5 tips for guests attending an LGBTQ+ wedding

Two brides walking down the aisle

5 tips for guests attending an LGBTQ+ wedding 

A wedding day is simply a celebration of all things love, and all you need to do is make sure the happy couple have a great day. However, if you’ve never attended a same-sex wedding before, you may not know what to expect. Some same-sex couples may choose to have a wedding with all the things you may normally expect, while some may choose to implement new traditions, or omit things from the day’s schedule entirely. So read on for our 5 top tips for guests attending an LGBTQ+ wedding for the first time. 

1) Find out the terminology the couple use, and respect it 

It’s super important to be respectful of the couple and the language they choose surrounding their partnership. They may call themselves a gay couple, a same-sex couple, or a number of other terms that feels right to them. This is the same for their genders, too – they may present as male or female, but this doesn’t necessarily mean this is what they feel comfortable describing themselves as. Find out the terminology the couple uses – maybe take a look at the information on the wedding invitation, take a look at what they say on social media, or simply ask them in a respectful manner. Make sure to use this terminology when writing your wedding card, posting about the day online, and speaking to and about the couple.  

2) Expect the ‘unexpected’ 

A wedding can be whatever you want it to be – and this is true for both heterosexual and same-sex couples. You may have attended very traditional weddings; you may have attended some with a quirky theme – or even a big day looking to ‘rewrite’ the wedding rulebook entirely. And same-sex weddings are no different, the day is whatever they choose for it to be. However, you must expect that there could be some additions – or omissions – from the day. For example, some same-sex couples walk down the aisle together, there may not be a gendered ‘side’ to the room to sit on, there may not be the traditional maid of honour/groomsmen dynamic, and they may choose not to wear the traditional outfits you’d expect to see at a wedding. Don’t pass judgement or comments about what you would or wouldn’t have liked to have seen – simply embrace all the quirks and details of the day, this is all part of the fun! 

3) Don’t use the wedding day as an excuse to talk politics 

Presumably, if you are attending an LGBTQ+ wedding, you are supportive of the couple and their choices. But even if this is the case, don’t use the big day to talk politics with them. You may think you’re passing well-meaning, polite comments about same-sex marriage law, but nobody wants to get into lengthy debates on their wedding day – they simply want to celebrate and have fun! Keep conversation light and celebratory, and only chat marriage law if they start with the topic. 

4) Only post online when explicitly allowed 

Posting content about a wedding online should only be after approval from the couple in any case – and especially not before they have posted their own photos, to not ‘spoil’ their moment. However, it’s important to remember that same-sex couples still to this day – unfortunately – do experience abuse both in the real world and online. So, make sure you do not post anything about the wedding without the couples’ explicit consent, to ensure they are comfortable with the information you are sharing about them. 

5) Don’t quiz the couple on future plans 

Again, you shouldn’t quiz any newlyweds about their future plans on their big day – because who wants to talk about their ten-year plan on the biggest day of their lives?! However, this is especially true when attending an LGBTQ+ wedding. Topics like having children, moving in together and travelling to different countries can all come with lots of logistics and decisions to be made – and some couples may not want these things at all. Personal questions can come across as prying, and the last thing you want to do is put the couple in an uncomfortable position. So once again, only discuss these things is the newlyweds initiate the conversation and seem happy to talk about it.