Whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender, pansexual, allied or somewhere in the middle, marriage equality is important for everyone. Showing your support for the freedom to marry at your wedding helps continue the fight by spreading awareness. We’ve gathered 10 ideas for you to honor marriage equality at your wedding.
Have your officiant or a specially chosen guest read aloud the now-famous passage from the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision to legally recognize same-sex marriage:
“Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition. It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a ‘civil right.’ Without the right to choose to marry one is excluded from the full range of human experience.” – Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Nov. 18, 2003, Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health
Straight or trans? Nix the expected heteronormative terms of “bride and groom” and ask your officiant switch to “happy couple” and “partner.”
SHOW YOUR COLORS
Rainbows aren’t just for gay pride festivals. Add a little wave of support with one or two rainbow elements to your day to celebrate your community pride. The ROY G. BIV look is currently trending in weddings, too.
REGISTER FOR PROGESS
Instead of piling up on soap dishes and toasters, consider asking friends and family to make gifts to Freedom to Marry, freedomtomarry.org, or the HRC (Human Rights Campaign), hrc.org, in lieu of, or in addition to, giving gifts to you.
Include a link on your wedding website to charitable organizations that are fighting for everyone’s right to marry, such as marriageequality.org, freedomtomarry.org, hrc.org, lambdalegal.org or your state’s local marriage equality or LBGT organization.
Set aside a certain amount of your wedding budget—even if it’s just 1 percent—to be donated to a marriage-equality organization. Let your guests know with a framed announcement on your sign-in table, on your wedding website or in your program.
TIE THE KNOT
Place a basket or vase with white knots for people to wear at your wedding. Whiteknot.org is a celebrity-endorsed nonprofit marriage-equality organization that works toward everyone having the right to “tie the knot.” For a small donation, they’ll send you a package of unassembled knots and pins to create white knots for your event.
WE ARE FAMILY
Exclusively patronize gay-owned or gay-friendly businesses for your wedding. Supporting your community is easier when you know where to look. All our advertisers are gay-friendly, as are the advertisers in The GA Voice and equallywed.com, which features an extensive list of LGBT-friend Atlanta wedding vendors.
DRINK FOR EQUALITY
Show your equality pride by affixing HRC or another LGBT-minded organization’s sticker to souvenir Mason jars and serve a refreshing cocktail in it at your wedding reception. Purchase for $3 each on HRC.org and profits support marriage equality, as well as advancing other LGBT rights.
THAT’S MY JAM
Have your DJ dedicate a song to marriage equality. Perhaps a little something from outspoken LGBT allies such as Jason Mraz or Pink (above) or out, proud and married singers like Chely Wright or Elton John. Perhaps you and your new spouse would even like to stand up and give a toast. Cheers to marriage equality!
Kirsten Ott Palladino is the editor-in-chief and cofounder of Equally Wed, the nation’s premier online magazine for gay and lesbian weddings and honeymoons. Follow her @kirs10palladino and subscribe to her newsfeed on Facebook.
Photos: Mason jars, Kristin Korpos Photography; rainbow shoes, Three Nails Photography; white knot, WhiteKnot.org; P!nk, Facebook