19 Ways Our Queer Weddings Won’t Suck

by Ali and Vanessa

WEDDING SEASON IS UPON US. Isn’t it wacky how the sanest of humans can go totally nuts around their “BIG DAY”? As the Auto-team attends bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings of all shapes and sizes, we’d like to pause and reflect on things we do not believe we will ever allow to take place at our (hypothetical) future weddings NOW THAT SCOTUS HAS MADE US EQUAL KINDA, presuming one day we all live in states and countries that actually grant us marriage equality. But until complete marriage equality reigns, our feelings on tacky lingerie and weird patriarchal traditions are kind of a moot point so we’re allowed to be bitchy when we judge them, right? Mmmkay then.

Some Things That Will Never Happen When We Get Married

1. We will not ask our guests to use a made-up ridiculous hashtag when documenting our wedding festivities on social media platforms.

2. We will not ask our “best friends” to be part of our wedding parties only to demand they wear outfits that don’t fit their gender presentation.

3. We will not tell our guests that in order to bring their significant other, they have to be married to said significant other. Especially in states that lack marriage equality.

I can't even with this cuteness, omg. via Steph Grant Photography

I can’t even with this cuteness, omg. via Steph Grant Photography

4. We will never make the bride a ridiculous hat out of wrapping paper/bows. Mostly because you need an engineering degree to make it stay together.

5. “Will you have the chicken or the fish?” Psh. Our weddings will be vegan and gluten-free.

6. We will not ever use the phrase “Planning a wedding is exhausting,” and expect people to feel sorry for us. Because we know that what is actually exhausting is smashing the patriarchy on a daily basis, amirite?

7. We won’t divide our bridal party by gender and we won’t insist everyone wear the same awful dress and we definitely won’t demand everyone wear heels although if you want to wear heels obviously you can, even if it will make you taller than the bride(s).

8. Actually, we may not even have a bridal party. But if we do we probably won’t refer to anyone as a “maid of honor” or a “matron of honor” because we feel really weird about those labels.

9. We may allow our parents to walk us down the aisle or we may not, but we’ll make damn sure there’s no talk of giving anyone away ever.

10. We will not hire a DJ who makes really inappropriate gendered jokes and we refuse to be friends with people who actually laugh when anyone says, “Happy wife, happy life!”

11. There will be no crawling across the floor to remove the garter with your teeth. Especially if your grandma is present.

12. Instead of a crying child as ring bearer, we will probably have our cats walk down the aisle bearing the rings.

13. Our vows will appropriately be made up of quotes from feminist philosophers/theorists/essayists/performers. And let’s be real here, our officient will probably read from an Andrea Gibson poem (one of the happy ones).

WE ARE TOTALLY DOING THIS Steph Grant Photography

WE ARE TOTALLY DOING THIS via Steph Grant Photography

14. The only churches we will consider for the occasion will have a rainbow flag out front.

15. All wedding decorations will be made from 100% post-consumer materials and will be compostable or practical in a way that guests will actually want to take them home.

16. We will probably use Style Thief to plan our wedding parties’ outfit color palettes.

17. Or maybe we’ll just make Lizz and Sarah Medd style our weddings, like at A-Camp.

18. Actually, let’s just all get married on the mountain? It’s legal in California, now.

19. The cocktail hour before the reception will be called Dapper Hour. There will be whiskey.


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Freelance writer and fiction author, Geekery Editor for Autostraddle.com and Fiction Editor for qu.ee/r Magazine. Keep up with her at her website.

Ali has written 271 articles for us.

96 Comments

  1. Thumb up 19

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    I have been to / am going to a bunch of straight weddings and just seriously… thank you.

    Some weddings I love. Some weddings I feel like I’m attending a giant PR campaign whereby the happy couple tries engages in a status competition with all the other couples in the universe (singles at the bottom of the ladder obviously).

    Maybe I’m a bad person, but when a bride tells me she’s handcrafted the wedding favours so that guests will see the full range of what the couple “stands for”, I roll my eyes, and drink another glass of free wine.

    • Thumb up 4

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      I guess I’m the dissenting vote here but I’m a fan of #10 for queer ladies. I see it as inclusive and less pandering with two women, aka we both need to be happy to achieve success together. I still see it as douchy when guys say it about their wives though.

      • Thumb up 8

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        you’re right, that sounds sorta cute. i’m definitely talking about the gross cis dude dj’s who say it seriously at straight weddings and then cackle into the mic as if they’re as funny as deanne smith (spoiler: no dudes are ever as funny as deanne smith) and then all the straight people laugh along with him and it’s awful and you wanna die.

