Same-sex weddings – and families

With just over a month until same-sex weddings can be legally conducted in England & Wales, people are increasingly likely to encounter opposition from their family. It’s therefore important to take a serious look at this issue.

The guest list

All weddings face the inevitable question: whom do you invite? It’s a tough one to answer at the best of times. You will probably start with close family and friends, but what if your closest relatives oppose your union?

Rejecting the rejectors

Do you decide to leave them out and just opt for your friends and (supportive) relations? After all, you’re likely to be spending a huge amount of money on the reception. Why should you have to accommodate people who won’t accept what you’re doing and, at worst, might even turn out to be trouble-makers?

Certainly, you’ll think twice before inviting people openly hostile to your union. On the bright side, they might decline and at least you’ll have gained kudos by having extended the olive branch!

An olive branch

Another advantage that might be gained from inviting disapproving relatives is that they might, despite their own prejudices, attend and actually enjoy a tasteful and personalized ceremony. Wouldn’t that be something if you were able to ‘convert’ them and retain – even develop – a relationship with them?!

For many of us, there is the bond of love that unites us with our families. We may not always like our relations, but to upset and potentially do without them for the rest of our lives is not always at all desirable, in truth. Giving them a chance to stay connected with you  (even loosely) is worth the effort.

If the worst comes to the worst, at least you’ll know you tried. And if it brings you together, couldn’t that be precious?

Come what may, your wedding will be a commemoration of love, with promises for the future. It’s not the day to heal rifts, but it may be the pathway to do so, and that is something which should be embraced.

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

UK Single-Sex Weddings

New legislation

It can hardly have escaped general awareness in the UK that single-sex weddings were last week given the go-ahead.

In case you somehow missed it, single-sex weddings in England and Wales will be legal as from 29th March 2014 – in time for the Easter rush in mid-April.

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, described this as a “wonderful step forward for equality”, but not everyone was in agreement. The Coalition for Marrriage considered the news as “sad”.

The legislation was bitterly contested along the way, but it secured overwhelming support in both the Commons and the Lords.

Where can these weddings take place?

There are a few Church of England churches (notably, military chapels – though only from June 2014) permitted to host single-sex weddings, but the vast majority will not be allowed to. Registered venues, such as hotels and country houses, will be free to host these, as will Town Halls and registry offices.

Venues already registered for weddings will not need any additional registration process in order to perform same-sex weddings.

Positive reaction

The Secretary of State said: “Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from March 29 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex.”

Nick Clegg commented: “This is the news many couples have been waiting for.

“After a long and important battle, this is a wonderful step forward for equality. Love is the same, gay or straight, so it’s only right that the civil institution should be the same.

“Next March will be a real moment for celebration as same sex couples finally get the chance to express their love through marriage.”

Benjamin Cohen, the publisher of PinkNews and founder of the Out4Marriage campaign said: “There are many gay couples who have been eagerly awaiting this news and will now be able to plan their wedding.

“The first marriages will, I hope, herald a new age of equality in our country, where all couples, regardless of their sexuality will be treated equally under the law, and eventually in society.”

Next Steps

Those looking to celebrate a single-sex wedding are welcome to contact a celebrant, who can ensure a bespoke, personalized, memorable service.

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