Same-Sex Wedding Etiquette 101

by Laura Leigh Abby

*Tear this page out and give it to an Aunt who doesn’t “get it,” or a friend whose boyfriend “doesn’t really know any lesbians.”

Great news! Same-sex wedding etiquette differs very little from wedding etiquette in general.

I’m not someone who is easily offended, especially by people who are enthusiastic and supportive.

Example: “I am so excited to go to a lesbian wedding!”

This phrase was something I heard many times while wedding planning. Rather than try to correct every offender, I focused instead on the positive side of what they were telling me. Guests were truly looking forward to my wedding, Hooray. This is not always the case, and I loved all of the build-up for the big wedding weekend. I loved all of the politically incorrect fervor, of which there was plenty. I loved, loved, loved it all. Alas, not all same-sex couples are as mellow with this sort of talk. Let me be clear, I’ve offended no small handful of people in my life. Lest you do the same, here are a few pointers for same-sex wedding guests.

First: gay couples do not plan gay weddings. We just plan weddings. If we’re asking you to witness this then we’re also asking for a degree of respect for our marriage.

If you’re not on the best-bud level of comfort with the brides, then don’t say anything that can be construed as sexist, homophobic, or in any way offensive. If you’re wondering if you should ask, don’t. If you’re not sure how the brides will receive your hilarious joke about which one’s the groom, don’t tell it. Basically, if you’re not certain, don’t say it. This is a good rule of thumb. That being said, even if you are best buds with the brides, don’t be the drunk guy who jokingly toasts, “Cheers to the dykes!”

If you’re dying to know what the bride’s father thinks of her getting hitched to a chick, assume that if he’s present he’s on board, so no need to confront any family members on how they are “coping” with having “a gay kid.” If family members are visibly missing, the wedding is not a good time to ask the bride about it.

So to recap: if her family is present—avoid this topic. If her family is not—avoid this topic.

Example: “It’s so great that your parents are cool with all of this.”

My parents are fine. Marrying me off to a hard-working, organized girl with a few bucks in the bank and a 100 percent dedication to spoiling me with love and happiness does not keep my parents up at night.

If you want to know what the brides are wearing, ask. You don’t need to say it like this, “So you’re both wearing dresses? That’s crazy.” You can just say, “Do you know what you’re wearing yet?” Most brides will either be excited to talk about her wedding day look, or she’s keeping it a secret. Wanna know who walks down the aisle? If you don’t know how to ask this without being offensive then wait to find out at the wedding. Safe questions always begin with, “Do you know what your ceremony processional is going to be like?” There are ways to ask questions without making the brides feel like their wedding is an oddity.

Basically, don’t be a dick. Don’t burn the place down. Don’t get black-out drunk (unless it’s that kind of party, which my wedding certainly was) and for the love of God do not forget a card. And if you really want to go above and beyond as a guest at a lesbian wedding, get a card specifically for two brides. This gesture will not go unnoticed.

2Brides 2Be PR cover rgb

This is an excerpt from 2Brides2B: A Same-Sex Guide For The Modern Bride, by Laura Leigh Abbey

Top photo via Facebook/2brides2be

This piece was originally posted on March 23, 2017.

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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