If you and your partner are planning to make a beeline to get married in City Hall now that New York has become the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage, you’ll likely find that your first thoughts after deciding to get hitched center on logistics, which is to say wedding etiquette. You’ll realize that you’re now entering unmapped territory for gays and lesbians, since many of the “rules” for same-sex weddings have yet to be determined.
Not surprisingly, there are gay couples who find that old-school wedding traditions serve them remarkably well in their ceremonies and celebrations: formal invitations, engagement parties, gift registries, and frothy white dresses alongside well-tailored black tuxedos. (“We’ll take two, please!)
For many in our community, a very strong spirit of invention is at play as we create new roles and rites, not only for ourselves, but for all those in attendance. The good news is that it’s up to you and your sweetheart—or fiancé(e), if you prefer—to make these choices, which will no doubt become the foundation of LGBT wedding traditions to come.
With that in mind, here are just a few things we all need to know about same-sex weddings. (After all, if you’re straight, your invitation may soon be on its way.)
Q: Do gay people get engaged?
A: Yes; some of us even get down on bended knee, present a ring, and ask “Will you marry me?” That is, of course, after finding a gay-friendly jeweler who doesn’t keep asking about your opposite-sex fiancé.
Q: What do we call each other?
A: It’s easy for a married straight couple—husband, wife, and spouse cover all the options. Not so easy—or fast—for committed gay couples, who may use partner, spouse, significant other, lover, and (now) husband or wife. Use what feels right—just be sure to let others know how to refer to you.
Q: Where do we sign up?
Should bride and bride both wear white? And which one gets to walk down the aisle?! Who should pay, and how should we word the invitation?
Join Steven Petrow for a TweetChat Q&A Thursday, 6/30 at 2 p.m.! He’ll be answering even more wedding questions and addressing everyday LGBT etiquette issues. To participate:
- Join Twitter (if you haven’t already)
- Follow @gaymanners and @WorkmanPub
- Post your questions (140 characters or less) and include the hashtag, #gaymanners
- If you like, use Tweet Chat, a site that simplifies by feeding you only tweets from this chat
See you there!