Can I Keep Closed-Minded Family From Judging Our Drag Extravaganza?

Bonus Q: Should We Have A Wedding Falcon?

Person in suit kissing person in drag

Q: The short version: I’m having a very, very gay wedding and don’t want to invite family who have historically been weird about The Gay Thing.

The long version: Sometimes people describe same-sex weddings as “just like a normal wedding but with two brides/grooms!” My wedding is probably not going to be like that. There are lots of reasons why: My husband to-be is a very flamboyant and femme gay man, and will probably be dressed accordingly. I’m part of a religious tradition that does weddings without an officiant, and with rituals that probably most of my guests haven’t encountered. I’m also part of a drag house, and members traditionally attend one another’s weddings in full face. While we’re not doing anything for spectacle (fiancé has firmly shot down my request for a wedding falcon), having a wedding that’s authentic to us means it’s going to be fairly offbeat.

What feels most non-normative is that my fiancé and I are in a polyamorous relationship. I see my boyfriend a couple times a week, we all have dinner together, boyfriend and fiancé are going to go see Power Rangers tomorrow, it’s all very civilized. While we are in no way doing a three-way marriage, there’s no way I’m getting married without boyfriend in the pew, and he’s offered to be day-of coordinator at the wedding.

Both sets of parents and siblings know about my boyfriend and are at various places on the approval-to-disapproval spectrum. I’m inviting some of my parents’ friends who were very dear to me growing up, and I feel fine about maybe talking with them about who this other person getting forehead kisses is, if it even comes up at all.

But(t), there is one corner of my family that I just wince when I think about having them at my wedding. They were relatively fine when I came out, but they’ve never been a significant or supportive part of my life. I feel like I’ve spent a million Thanksgivings listening to them talk about my cousin’s semi-pro baseball career, and I don’t think they know what my career is. When the daughter of the family blew up at me on Facebook and said some weird/mean/possibly homophobic things, none of them said anything about it when I saw them at my grandparents’ anniversary party the next week. They’ve never talked to my fiancé in five years of family parties. While none of them have been actively hateful, it almost makes me cry to think about them being rude, or awkward (or taking hateful Snapchats like they always do) of my beautiful chosen family of weirdos. They’re not a part of my life, and I don’t trust them to be kind.

My grandmother, who I’m very close to, would be very hurt and upset if I didn’t invite them. And while I’m not close with them, not inviting them is sort of a pretty final relationship-ending move. My mother is a big advocate for family, and is already struggling with the non-traditional dimensions of my life. One more g-d thing that she doesn’t get about my wedding feels like a lot. My parents are also giving my fiancé and me money for the wedding, and might insist on inviting them as a condition. It feels hard to think about justifying not inviting them when there hasn’t been one thing I can point to as a reason, just a string of shadiness. But I want people who are excited about and supportive of my marriage at the wedding, not just attending for the free drinks and obligation.

What should I consider when doing the calculus of whether to invite them? If I do wind up inviting them, do you have suggestions for how to handle their possible unpleasantness around my beloved chosen family?

(Also, if I invited them and their long-term significant others, that would be TEN PERCENT of my venue’s max guest list. TEN. PER. CENT.)

Best,

Grumpy Gay Hates Perfectly Wholesome Straights

 

A: HOLY HELL. This is so unacceptable.

I had to read this line over and over to grasp it: “They’ve never talked to my fiancé in five years of family parties.” For five whole years they have never acknowledged or engaged with the person you are intending to marry? They’ve had countless opportunities but couldn’t treat your partner with basic human decency? This is really awful, and as a queer person who cares deeply about family, this situation is my nightmare.

It’s Pride Week, so for all the well-meaning people who might say, “You can’t choose your family,” and, “Your wedding isn’t for you,” and would urge you to be graceful and magnanimous and turn the other cheek—they can take many seats (somewhere else). GGHPWS, you get to choose who you invite to your wedding, and you don’t have to invite unkind folks.

