BY NATASIA LANGFELDER
Every married couple has issues keeping their family and friends happy on their wedding day. But let’s face it, gay couples have it so much worse. We have to deal with homophobic family members, challenging traditional customs, marriage rites and breaking gender norms. We have to do it all on a day that’s going to be both amazing, stressful and amazingly expensive.
Let’s run through some scenarios that Lesbian.com readers have inquired about and how to handle them. The goal here is to make your day as special as possible for you, while still minimizing drama where you can.
THE WEDDING PARTY
My BFF is masculine of center, but the rest of my bridal party are wearing dresses. Should I make her wear a dress too?
No. Not unless you don’t want a BFF anymore. You might have an arbitrary notion of what your wedding party needs to look like, but the people who make up your wedding party should be more important than aesthetics.
We both have femme best friends, is it OK to have two maids of honor or should one of us change?
Don’t change. It’s your wedding, you don’t want to look back on it and realize you didn’t have the right person standing up for you.
But my coworkers will freak out if they see women dressed like “men” in my wedding party.
That’s fine. They might care for about five seconds, but you can’t change important aspects of your wedding to make acquaintances feel more comfortable. If you’re worried about what your coworkers will think, tell them it’s going to be a small wedding and leave them off the guest list.
Help! I have a lot of friends who are really important to me and I’m worried people will feel left out if I don’t include them all.
The easiest way around this problem is to just fill the wedding party with siblings or cousins and call it a day. If this isn’t an option, maybe sit down with a few people and see if their feelings would be hurt if they were left out. Let them know that being in your bridal party is going to involve a lot of money (bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding dress) and a lot of time. Tell them that you understand if they don’t have time to commit to it.
Honestly, a lot of them will be glad you gave them a chance to opt out and it will leave you with a super committed bridal party. Um, unless they all say yes. In which case, congratulations on knowing such generous people.
Help! My mom is mad that I’m going to wear a wedding tux instead of a wedding dress! How do I make her OK with this?
Chances are, if your mom knows you, she knew this was coming. Sit her down, maybe make her some fancy tea and tell her that you’re sorry your wedding won’t look like she pictured it in her head. But that you are glad she can be there for you as you declare your love for your partner and you are excited to share this special day with her. Then tell her that she really, really needs to stop talking about you wearing a dress, because it’s not going to happen and she needs to respect your choice.
My aunt, uncle, cousin, grandfather or other family member is against marriage equality. Do I have to invite them?
This is a very personal decision. Personally, I chose to invite all of my family members to my wedding, even the ones who are pretty vocal about the fact that I’m “going to hell.” For me, it boiled down to courtesy. I wouldn’t leave anyone out of something important as my wedding. In the end, the people who disagreed with my lifestyle chose not to come. I’m glad I was the bigger person.
If that tactic will work for you, I highly recommend it. If you won’t be able to sleep at night because you know aunt Mildred is going to throw biblical pamphlets at you during the ceremony and great-uncle Bob is going to start screaming about how it “ain’t right,” then don’t invite them. Don’t lie awake at night worrying someone might make a scene at the wedding. Don’t let them ruin your day. If another family member asks why cousin Eugene didn’t get his invite yet, tell them you were respecting his beliefs as he has stated he would be uncomfortable at a same-sex wedding.
How do we find an officiant for our ceremony who doesn’t have any religious affiliations?
Ask around. Ask all your married friends, gay or straight, if they used a secular officiant. If none of them have recommendations, ask any of your current vendors if they have any recommendations. Most wedding vendors in the same location work with each other fairly often and are quick to recommend people with whom they enjoy working.
If that fails, use google. Seriously. Then meet with the officiant a few times to make sure you are comfortable with him or her.
Is it hypocritical to have a religious wedding even though most religions are quick to oppose marriage equality?
Nope! No one can dictate how you practice or express your faith. Go for it and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.
My fiancee and I can’t agree on who gets to break the glass before we kiss. How do we decide?
Um, each break a glass. Don’t let the wedding party play any tricks by putting shot glasses or another hard to break glass in there, it can go right through girly wedding shoes.
Have more wedding drama? Leave your questions in the comments and we’ll answer.