Got the Wedding Bell Blues?
The New Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings
by Tess Ayers and Paul Brown
c.2009, Alyson Books; $18.95; 268 pages, includes resources
Maybe it was because of the constant TV commercials filled with sparkly things. Maybe it was because of the romance of the season or friends who were getting engaged or the bonus you got (perfect for jewelry-buying). Whatever it was, you were thinking about marriage.
Your partner was thinking the same thing. One of you popped the question. And now you’re planning a wedding.
But you don’t want to do anything wrong. What does etiquette say for two grooms or two brides? And what about legalities? Find out the answers to those questions and more in The New Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings by Tess Ayers and Paul Brown.
First of all, with the divorce rate so high in the straight world, why get married in the first place? The authors say there are several reasons, one being that it’s a “certain road to complete equality.”
But some straight wedding ideas don’t work for gay ceremonies.
To get started on your wedding, understand that most take at least six months to plan. Begin looking for venues and officiants well before your special day. And—even if you’re not out yet—be honest with everyone you contact.
“…there will undoubtedly be interaction between the people running the location and your party,” the authors say. “The person you’re booking with is not the same person who will be serving food…”
Tradition plays a part in just about every wedding, but remember that this is your day, so you can make it as personal as you want. While you can order the fancy invitations to send out, Ayers and Brown say that it’s perfectly acceptable to email invites these days. Lots of weddings are held in churches, but feel free to utilize a home, park, or beach. Consider renting tent, dishes, glasses, even your wedding duds, but check out other options, which may offer better bargains. Plagiarize freely when writing your vows. And go ahead—register for gifts!
Lastly, consult a lawyer to be sure you’re on top of the laws in your state, not just for your union but for power-of-attorney, wills, and—gulp!—divorce.
Like any good how-to for nuptials, The New Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings contains something old (this book was first printed in 1994), something new (it’s largely updated), something borrowed (it’s similar but not identical to other etiquette books), something blue (you, without it).
The difference between this and other “wedding books,” though, is that authors Tess Ayers and Paul Brown use personal experience and interviews with same-sex newlyweds to specifically offer useable, solid advice for any gay or lesbian couple who wants to make their union official. They include happy stories as well as cautionary ones, and they give permission to have a perfectly lovely, personalized, break-the-rules ceremony the newlyweds will forever remember.
Winter seems to be the time for wedding-planning, and The New Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings is the book to help. If you’ve got marriage on your mind, why knot?
Email Terri at firstname.lastname@example.org