Same-sex marriages: the wedding stationery etiquette rules are…there are no rules! Much like love, design transcends things as trivial as the sex of a partner. Freeing news indeed, but not so helpful if you’re stuck staring at your list of traditional wedding stationery conventions and scratching your head wondering how to tackle the ‘ladies first’ rule when there are two brides or none at all. Read our guide to contemporary wedding etiquette and get ready to help usher in the new age of wedding stationery design.
First and foremost: designing wedding invitations for same-sex couples is just like designing it for anyone else. Your clients will usually have a good idea of the theme and colour scheme they want for their day, so just follow your normal process towards creating something they’ll adore. It is a good idea to ask your couple how much of a feature they want to make of the fact theirs is a same-sex union; some couples are all for it and for some, it won’t even be a factor. Let them make the call and follow their lead.
This is the part where tradition can get in the way; there are loads of rules around the wording of wedding stationery, but the real luxury here is that there aren’t any established for same-sex couples yet—your couple is free to write the rulebook!
- The ladies’ rule. It is common practice to use the bride’s name, or her parents’ names first on the invite, as they are the ones footing the bill. Are your couple getting a helping hand from their parents? If the answer is yes, then there’s no reason you can’t still use this rule and adapt it. If they plan to pay for the day themselves, it might be better to go alphabetical.
- What’s in a name? It is traditional for the bride to be named using first and middle names only and the groom using title, first and middle names. Ask your couple how they’d like their names to appear and whether they’d prefer to stay traditional or both be represented equally.
- Traditional vs. contemporaryNow that names are out of the way, the last thing you’ve got to think about is the rest of the wording in the invite. Does your couple want to go traditional with the wording? If so, you’ve got nothing to worry about, just do your usual thing. If they fancy a more contemporary take on the ceremony, then you’re free to get creative!
We recommend having some suggestions and writing styles and samples ready, with examples, so your happy couple can try a few on for size. There are a lot of options to consider, both traditional and contemporary, so it helps to be prepared.
Now that we’ve covered some of the finer points of same-sex wedding stationery etiquette, it’s time for you to get out there and blaze some trails with your customers!