If you’re wondering what to say at a lesbian wedding(or what not to say), we’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re one of the brides or just a guest, there are certain etiquette rules that dictate how one should behave at any wedding.
Today, we’ll go over some common scenarios along with what to say (and what not to say) to avoid offending anyone.
After all, the last thing anyone wants to do is commit a major faux pas and cast a shadow on an otherwise bright & beautiful day!
Related: Heart-Melting lesbian and gay wedding ceremony readings
WHAT TO SAY AT A LESBIAN WEDDING
First, we’ll go over some scenarios and inclusive language to use both before and during the big day.
We’ll also check out some great tips for writing inclusive speeches!
Declining a Wedding Invitation
If you have to decline a wedding that you were invited to, there is a polite way to do so.
What to say in your regrets
Here are a couple of examples from One Fab Day–
- “Thank you for thinking of me. I regret to inform you that I won’t be able to attend due to another commitment, but please accept my warmest congratulations.”
- “Thanks so much for the invitation. Unfortunately, due to family/work/financial commitments, I won’t be able to make it.”
Do not put it off. Send your regrets the moment you know you won’t be able to make it to the wedding.
What NOT to say when declining a lesbian wedding invitation
If you are opposed to same-sex marriages for some reason, PLEASE do not say that in your regrets.
It is incredibly cruel, tasteless and thoughtless to say, “Sorry, I’m not coming because your marriage is an affront to my religion” or anything even remotely similar.
Your beliefs are your business but they have no place in someone else’s special day. Simply say that you can’t make it due to other commitments.
Using Proper Wedding Terminology
When attending a lesbian wedding, it is important that you don’t assume which terminology the couple prefers to use, especially when it comes to referring to themselves and their marriage.
For instance, the couple may not want to be referred to as “bride and bride.”
Instead, they may choose to be referred to as something like “partners,” “life partners,” or something else entirely.
Take a cue from the couple or those closest to them. If you’re not sure what they prefer, just avoid using terminology at all.
For example, rather than saying, “you both make beautiful brides,” just say, “you both look so beautiful today!”
Sending Warm Wedding Wishes-
To congratulate the happy couple on their wedding day, there are some lesbian-specific wedding wishes you can use. Here are a few examples-
- From Congratulation Messages, “Your true love has come! Congratulations to both of you, I wish you a lifelong love and partnership.”
- You make such a sweet couple! Wishing you a lifetime of true joy and happiness.”
- From Design With Heart Studio, “A wonderful journey just started for the two of you. I only wish the best for both of you. Congratulations!”
Choosing Wedding Ceremony Readings
Wedding ceremony readings can come from several sources, including poems.
I Carry Your Heart With Me-
A famous poem by E.E. Cummings, who was an American author, essayist, painter, playwright and poet.
“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart) I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling).”
A poem by Christina Rosetti, who was an English poet.
“What is the beginning? Love. What the course. Love still. What the goal. The goal is love.”
Selecting Quotes For Wedding Vows
Incorporating quotes into your wedding vows is a great way to personalize your wedding ceremony.
Two of the best sources for wedding quotes are film and literature.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour
Blue Is The Warmest Colour is a 2013 French romance movie. This quote is from Emma, talking to Adele
“I have infinite tenderness for you. I always will. My whole life.”
Imagine Me & You
Imagine Me & You is a 2005 romantic comedy-drama movie. This quote is from Luce, played by Lena Headey
“I think you know immediately. As soon as your eyes meet… then everything that happens from then on proves that you were right in the first moment. When you suddenly realize you were incomplete and now you are whole.”
Annie On My Mind
Annie On My Mind is a 1982 lesbian teen fiction novel by award-winning writer, Nancy Garden
“Have you ever felt really close to someone? So close that you can’t understand why you and the other person have two separate bodies? Two separate skins?”
Ash is a 2009 young adult fantasy lesbian novel by Malinda Lo
“Then they took the last step together, and when she kissed her, her mouth was warm as summer, the taste of her sweet and clear, she knew, at last, she was home.”
