What to Expect at a Gay Wedding 

BY Steven Petrow

July 22 2011 10:00 AM ET

How do we announce our engagement?
First of all, yes, gay couples do get engaged, and how we make the news known depends on the date of your ceremony. If you’re among this first wave, you’ll have little choice but to take to social media -- post, share, or update your relationship status in seconds. You can even do what MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts did: he announced his engagement to his long-term partner via Twitter. For those with a little more time on your hands, first tell those who have been most supportive of your relationship (not always your family as is usually the case among straight folks). By the way, if you’re one of the many gay couples with kids, start at home.

When is it acceptable to use email for our wedding invitations?
Certainly this weekend, although Emily Post might roll over in her grave. In general, email is frowned upon for most wedding-related communications because it’s considered too casual a medium, even though younger, digital gays are embracing it for such celebrations and everything else. For now, consider these guidelines:

• Save-the-date notices: Email and even video announcements are fine.

• RSVPs: If you want to give your guests the option of replying by email, do so. Personal wedding sites can do this, too.

• Last-minute invitations: If you win the New York license lottery, there’s no better way to get folks to your event.

• Detailed logistics: Information about an entire weekend’s worth of events is often too bulky to fit in an envelope. These communications can be much more effective if emailed or posted online.

What do I call the members of my wedding party?
There’s a lot of gender-bending these days. At a gay or lesbian wedding, the roles of maid (or matron) of honor and best man often overlap and are best described as “generals-in-charge.” And with weddings taking place in unconventional settings, be ready for anything: two grooms with best “men” who are women or two brides with their teenagers standing up for them. If the ceremony is at all formal, couples are opting for the catch-all phrase “honor attendants” to refer to all of these helpers who should be available to you in advance and on the day itself to help with a laundry list of possible to-do’s, such as acting as ushers, carrying a fix-it kit with sewing accessories or makeup, standing up with you during the ceremony, and letting the butterflies fly free when you’re pronounced “wife and wife.”

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