Family Involvement in Gay Weddings

When I speak to vendors about gay weddings, one of the things I emphasize is that you can't assume that the couple has the support of their family.  I've literally had brides in tears in the dressing room because their mother wasn't there because she didn't support the marriage.

The reality is that half of the country is still unsupportive of gay marriage for political or religious reasons.  This affects couples in a number of ways that you should note when working on their gay wedding:
  • One or both partners may not have the financial support of their parents so the wedding may be paid for entirely out of pocket.
  • There may be resentment if the parent in the past had provided financial support to a sibling's wedding but is unwilling to support their gay or lesbian child's wedding.
  • If there is parental financial support, the parent may try to impose his or her traditional views of what a marriage is (and what the bride should wear) on the child, therefore causing serious stress.
  • If one child has parental support and the other does not, chance are they will be not be escorted by parents, or dads, while walking down the aisle(s).
  • There may not be parent dances during the reception.
You should note that the you also shouldn't assume that the couple does not have the support of their family.  That's almost as bad and is essentially like saying, "Oh good, it's nice they approve of your lifestyle choice."  

Let the couple tell you what role their parents may play, or ask open ended questions to find out.

Have you worked with gay couples before who did not have the support of their parents?

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