        • Thumb up 24

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          you don’t even know the number of straight british weddings i’ve been to where some person of the male persuasion makes a joke about how the husband will learn that the most important phrase in married life is “yes dear.” I’m like, if you think all women are nagging bitches, why on earth are you marrying one?

        • Thumb up 5

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          The last six (six!) weddings I’ve been to, every Best Man’s speech has started by instructing the groom to put his hand over the bride’s, saying a lot of nice things and then finishing with “and thats the last time you’ll ever have the upper hand HAHAHHAHA!”. I think it must be the #1 google result for “best man joke” and it makes me want to vomit every time.

  2. Thumb up 4

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    Haha. I had my civil partnership on Monday!

    We left the dress code up to the individuals interpretation (unfortunately, my friends took it to mean semi-casual and my wife’s friends jokingly “upgraded” themselves to bridesmaids

    We had two ring bearers, each of our best friends, although admittedly we didn’t really have a bridal party as it was small – ring bearers and those giving readings was about as far as our roles went!

    Neither of us wore heels – instead we had custom converse, lol.

  3. Thumb up 2

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    Haha love this! But spoiler alert: a really cool gay couple has already broken rule #1. This popular chef in DC was all over twitter with her wedding to her girlyfriend. But it was actually really cute…

    • Thumb up 4

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      people are super divided on #1! i think it is the weirdest most bizarre thing BUT a very close queer friend of mine yelled at me when i mocked it and warned me that if i didn’t hashtag my shit at her wedding she was gonna uninvite me (i THINK she was kidding but you never know…) so i totally get that it’s debatable. for me it seems really strange / like the couple is pretending to be a celebrity a la “bennifer” or something. i do understand that part of the point is to collect all the social media together in one place (sort of like in the Olden Days when couples put disposable cameras on the dinner tables and asked guests to use them all evening then hand them in at the end of the night which is actually a REALLY CUTE IDEA) so maybe i’d have less of an issue if the hashtag was silly or funny? like, #MYBIGGAYWEDDINGOMG as opposed to #GIRLNAMEANDBOYNAMESMUSHEDTOGETHER4EVER.

      • Thumb up 1

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        Yes! Vanessa and I disagreed on this while writing the post! I thought the hashtag was super cute, too, and being a tech-kind-of-person, I will probably do this when I get married v. far in the future.

        Also I’ll still probably have disposable cameras? IDK, moar pictures equals moar better.

        • Thumb up 4

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          I obvs am completely on board with this since I hashtagged my birthday last year. I think it’s all about what the hashtag is. If your hashtag is wack, then people will hate it. If your hashtag is cute and kinda funny and maybe not so obviously a #WEDDINGHASHTAG it will go over better.

      • Thumb up 0

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        I was at a wedding with disposable cameras, but the table I was at was the estranged family who hated the groom so it was super awkward with the photo-taking.

        Actually the whole damn thing was awkward. Biggest lesson in What Not To Do ever.

  4. Thumb up 25

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    My sole heterosexual, cisgender, monogamous, male friend and I have a standing pact that we made the night I came out to him.

    My half of the pact is that, when he gets married, I will bind, dress in drag, and be his Best Man.
    (For the ceremony at least. I’ll pull a costume change before the reception, something slinky, obvs.)
    His half is that, when I get married, he’ll put on drag and be my Maid of Honor.

  5. Thumb up 4

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    I love this post! As a musician I play in a lot of wedding ceremonies, usually as part of a string quartet. I often want to scream and run for the hills because I just can’t with all of these things… but they pay me, so instead I sit there and cringe and make lists in my head exactly like this one and long for the day when I’ll be asked to play for a queer wedding.

  6. Thumb up 4

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    OMG do these things really happen? Like even the weirdness of #11’s garter thing? I feel like a lifetime of Muslim weddings have deprived me of important (creepy) cultural experiences.

    Also, my immediate impulse was to forward this to my best bitches, espec in the aftermath of wedding-themed conversation that unfolded around the quandry of WOULDN’T IT BE WEIRD IF YOU STOOD ON THE GROOM’S SIDE BECAUSE WHAT ABOUT GENDERED SYMMETRY?!! , but I didn’t wanna be that Queer Feminist Killjoy ya know? But by the time I got to #6 I was like FUCK YEAH VANESSA AND ALI LET THE WORLD BATHE IN THESE TRUTHS

    !!

