Q What is the proper etiquette when you are invited to a wedding of a heterosexual couple who did not or would not attend your same-sex wedding?
A I definitely need more information to give you an exact answer, but let’s go through the possible scenarios. We’ll call this straight couple Bruce and Maggie:
1.) You were at a cousin’s barbecue this summer and overheard this couple saying no way in hell would they ever go to a gay wedding. Knowing they wouldn’t attend yours gives you every right to not attend theirs. On principle alone, I say don’t go! Furthermore, I’d suggest sending a short note indicating such along with your response card stating that you and your partner will not be attending their wedding.
2.) You invited this couple to your wedding last year, and they never gave an explanation as to why they couldn’t come or you didn’t believe their excuse that Bruce couldn’t possibly cancel his skydiving excursion even though you gave them the appropriate six-week notice with an invitation and Maggie simply had to be there to watch him land. Since you don’t know for sure why they didn’t come to yours, you don’t have reasonable cause to give them a piece of your mind, no matter how much you were hurt by their actions—or inactions, rather. But you still don’t have to go to their wedding.
Simply send a response card stating that you and your partner won’t be able to make it, and if you wish, follow up with a note that you’ll be applying for skydiving lessons and there’s a chance your jump could be scheduled for the same day as their wedding and your partner simply couldn’t bear to not be there to witness your big day.
3.) You haven’t tied the knot yet … hell, you might even still be single. But you’re bitter as hell that all the straights in the nation are born with the right to apply for a marriage license in any state of their choosing—and you can’t. Your pals Bruce and Maggie are staunch Republicans and you suspect that they could be against marriage equality, but you’ve never dared bring it up to them. Therefore, you’re pretty sure they’d never come to your same-sex wedding, if you were ever lucky enough to have one.
Now you’re invited to theirs, and you’re at a loss for what to do. The way I see it, you have three options:
1.) Adjust your attitude: Don’t see their automatic rights as an affront to yours. If you love them, go to their wedding and celebrate their love. When it’s your turn, hopefully, they’ll return the favor.
2.) If they’re close enough friends to invite you to their wedding, then perhaps they’re special enough to meet for lunch and discuss your feelings. Assumptions about what people would do or think can lead to bad decisions. If they give you a line of BS about their morals won’t allow them to support same-sex marriage, then you know what to do.
3.) Check no on the response card. Give no explanation. Sign up for skydiving lessons.
Kirsten Ott Palladino is the co-founder and editor in chief of Equally Wed, the nation’s leading gay and lesbian wedding and honeymoon magazine. Follow her on Twitter. Connect with her on Facebook. Write her with your gay wedding questions. If she can’t answer it, she’ll find another expert who can!
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