Jamie McGonnigal, Founder of TalkAboutEquality.com gives us some good etiquette advice for those awkward moments when wedding planners assume you are part of a heterosexual couple. From The Huffington Post:
Nearly every vendor we’ve dealt with (with the exception of the caterer, who is located in Provincetown and services more gay weddings than straight) has asked us “who’s the bride” at one point or another. It’s an understandable question — I realize that gay weddings are a relatively new phenomenon — but it’s nonetheless a constant reminder of the fact that we’re still not “normal.”
Luckily, we haven’t run into any outright bigotry with any of our wedding vendors, so we feel very fortunate. But every time I see a form or am asked for the name of my soon-to-be wife, it’s another conversation I have to have. But instead of feeling that shame I spent much of my 20s trying to get rid of, I take it to the next step and ask to speak to a manager, or I simply make a formal request for that company to change the form and educate their employees.
From the time I was a little kid, every movie I saw, every book I read, every TV show I watched featured straight couples, causing me to think that there was something wrong with me. If by asking a company to correct a form or change their phrasing to “what’s the name of the other party?” or “what is your fiancé’s name?” I can help stop someone from recalling those unfortunate feelings of inadequacy, I’m happy to do it.
Good advice and your own little bit of activism, too. It may seem small, but it’s playing a big part in making sure that it does get better for those behind us.
A final thought on this; remember, the embarrassed stumbling of wedding party planning personnel when they discover your are a same-sex couple doesn’t always mean bigotry or prejudice. It’s more often than not, the embarrassment of assumption on the part of the planer. Moments that we’ve all have had in some form or another. So be forgiving and gentle when you go about your education.