Queer weddings are not all like typical straight weddings, and they don’t need to be. To me, you’re in a classic position where all I have to say is, “Do your thing, honey.” (And on that note, why not falcons? It seems a totally reasonable ask.) But with that, I do have some practical thoughts for dealing with the situation, since grandma’s feelings and possible family financial support are potentially on the line here.

First off, let’s not assume the worst, because you actually do have proof you can point to in regards to the subsection of the family (which I will now call the haters) being actively hateful. Giving the silent treatment/not acknowledging a human is painful, and is designed to make them feel unwelcome and unimportant. What are they going to do at your wedding? Ignore the person you’re marrying? It’s entirely possible your mom and grandma would be able to imagine how much that would suck for you, and agree (at least to some extent) with your desire to keep your guests limited to people who affirm your partnership. Not saying grandma won’t be upset, but give her some credit—she’s seen some things in her life. Your mom and grandma are allowed to not like the situation, but they just might understand it.

However, if that convo doesn’t work out (or you don’t have the capacity to take it on), you still have a right to either not invite the haters (but be ready to face emotional/financial consequences) or get creative about it. There’s lots of ways to make sure they either a) don’t disturb your wedding, or b) don’t attend your wedding—without actually tossing them off your list.

One option (and the one my dad chose in regards to having me out and proud at his third wedding): send the invitations with a note about how people should expect a big, fierce, polyam, drag-filled wedding and explicitly say, “If you’re uncomfortable or cannot fully embrace and celebrate this union, please do not attend. We have a zero tolerance policy for making our guests feel unwelcome. Otherwise, we’re so excited to have you share in our joy,” or something to that effect. AKA: no haters allowed. Technically, they’re invited though, so you should be off the hook.

Another option, if the haters have to attend and you want a low-impact way to create a level of safety, make it a phone-free wedding. Ask people to check them at the door (and designate someone to collect them). At the very least nobody will be making a “look at the freaks” Snapchat about you, or mean-girl texting each other about your fabulous friends. Take away the tools of cowardly prejudice and let them think their horrid thoughts all by themselves. Divide and conquer, amiright?

There’s probably a bunch more ways to self-select your guests or at least minimize their ability to detract from your day, but as our EIC, Meg, points out: “If worse comes to worst, and you feel like you have to invite some unideal people, chances are you won’t be paying attention to that shit on your wedding day. You really just tune out anything that isn’t a good vibe, as long as it’s quiet. Also worth saying: someone almost always ends up being a dick at your wedding, no matter how hard you try to avoid it.” So if somehow some of the haters end up on the guest list, at least rest assured that you’ll be too busy getting married and having the time of your life to worry about the miserable assholes in the back who can’t appreciate good things in life.

No matter what you do, make a decision you can live with. There’s no way around it that won’t ruffle a few feathers, but please, put your relationship and your chosen family first. The people who love you will somehow muddle through for this one day, at least. Protect your hearts, GGHPWS, because it’s not easy being gay in this country (or the world, for that matter), and we have to hold onto our moments of joy with both hands.

Oh, and if the haters don’t end up coming and you have some extra invites, we wouldn’t say no to you sending some our way. Your wedding sounds like it’ll be utterly divine. <3

Cheers,

Najva

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  • Amy March

    Please don’t invite them. You don’t like them. You aren’t close. They hate you and your love and your family. Grandma will cope. Your parents might decide not to contribute financially but they might surprise you. Your wedding sounds aggressively full of love, don’t feel like you’re stuck inviting hate in.

    • another lady

      but, would they really come to your wedding to fiancé that they have refused to acknowledge for 5 years?!?

      • rg223

        Agreed. I seriously don’t think these people are coming to the wedding under any circumstances. It sucks that the LW has to deal with whether to invite them or not though.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Would you want to spend the mental space worrying about what they’ll do?

  • CMT

    I have no advice, just sympathy but are you surrreeeeee you can’t have a wedding falcon??

    • SECONDING THAT.

    • But really.

    • Jane

      Did anyone else really want to get a hawk after reading H is for Hawk? I won’t because I don’t have the time or skill, but that book definitely fed a growing obsession with birds.

