6 Important Things To Know Before Attending A Same Sex Wedding
If you have never attended a same-sex wedding, there are essential things to know beforehand. And if you have, there’s always room to learn more. Tis’ the season of weddings, and the wedding invites are quickly filling up our calendars, and in some cases, we may be wondering if we can even make it to all of them! Then it happens! You find an invite to your first ever queer wedding!
What Makes A Same Sex Wedding Different?
Marriage equality has come a long way since the Netherlands legalized it 23 years ago. Now, it is legal in all fifty states and nearly 30+ countries. Other than the obvious, what makes a same sex wedding different than any other wedding? Well, it’s a good idea to appreciate how historic this event is and respect the couple’s preferences.
After all, this is their dream wedding moment, and I’m sure lots of effort went into planning and preparing. But, above all, it’s essential to know their list of dos and don’ts before attending. This way, everyone attending feels comfortable and has a great time. Below, you’ll discover some important things to know before attending a same sex wedding.
1 – Remember They Are Not Hetero-Normative
When going to same-sex weddings, it is imperative to remember that the event will be very different in many ways from opposite-sex weddings. That is because the couple and their LGBTQ friends all live non-hetero-normative lives.
Typically, this means there is no man or woman in the relationship. There is no groom or bride version either. It is simply two human beings who have the same gender and want to marry. So, it will help to remember this crucial aspect of the event. Don’t ask who is the wife or the husband in the relationship.
The same goes for gifts and cards. Again, remember to keep the gifts fairly gender-neutral or match them to the gender of the couple. Do the research and get cool gifts for gay men if the couple is gay men, as an example. The same applies to gifts for gay women as well.
Also, expect non-conventional ceremonies and arrangements. Take it all in stride and enjoy attending the same sex wedding without judgment or expectations.
2 – Don’t Ask About Procreation
We sometimes tend to ask harmless questions, not realizing they can cause hurt or discomfort. But moreover, it’s essential to know that not everyone marries to have a family or procreate. Most straight couples get into matrimonial bonds to start a family. Many gay couples do that too, but it is not necessarily the reason nor the norm.
Some couples simply want to marry to profess their love and commitment to one another and celebrate their love with their loved ones. So, if you are about to go to a same-sex wedding, don’t ask when they will have babies – or if they even plan on it.
The reason is complex. Of course, we never want to judge anyone, especially with same sex marriage. That’s because opponents of marriage equality often used to try to use this point of ‘not procreating’ as an excuse not to allow the marriage of same-sex partners. So, steer clear from this question – at all costs.
3 – Don’t Let Them Know About Your Reservations
If you plan not to attend the wedding, that is fine, but don’t use the RSVP card to let them know why. More importantly, it’s a good idea not to send them a letter explaining your reservations about their marriage decision.
It is their life, and it is their choice. If they cared about you enough to invite you to their special day, take that as a compliment to your relationship with them. Now is the time to assert your position on same-sex marriages. If you get the urge to write something about it, have a cup of calming tea, take a deep breath, and let it go.
4 – Expect Non-Traditional Wedding Traditions At A Same Sex Wedding
You may be used to some conventional wedding traditions like the bride’s father giving her away. However, some traditions continue their practice for hundreds, if not thousands, years.
Nevertheless, with same-sex weddings, these traditions might not be the same. There are various reasons why this may be the case. However, since the wedding is a non-traditional event, don’t be alarmed if you don’t see some traditions practiced at a same sex wedding.
In addition, it’s a good idea you don’t ask questions about them either. And certainly don’t suggest any typical traditions for their wedding either. Instead, please sit back, relax, enjoy the cocktail and take it all in as a new experience.
5 – Do Not Let Other Friends Crash The Wedding
When you tell your other straight friends that you are about to go to a same-sex wedding, they may get curious and want to tag along. But, unfortunately, sometimes, the novelty of attending a gay wedding can make some people think it is okay to crash one.
Be a good friend/relative/family member, and don’t let uninvited friends tag along. It is still a wedding with limited capacity and plans for accommodating only those who RSVP’d. However, other than your plus one (or invited family members), there should be no uninvited company to any wedding – and a same-sex wedding is no exception.
6 – Be Generous and Forward With Your Words Of Support
If you support marriage equality rights, share that with the same-sex couple during your brief conversations. Show your support and be generous with your words of support.
Every same-sex couple who decides to tie the knot normalizes the marriage equality cause. More so, this is why the couple would appreciate the words of support from their guests. It will make them feel included in society and feel the love from their near and dear ones.
Same Sex Wedding Conclusion
When two people in love get together to commit their lives together and express their love for one another, it is a moment to celebrate and cherish. Same-sex couples feel the same love as opposite-sex couples. And their marriage is just as valid and beautiful as any other.
If you are fortunate enough to witness such a union as a same sex marriage, attend and express your support. These gestures of support and inclusion move the needle on human rights and equality that will slowly but surely change the world for the better.
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