If you’re invited to a same-sex ceremony and have not previously attended one, it’s natural to wonder what is expected of guests. The answer is simple: Guest etiquette is the same as for a traditional wedding celebration. The following points address some common concerns, but common sense is always the best guide:
- Reply to the invitation as soon as possible. If you must regret, there’s no need for excuses. Inivitees who are genuinely opposed to or upset by same-sex unions would be wise to decline graciously rather than risk dampening the happiness of the couple.
- Whether you can attend or not, the invitation obliges you to send a wedding gift.
- When choosing attire, be guided by the time of the ceremony and the nature of the invitation (formal, informal, or casual).
- Follow the order of the service in the ceremony program, if one is provided. Otherwise, take your lead from the wedding party and other guests. Chances are, the ceremony and reception will be similar to other weddings you’ve attended.
- Go through the receiving line, if there is one. All the traditional expressions of congratulations are appropriate, except reference to “bride and groom” or “husband and wife.” If there isn’t a receiving line, be sure to extend best wishes to the couple and their families at some point during the party.
- Refrain from making comments and asking questions that might be perceived as negative. This won’t be hard if guests bear in mind that the ceremony, while it may not be legally sanctioned, honors the lifetime commitment of two people.
Deb Merriner, Splash Consultant