Wedding Speech Inspiration
According to Wedding Speech Builder, a wedding speech is designed to “wish the new couple health and good luck in their marriage.”
Here are some great examples of what to say at a lesbian wedding when giving a speech.
Fathers Of The Brides
From the website Hitched, this is an awesome speech from Robert Leigh at his daughter Emily’s wedding to the love of her life, Georgia. H
ere is an excerpt from his speech
“My greatest wish for the two of you is that through the years your love for each other will grow and deepen, and you will always remain happy and healthy. Hopefully years from now you can look back on this, your wedding day, as the beginning of your greatest adventure.”
Maid Of Honor
The website Top Wedding Sites, they list some cool maid of honor speech examples, including this heartfelt speech
“I’ve been [Bride’s] best friend since we were little girls. I remember how we used to play dress-up and dream of the weddings we would have when we were grown up. I’m sure that the wedding that has taken place here today far surpasses the childhood dreams I know [Bride] had about her big day!”
WHAT NOT TO SAY AT A LESBIAN WEDDING
Honestly, if you just use that beautiful brain inside your head and think before you speak, you shouldn’t have an issue avoiding saying the wrong thing.
I have total faith that you’re common sense and good tact will guide you. However, if you know someone without such sense, you may want to show them this next section (or take notes for them!).
Which one of you is the bride?
First, unless they tell you otherwise, they’re both brides. Second, there’s really no reason to ask a question like that, period.
That also goes for the even worse and tackier version of this question, “Which one of you is the man and which is the woman?” No. Just no.
Is this a real, legal wedding
Of course it’s a real and legal wedding. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage as legal.
Even prior to the Supreme Court finally doing the right thing, a wedding is real if the couple says it is, plain and simple.
A piece of paper signed by a judge doesn’t make a marriage real; the couple’s commitment to each other does.
Why isn’t ______ here?
Maybe Uncle Pete doesn’t support same-sex marriage or maybe Grandma Jane is too ill to attend.
Whatever the reason, asking where so-and-so is can be hurtful to the couple and call attention to who is missing rather than who is with them on their big day.
If you really must know why Joe didn’t show, ask Joe himself in private after the wedding.
I’m guessing the DJ will only be playing Melissa Etheridge and K.D. Lang music all night
What a ridiculous and prejudiced thing to say! Just because the aforementioned happen to be popular lesbian singers doesn’t mean the couple only likes their music (or even likes it at all!).
It’s kind of like saying, “I’m guessing the DJ will only play Riverdance tunes all night” at a wedding between two Irish people.
Anything that implies the couple is immoral in any way
I said this before and I’ll say it again: keep your judgmental thoughts to yourself.
Other hurtful comments you should NOT say at a same-sex wedding
Unfortunately, there are some guests who are unable to keep things to themselves and say hurtful comments. If you are afraid you might say something that will hurt the couple, here are some examples that you should avoid:
- “I don’t believe in same-sex marriage.”
- “Isn’t this just a phase?”
- “I could never attend a same-sex wedding.”
- “You don’t look like a gay couple!”
- “I never would have guessed you were gay!”
- “I’m not against gay marriage, but it’s just not for me.”
- “So, who’s the man in the relationship?”
- “I don’t think gay people should be allowed to adopt children.”
- “I don’t agree with your lifestyle.”
- “I can’t believe they’re allowed to get married.”
- “I’m not comfortable with this.”
- “I think it’s a sin to be gay.”
Just like any other wedding, a same-sex wedding is a celebration of the couple’s love and commitment with one another. This is why it’s important to make the couple feel loved and supported.
If you cannot put aside your own opinions and just be happy for the couple, do them a favor and stay away from their big day.
Again, as long as you have common sense and decency, you should have no problem avoiding offending anyone. Just think before you speak. That’s a good rule of thumb in any situation!
Do you have anything to add to our tips on what to say at a lesbian wedding? Share below!
Deanna has a knack for finding unique vacation destinations. She regularly puts her research skills into action to find the most amazing LGBTQ-friendly honeymoon ideas.