    • Thumb up 14

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      YO, the garter thing in #11 HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE. IT IS TERRIFYING. BE THANKFUL YOU HAVE NEVER WITNESSED IT.

      and! and and and! recently some straight people in my life who don’t really identify as feminists and have no interest in gender studies or conversations about breaking binaries have been telling me (randomly! casually!) that they no longer care about gendered symmetry in bridal parties and i’ve heard of a few “my best guy friend is gonna be on my side in a suit because i love him” type situations happening so HEY MAYBE WE REALLY CAN LEAD A QUEER REVOLUTION MAYBE WE REALLY ARE WINNING.

      also. also. i am the fucking best queer feminist killjoy forever and ever amen. that is a glorious thing to be, and don’t you dare let anyone ever tell you otherwise ;)

      • Thumb up 3

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        It can happen! Like a decade ago, my brother was the Man of Honor for his best friend’s wedding (he even offered to wear a dress). Of course, this was a wedding where the bride wore blue Doc Martin’s with her dress so it wasn’t super traditional/formal

  7. Thumb up 9

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    Hey, so I’m a wedding officiant (among other things). I’m presiding at my first hetro wedding next month and I’ve got a homo wedding on the books for next year. This being said, if you live on the East Coast and would like an MOC, late-20’s, dyke to sign your marriage license and just can’t find someone else, hit me up. I love Andrea Gibson.

  8. Thumb up 2

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    This! I’m a little scared about the straight cis wedding I’m going to be in next year. I would be on my roommate’s side, but instead I am going to be a groomsman so all the guys and suits are together… Silver lining is that there’s nothing I’m involved in that isn’t super queer, so I’m glad I’m doing my part.

  9. Thumb up 5

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    This week has been very full of wedding feels. One of my best childhood friends is going through THE FIRST DIVORCE (you would think in the entire world, but most likely just in our peer group) and has been a puddle person looking at her wedding pictures, trying to figure out where she went wrong and how she is going to tell her daughter that her family is over. Meanwhile our other friend is getting married next Sunday afternoon (I was orignially not invited because of her Grandmother’s icky homophobe feelings, but she died two months ago so I can come if I want now). I actually planned my wedding a long time ago, it is in a file on my computer titled THE EVENT and the bridesmaids dresses, guest list, short list of venues, and design ideas are organized. It was going to be the most heteronormative thing ever because I am a traditionalist, but now that I know a few of the more annoying aspects I think it might be time to edit the file, or delete it. This list paired with realities of my week=game changing.

  10. Thumb up 9

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    You forgot #20: We will not make all the single women stand in front of the crowd to be reminded of their single status and then make them fight to catch the bouquet.

    Also, Riese needs to get licensed to perform weddings stat, then all the mountain marriages can happen! She can do a group ceremony like at all the Prides I have ever been to.

  11. Thumb up 3

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    OMG I want a wedding so bad. Not a marriage, per se – while I am attracted to the stability (and apparently I am more valuable as an immigrant if I’m married to a local) there’s so much tied up in that that I don’t want.

    But a wedding! A party to celebrate love in all its kinds. filled with people I care about from everywhere – because apparently people tend to go out of their way to go to weddings but not to, say, birthday parties or something. Make it as camp and glam and silly and fun as possible.

    I was looking up art weddings a while ago, and found some great ones:
    http://notyourexrotic.tumblr.com/post/48175026850/weddings-performance-art-and-celebrations-of-love

    My wedding is going to involve all kinds of food though. Vegan gluten-free will be available, but the brides have to eat too, and vegan GF will just leave me hungry.

    • Thumb up 4

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      That was always the part that made me tear up at weddings. Not the bride in her wedding gown. Not the eight year old ring bearers. Not the drunk heartfelt speeches. NO, it was the fact that the couple would pay a ridiculous amount of money for us to cater their wedding and then refuse to even eat the canapés. UGH. It’s your party! You should be drunk and well fed!

  12. Thumb up 2

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    On #6 – it totally IS exhausting to plan a wedding! It’s an event with major cultural significance and it’s really hard not to get lost in the details.

    And when you’re already fighting the patriarchy constantly as a matter of course…

  13. Thumb up 2

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    I’m going to be the gay-of-honor at my best friend’s straight wedding soon, and all the talk I’ve heard so far makes me think that she’s going to put all the emphasis on the partying and the drinking after the wedding, so I’m not too worried. There’s a lot I can tolerate when an open bar is in the mix.

    It can’t be as bad as the time I went to a friend’s wedding and it was me and at least three other gay people that went together and the bride – who is super supportive and awesome, but comes from a pretty religious family – had her uncle, a pastor, officiate the wedding and he kept going ON AND ON about the importance of marriage being between a man and a woman. I feel like she probably got steamrolled into letting him say whatever he wanted, so I don’t hold it against her at all, but we were all just sitting there like, “Well, this is super awkweird.”

    And I once had to watch my super Christian cousin remove his wife’s garter belt with his teeth, and I’d also known his wife since kindergarten, so that was an enlightening and strange experience.

