The good news is that there are no strict “rules” for same sex weddings and the etiquette for everything surrounding a same sex wedding is evolving. But, before you throw out every wedding rule you have experienced, remember there is always the other side of the coin.
The bad news is that many people just “don’t get” or don’t approve of same sex weddings. Last year my barbershop choir sang at a civil partnership. One of the very dear older ladies in the choir said to me on the way home “so what was happening there then,” so I told her that we had been helping celebrate the marriage of two women. “Oh” she said “I wondered why there were two people in wedding dresses.” She hadn’t realised when we had been booked to sing that a civil partnership meant it was a same sex ceremony.
So, although there are no strict rules, any gay couple planning their wedding should consider retaining at least some of the heterosexual wedding norms to put the guests at ease.
The wedding invitation is a really good place to put across your message. You should word it in a very similar way to invitations to a heterosexual wedding. A majority of same sex couples foot the bill for the wedding themselves – so the invitation is from them. If you can’t decide whose name goes first, go for an alphabetical order. So you would have:
Invite you to …………..
As always, if either (or both) sets of parents are paying or helping out they should be included here – although you could say “James Oliver, Mark Thomas together with their families invite you to…….”
There is then a variety of wording you can use, which can be more flexible to fit your specific circumstances. For example, the website gaymanners.com suggests that, if you have relatives who do not support your relationship, the invitation could say “You are invited to support us as we commit to our life together.”
The wording on the invitation is a great way to put across a message for the guests about how formal the wedding will be and any sentiment you want to express. We have plenty of experience of wording for invitations, so we can advise you with your choice of card and wording.
Many couples organising a same-sex wedding find they have to tread a fine line between tradition and innovation. Many of the traditions clearly don’t fit, but by careful adaptation the wedding can be a perfect blend of tradition and celebration.