May 25, 2022
There might be a femme presenting person and masculine presenting person getting married, but that does not mean you should assume there is a “bride” and “groom”. It is never safe to assume someone’s gender and we should always refer to others with they/them pronouns or simply their name until we are told otherwise. You can refer to those being married as the couple, the spouse, or the partner.
Refer to the wedding party as just that- the wedding party. This term is more gender-inclusive than “bridal party, bridesmaid, or groomsmen”.
Ask friends to be in your wedding party despite their gender. There doesn’t have to be a “guys” side and a “girls” side.
The bouquet and garter toss can be for everyone.
Avoid using “Mr” and “Mrs” on invites. You can simply address guests by their names.
Ensure that everyone involved in your wedding, including friends, family, and vendors are using inclusive language throughout the day as well.
Do not make sharing pronouns mandatory. This could potentially out someone. Sharing pronouns should always be done in the person’s own timing if they choose to share at all.
Lastly and most importantly, don’t simply learn these terms to better your business. If you’re not already queer inclusive in your own life, start there. Being queer and gender inclusive is not a business tactic. You can probably assume that even if you don’t know it yet, there are queer and gender queer people in your life. They should know that if they choose to come out to you, that you will respect their pronouns.
These changes in language are so simple but can make all the difference in queer people knowing that they are welcome and safe in the environments they exist. Being more gender inclusive on your wedding day won’t eradicate queer oppression overnight but it’s a step in the right direction. For more information on queer liberation and hot get involved in Columbus, Ohio you ca visit https://stonewallcolumbus.org/resources/.