  14. Thumb up 4

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    Not so long ago, I went to the wedding of my friends, and I spent half the time crying that my family wasn’t going to be as supportive as theirs (well actually, they probably won’t be at the wedding, period), and there won’t be as many people (see prior), and half the time being so fucking happy my wedding won’t be full of patriarchal bullshit like the husband is the leader, the father giving his daughter away, etc etc etc. The father/mother of the bride speeches and everything the pastor who officiated the ceremony said made me want to vomit and bust out my Feminist Cape and also remind everyone that it is not the 1950s. There was a closeted queer in the bridal party, a closeted queer in the audience, and out and proud me, and we all made faces at each other throughout the whole thing.
    And yes, the gender segregated bridal/groom’s parties! When I came out, I immediately knew for certain that my brother was going to be my man of honor, and one of my lesbian mentors will be in my bridal party decked out in a tux (she prodded me about it not too long ago, after being forced to wear a dress/heels at the wedding of a friend of hers)
    Queer weddings are just better.

  15. Thumb up 3

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    I would love to be married. I would love to have a wife but have no interest in weddings. Mine or anyone else’s. I know that probably sounds unromantic but can we just go to the courthouse and get it over with and go on living our lives? Now, honeymoons are a totally different story. I am all about a vacation.

    • Thumb up 1

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      Haha. These were basically my feelings about weddings. It drove my wife up the wall and involved much whining of “why don’t you care!? It’s our wedding.” It’s not that I don’t care, I care about getting married but the meaning of it for me isn’t the big ceremony but the commitment.

      Honeymoons though, those are awesome. We’ve had to postpone ours though.

    • Thumb up 1

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      My ladypartner and I are going to San Francisco City Hall with five family members/friends and then eating lunch at an Italian restaurant and picking up a normal bakery cake. It took us probably less than a week to plan, and is going to be super festive and great, plus we get to spend a week in California. So, yep, this is an approach I highly recommend.

  16. Thumb up 4

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    We followed most all of these rules when my wife & I got married (almost 5 years ago now! yay MA!) We finally settled on “Honor Attendant” instead of ‘maid of honor’ or whatever. We wrote our own ceremony & vows, borrowing from all over, even though we were actually having a church wedding (yay Episcopalians!) We didn’t have a DJ – what few announcements there were were done by a friend. Music was iTunes and a 13-year-old. We hired our gay dance teacher to teach our friends to dance. We had Playmobil on the tables. It was pretty much awesome.

  17. Thumb up 3

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    I was seriously just at a gay wedding, it was great except that other than the brides there were only four other queer people so we were kinda outnumbered. And it was on a mountain. We mainly dealt with it by quoting nearly the entirety of Bridesmaids while everyone else was making their toasts.

    Do people really require guests to be married to bring their significant other?!

  18. Thumb up 1

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    Guys, I never, ever think about what I’d like my wedding to be like, even though nearly all my friends would talk about it growing up–the dress, the ring, the party, the location…I never thought about it though. I couldn’t see myself marrying a dude, which should have been a clue, possibly, but this made me think about getting married…OMG THIS IS WHAT WEDDING FEELINGS FEEL LIKE.

  19. Thumb up 5

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    So…am I a terrible person since, now that I’ve read #4, I really want to make a hat out of wrapping paper and bows?

    I’m a wannabe costume designer, not an engineer, but I think I could make it happen with significant dapperosity.

    My only engaged friend is being married too many hundreds of miles away, but I could give it to the lady I’m crushin’ on?

    Anywho.

  20. Thumb up 2

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    my cousin is getting married next week and i am wearing the most AWFUL bridesmaid’s dress of the century and heals that i cannot walk in. i never ever wear dresses, ever. not since school. but to be honest i don’t mind too much, it’s one day, not ever twenty four hours and i recon a can pull through, it’s her special day and her bloke is a really good guy.

    it’s for you straight people that lesbians (the non identified femme ones) will donne dresses for once in their lives and never complain about it (to your face anyway) so appreciate it.

  21. Thumb up 1

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    this makes me all of the sudden want to go to a bunch of weddings..although I don’t plan on ever getting hitched, weddings are beautiful and I cant wait until any of my friends get married so I can happily be the single one at the bar all night! and no that isn’t sarcasm. cheers everyone!

  22. Thumb up 0

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    This is awesome, because I am perpetually in a state of bitchy judginess re: all the straight weddings happening around me. I went to the great wedding of my two former roommates, which was low-key and celebratory (and during the ceremony, they stopped to talk about their privilege in being able to get married when so many others can’t). On the other hand, I’ve totally been to weddings where the bride/groom/close family members are bitching about how STRESSFUL it all is, to the point where they don’t actually seem to enjoy their day and I’m left wondering…what’s the point?

    So I’m feeling number 6 for sure. Although queer weddings are not automatically exempt from my biggest issues with weddings or the institution of marriage.

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