Learn Gay Wedding Etiquette--Before You Go to a Gay Wedding, Please

Gay weddingBefore one of my long-time besties decided to haul off and have a civil ceremony instead of the intimate but fabulous shindig I was initially expecting, I was all geared up to attend his wedding. Tommy had been with his boyfriend, for about three years and, after meeting Anthony for the first time this summer, I love him. I especially love him for Tommy because he balances him out—he’s practical when Tommy can be impulsive, thoughtful when Tommy can be kind of flighty. So I was hype to celebrate their happiness and attend their wedding. 


There are apparently very few things that differentiate the nuptials between a man and a man or a woman and a woman from the traditional man and woman events. Love is still the common denominator, partying is still on the agenda. Cake will still be cut, families will still cut up. But there are a few idiosyncrasies that should be noted to make sure no one ends up with a bad case of foot in mouth disease and or just having one of those really awkward moments of not knowing what to say.
That’s not what I’m writing about here—not the answers, anyway. I am not an expert. By any stretch of the imagination. So I rely on the knowledge and wisdom of folks who are, so I sniffed around Steven Petrow’s website, Gay & Lesbian Manners, for a few pointers. Not for nothing, browsing through it has a wealth of etiquette tips helpful for anybody from any orientation, that’s for sure. I am in love with anyone who makes the world a more mannerly, well-behaved, couth and kinder place, so Petrow is alright in my book. But he also offers up advice for some of these potentially awkward amorous situations, like what you call your gay friend’s boo. Is it husband or wife? Or girlfriend or boyfriend? Or partner or spouse?

There’s still some gray area when it comes to what’s kosher and what’s tacky at same-sex commitment ceremonies and weddings, and no one-size set of rules to abide by, so it’s best to kind of play it by ear and listen to what your friend/co-worker/neighbor/cousin twice removed is saying instead of assuming you know. That probably is the one and only hard and fast rule—and really, that doesn’t make a same-sex ceremony any different, either.

Care to share any tips of your own for gay wedding etiquette, especially for first-timers?

Image via laverrue/Flickr

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