The Huffington Post published a heartwarming article by actress and producer Marlo Thomas about the rarely discussed topic of etiquette at weddings for gay and lesbian couples.
Thomas recently had her first experience when her niece Tracy got married. Watching Tracy marry the love of her life was “magical,” Thomas says. “For all of us who have long supported same-sex marriage, the depth of the justice of it all has never hit home for me as it did when I saw these two dear, young women exchange their vows.” She points out that the celebration was the same as every other wedding she has attended, but notices that some people still wonder about proper etiquette and manners during a gay or lesbian couple’s special day.
Thomas’ article offers tips and suggestions for people who are well-intentioned but do not always know the best way to approach a wedding for a gay or lesbian couple. For example, she uses advice from expert Steven Petrow to encourage attendees to ask a couple what they terms they prefer, if they are unsure. (Different couples may prefer to be called spouses, partners, husband and husband, or wife and wife, for example.) “Intention is a big part of manners,” says Petrow. He also explains common ways that the wedding may differ from that of a straight couple, including the members of wedding party and the seating.
Marlo Thomas with former President of GLAAD, Neil Giuliano, and her husband Phil Donahue, at the 17th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
Finally, Thomas offers tips from wedding planner David Tutera for gay and lesbian couples getting ready to celebrate their marriages. He encourages engaged couples to do some legal research ahead of time to become familiar with the necessary legalities of their rentals and where they plan to wed. He reminds them to register at their favorite stores and include the name of their favorite charity in case they choose to make donations an option. Thomas praises these ideas and notes that they remind guests what weddings are really about: “There may be two dresses or two tuxedos – and the top of the cake may look different from what we’re used to seeing – but it really is all about love.”
Marlo Thomas has been a longtime advocate for the LGBT community and received the Excellence in Media Award at the 11th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2000. Her husband, Phil Donahue, was the honoree at the first ever GLAAD Media Awards, as well as a Special Recognition winner in 2009. She informed GLAAD about today's article and we are happy to share her important message with the community.