Guest and Vendor Etiquette Rules for Same Sex Marriages

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If you're a wedding planner, look out! You can expect to see an influx of requests for a wedding coordinator for same-sex marriages. Unless you're already a same sex wedding planner, you could be feeling some anxiety regarding etiquette. Follow these simple tips to get the guests and the vendors off on the right foot.

Vendor Tips and Tricks

Update The Documents

In the world of weddings, it's very popular to use the terms bride and groom. These terms need to be altered in favor of more gender neutral terms. Here are some options that will work for both same and opposite sex couples.

  • Name, Name
  • Bride/Groom, Bride/Groom
  • Client A, Client B

Change The Verbiage

The wording in your documents aren't the only words that need changing. Referring to one wedding couple as "same sex" and another as "traditional" is hurtful. Something more appropriate is "same sex" and "opposite sex" couples. Another perfectly acceptable option is to refer to all wedding couples as just that, the "wedding couple". It aptly describes the clients you are looking to serve.

Pick Up On The Cues

Not every same-sex couple wears their rainbow flag on their sleeve. Don't suggest a rainbow color scheme unless the clients bring it up first. As with opposite-sex couples, some embrace tradition and stereotypes and some are looking to break the mold. While they may be proud to finally have the right to marry, not everyone looks good in a rainbow.

Mind Your Referrals

Unless your business is wedding planning in Sonoma County, the odds are you, and many of the vendors you refer your customers to are new to the same sex wedding market. Before sending any of your clients out to meet with your partner vendors, make sure they aren't inclined to refuse service. Not every state has laws in place prohibiting this kind of behavior, so not checking first could hurt your business and your reputation.

Etiquette Rules For The Guests

Keep Your Opinions To Yourself

Despite your personal views on same-sex marriages, the day is coming when you will receive an invitation to a same-sex wedding. If you plan on attending, leave your opinions on the marriage debate at home. Personal views aside, these are two people who have invited you to share in their happiness. Save the political discussion for another time and place.

Keep Your Ears Open

If you aren't sure how the couple wants to be addressed, take a listen to how they refer to each other. If nothing comes up in conversation, find the wedding planner. They'll appreciate you asking, so don't hesitate. They'd rather you ask them than potentially offend someone.

Don't Hold Your Breath

The cool thing about weddings today is that it's perfectly acceptable to mix the traditional with non-traditional. Many same-sex couples are choosing to blend the traditional with their personal flair. So if you're a stickler for the tried and true, don't stand around waiting for the bouquet toss, you may just be disappointed.

For all the same sex wedding planner or wedding coordinator businesses out there, this is your time to shine. There is a whole new market opening up, and you are one step ahead of the game. Don't be afraid to reach out to businesses in other areas and help gets them on board. Wedding planning in Sonoma County and similar areas is already attuned to the same sex wedding couples needs, where other parts of the country have a ways to go. Sharing your knowledge and these rules of etiquette will go a long way in making every wedding couples dream come true.