10. What do you call the person you have joined with? Husband, wife, partner, soul mate, lifelong partner, significant other, spouse, my man/woman, the love of my life, my better half? That's entirely up to the two of you just use your chosen titles with confidence, and without apology.
11. Weddings can be very complicated affairs, and on the Big Day you may feel as though youre at the breaking point! Throughout it all, try to keep in mind why youare doing it: to express your love for one another. Dont get bogged down in the details. For example, if the band doesnt show up, just turn on the radio and dance in each others arms. Life happens, and todays the day to put your best foot forward. You owe it to your guests and your spouse-to-be
to not hyperventilate over every little thing that goes wrong, and you owe it to yourself to have fun.
12. Even though you are the guests of honor, do keep an eye on your other guests. Introduce people to one another dont let your families and friends stand in separate cliques if you can help it! Recruit a trusted friend to run interference and help draw out the shy folks, or even play matchmaker. And make sure that someone keeps an eye on the party-hearty partygoers, and snags car keys from guests who have imbibed.
13. The honeymoon should take place where the two of you can feel free to express your affection toward one another. There are many popular gay-friendly destinations, such as Provincetown, Ogunquit, Northampton, Fire Island, Palm Springs and Key West. All lovely vacation spots, but dont pick a gay standby just because! Go wherever you want to go, just be sure to plan ahead and, if possible, check beforehand with gay organizations or individuals in the area if you are concerned about whether or not youll be welcomed.
14. Don't forget to send thank you notes in a timely fashion. Remember to thank folks for gifts as well as any help they provided.