Gay Weddings and Tradition

Oct 9, 2013

I’m straight and have been raised pretty conventionally. I think I’m reasonably open-minded, and have a couple of openly gay friends. However, I have to say that I used to be uncomfortable with open displays of affection between gays and have not so far attended any gay weddings.

I recently began to reassess my viewpoint. I even accepted that gays might have feelings and want – and need – relationships.

Seeing pictures of Elton John and David Furnish’s wedding a few years back was quite reassuring to me. I don’t know what I might have been expecting, but the couple was extremely well turned-out – beautifully dressed in fact. They obviously took their ceremony really seriously (and why shouldn’t they?).

Indeed, why should a gay wedding be drastically different to a traditional, heterosexual one? There’s no reason why women should not be in white, and carrying bouquets of lilies. Men can certainly be in suits. The wedding day is the most important day of their lives, and they are entitled to choose to mark it by looking their very best. The affair can be elegant and tasteful – and should be, in fact.

Gay marriage is legal in many States of the US and will become commonplace over in the UK too in time, so we need to become more comfortable with the concept.


In a ‘traditional’ gay wedding, there are some questions to consider: should there be bridesmaids – or even whatever the masculine equivalent is? Or a combination of them?

What about surnames? Should either of the pair change their name after marriage? If so, which one? Presumably, that will be down to choice.

There may be some decisions for the officiant: instead of “you may kiss the bride”, the easiest thing would simply be “you may kiss”.

Of course, there’s not really a precedent for gay marriages, so the traditions are up for grabs. But do we need to invent any, actually?


Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe.