So you've been invited to a same sex wedding. What's the correct etiquette? Guest blogger and Melbourne Celebrant Bronte Price offers some of his personal top tips....
You have been invited to a gay wedding and you are excited. It’s certainly a new experience for you. No matter how excited you are you can’t hide the small amount of nervousness from your system. It’s the same kind of nervousness that comes when you do anything for the first time.
Relax, a gay wedding is a lot like any other wedding, full of love and happiness. Weddings might have evolved from what they were in the past, but the basics remain the same. If you notice closely, you can see every ceremony at a wedding is gendered. Be it the father walking the daughter or having a bridesmaid, these are all specific to the gender of the person involved. There are many other aspects that do not make sense in a gay wedding. This flexibility gives the opportunity to a lot of new ideas and creativity.
Feel fortunate; you are being invited to witness the union of two souls in love. Here are 6 etiquettes that are a must for every guest:
1. It’s a wedding and not a straight or gay wedding
First off, no matter how hard it is to understand, a wedding is a wedding. It doesn’t come as a categorisation of a straight or gay wedding. It involves two people in love who come together to stay together forever. A wedding is a celebration that’s done in front of people the couple loves and respects. Statements like, “I am so excited to be part of a Lesbian wedding.” is certainly enthusiastic and well-meaning. However, you are unintentionally also saying the couple that the only reason you are excited is that they are lesbians and not because they are getting married.
2. Gay weddings do not mean drama
Respect the theme that the couple has mentioned. It could be semi-formal or Hawaiian for that matter, stick to it. And in case you have any doubts about it, call up the couple and ask. You don’t want to be the only one wearing a flashy tuxedo to a Hawaiian party. The focus should be on the couple in the picture and a good guest sticks to the memo for it. And do not photobomb or become a pain to the photographer capturing the ceremony.
3. Keep your alcohol in check
It’s easy to let go of inhibitions after a couple of drinks and just blurt out your innermost thoughts. Keep your alcohol content in check and stay away from drama. It’s wise to support the couple and make their big day as comfortable as possible for them.
4. Keep your opinions (If any) to yourself
You are free to have your opinions. But you don’t like the couple’s dress idea or why they didn’t have a ring bearer? Well, keep it to yourself.
5. Read the room and blend in
All couples are different, aren’t they? You don’t have to ask if the parents are okay with the idea of their daughter marrying a girl. You don’t either have to ask what they think about the marriage. Keep those questions to yourself. What matters most is the couple is getting married because of the love they share. Read the atmosphere of the room and stick to it without making things awkward for the couple.
6. Be careful about what you share on social media
There can be times when a couple is not comfortable sharing their pictures online. As a guest, it’s your duty to check. It could be a harmless picture of the couple having their first dance, but take care to avoid posting details of the wedding that the couple may or may not want to leak out. It could be the couple’s dresses or their specific plans, let them be the first ones to share it with the world.
In the end, you are a privileged guest the couple wants to share their big day with. Be a part of their story and be a guest who makes the couple feel happy and supported.
Thanks to guest blogger Bronte Price. You can visit his website here.
Bronte Price is a Melbourne-based Marriage Celebrant and co-founder of the Equality Network that caters for LGBTIQ+ wedding needs. His fiancée Clint and their four-legged fur baby – Bingo are Bronte's quintessential lifelines. He is also passionate for volunteering as a newsreader at Joy 94.9 and spending time in his organic backyards comes a close second.