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Kirsten Palladino, the founder of the US-based Equally Wed website, has written a new book of the same title, aimed specifically at LGBTQ+ couples. Covering everything from how to word gender-neutral wedding invitations and what questions to ask venues during a site visit (including whether they’ve hosted a same-sex wedding before and whether their staff are trained to practice equality-mindedness), Palladino’s book is a brilliant insight into planning an LGBTQ+ wedding.

According to Palladino, every to-be-wed couple will have at least one member of their family who doesn’t believe they should be getting married. Here’s an extract from her book on how to deal with the Homophobic or Transphobic relative…

Changing Hearts and Opening Minds

‘You and your partner will need to do some serious soul-searching as you try to decide whether to invite a homophobic or transphobic relative. Obviously, you’d never want someone at your wedding who wishes you ill. But you and your partner are likely to have at least one family member who doesn’t believe you should be getting married at all, or who gives you the “I’m so uncomfortable with your sexual orientation or gender presentation” vibe whenever you see them. So why would you invite someone like this to witness you entering into a covenant of marriage?

Well, in the first place, you may love this relative unconditionally, despite their conditional love for you. Perhaps it would break your heart if they didn’t come to your wedding and you can’t bear to not at least invite them, in the hope that their viewpoint will change once they see how real your commitment is.

Frequently, it is the relatives who act indifferently to (or even offended by) an LGBTQ+ family member’s relationship who end up bawling with happy tears at the wedding, overcome with emotion for the love they’ve witnessed.

Sometimes you really do have to see it to believe it: the epiphany that all love is equal – no matter what a person’s gender – happens at LGBTQ+ weddings every weekend around the world. Weddings can be a lovely opportunity for changing hearts and opening minds.’

Excerpted from Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding by Kirsten Palladino. Copyright © 2017.

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