Gay And Lesbian Wedding Planning, Supplies, And Gifts - Gay Marriage
The state and federal governments may be on the fence about gay marriage, but the wedding vendor industry is trying to move forward. With so many decisions to make about your wedding, where do you start? Traditional straight wedding protocol is not helpful – the usual ceremony procedures (what do you call a female best man?) down to the order of the receiving line become confusing when there are two grooms instead of a bride and a groom.
Wedding etiquette for gay and lesbian marriages is still evolving, but there are some resources that will present solutions for the possible glitches that may arise when it comes to preparing for your special day and the events leading up to it. "The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Weddings" by Tess Ayers and Paul Brown has been the go to source since its first publication in 1994. The third edition is in print now.
For men only, there is now "The Gay Couple’s Guide to Wedding Planning" by David Toussaint (pub. 2012). As the subtitle says: "Everything gay men need to know to create a fun, romantic and memorable ceremony". This book is a great resource as you navigate the world of ceremonies, showers and receptions and all they encompass.
Full of humor, as well as good advice, this guide takes you step by step and answers all your “queeries” about the details and possible snags you may encounter as you plan. A comprehensive website by Steve Petrow at gaymanners.com, has a wealth of information and guidance for those dependent on the "Emily Post" format for proper social behavior in life. He has compiled his etiquette for weddings into a recently published e-book, but his book, "Steve Petrow’s Complete Gay and Lesbian Manners", is a resource that both gay and straight people alike will find useful as society expands to openly include same-sex couples in their social world.
He also has a “Queeries” page of questions and answers similar to an Emily Post newspaper column for gays and straights. Log on to keep track of his current poll results – “Will the Supreme Court’s ruling prompt you to get married?”.
So there are some resources for the formal weddings and parties, but what are couples really doing to tie the knot and celebrate?
I had the pleasure of interviewing a recently married man and one who is currently planning a wedding. Their weddings are at both ends of the spectrum. Joe was married a year ago in New York. The venue for the ceremony and reception was a country club and the people there gave them recommendations for bakeries, florists and transportation. They used the generic wedding websites in their planning. In his words, “We didn't end up pursuing help or guidance from any gay-specific or gay-friendly vendors. We just wanted to have a beautiful wedding at a good price, and the fact that we are both men didn't come into play. When we contacted prospective vendors, I would tell them my fiancé and I were planning a wedding, but I wasn't specific about the gender until it came up casually. The only vendor that we deliberately asked about their comfort level in hosting a gay wedding was the venue we ended up choosing. They were actually incredibly excited. and we had a really wonderful time planning the wedding with them.” Although Joe didn’t have any showers or bachelor parties, his husband had a pub crawl gay bachelor party with both guys and girls.
Robert and his fiancé are planning a very small intimate wedding at home. Friends will be helping with the decorations, food, and entertainment with a DJ. He highly recommends Pinterest to gather ideas for recipes, cocktails and decorations. “It’s going to be a wild party but it’s going to be non-traditional. We’re going with a tiki theme. We’re not really interested in the whole white wedding bit. But we’re having a lot of fun putting it together.”
So the resources are out there for you to have the wedding of a lifetime. It’s up to you if you want formal, traditional or casual. The important thing is to make it your own and above all - enjoy!