      • scw

        yesss I LOVE THAT BOOK

    • Cellistec

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure your reward for sorting out all the family hater crap is a wedding falcon. Isn’t that in Emily Post or something?

    • zana

      We had a wedding penguin and a wedding owl. Wedding falcon = totally reasonable.

      • CMT

        OMG wedding penguin?!?!

        • penguin

          Wait what?

      • louise danger

        zoo wedding? :) local zoo offers ambassabirds for the reception/cocktail hour

        • Alyssa

          looking this up for our stateside reception STAT

  • scw

    your wedding sounds amazing and I really hope you submit it. so curious about these rituals!

    that’s not really the point of this letter, though, so let me just say I’m sorry you’re getting so much hate from some members of the family. normally I’d say do what you want and fuck the haters, but I get wanting to make grandma and mom happy. any chance talking to mom would reveal that she’s ok with you not inviting those members of the family? if not, I like najva’s suggestion of laying it out on the invitation… and maybe hoping those family members stay home.

    but, really, if just thinking about having them there makes your stomach churn, don’t invite them. it sounds like some of them have really crossed the line. some of the stuff you describe is way more offensive than leaving someone off a guest list would be.

  • sofar

    Agreed that there are more than enough reasons to not invite the haters. But if you decide you don’t want the family discord with grandma and mom, I think the spell-it-out-on-the-invitation (with STRONG wording) route is a viable alternative, if that’s the way you have to go.

    My SIL did that when she married into a religion that was SUPER controversial for many of her relatives. Lots of them were saying ugly things in whispers at parties, but not inviting them wasn’t an option for her parents (who were paying for the wedding). So, she included an insert in the invitation saying what people should expect. And it worked beautifully. It gave the haters an opportunity to RSVP “no” in protest and spend months bitching to everyone about why they would not be attending instead of bringing that shit TO the wedding. And the bride’s parents, who were SO insistent on inviting all these people, got to see their true colors and be mad at them instead of the bride. Win-win.

    Bigots are generally cowardly. So I bet LW’s relatives take the RSVP-no-and-bitch-about-it route instead of the come-to-the-wedding route.

    • idkmybffjill

      ‘So I bet LW’s relatives take the RSVP-no-and-bitch-about-it route instead of the come-to-the-wedding route.:
      COMPLETELY agree.

    • Eyema

      What kinds of things did they say in the note? Like, “Hey, here’s xyz parts of the wedding I think you’ll hate, heads up?”

      • sofar

        It was basically this:

        “Our wedding will be a traditional ceremony of [groom’s] faith and will include the following rituals and will be conducted in [language]. A list of the rituals and traditions to expect can be found at [website]. We ask that all guests commit to being solemn, quiet, and respectful at the church (the reception is the time for celebration) and commit to following the dress code [list of what not to wear, head coverings/shawls required, etc.]. Profanity is expressly prohibited, not only in and around the church but during the reception and any wedding events, as is any “slang” that takes the Lord’s name in vain. Due to the fact that religious leaders of [groom’s] church will be present, we absolutely cannot make any dress-code exceptions and asking you to leave/change would detract from the sanctity of the ceremony and our joy. If you are uncomfortable with any of these expectations or the nature of the ceremony, we completely understand and would love to celebrate with you in our new home at a later time.”

        • Eyema

          I love that! Super clear and firm.

        • Amy March

          Oh my god though, no strongly worded anything is going to stop me from uttering an “oh my god” because, for better or worse, it’s just part of my vocabulary and I don’t really think about it.

          I think it’s important to remember that it’s hard to get guests to remember the time of the wedding, let alone any complicated list of requirement. A great way to set the tone and serve as a gatekeeper but not a way to guarantee perfection.

          • S

            True but I think it’s still important to tell people what’s expected of them even if there’s a chance some of it will slip through the cracks? I’m the same with slang/swears but I think there’s a difference between a small handful of “Oh my god! Oh, sorry, sorry” moments and the fifty Oh my god, Jesus Christ, fucking hells, they would normally get from me. I’d rather know what the deal is, be as respectful as possible and do my best, and I’m sure that’s all anyone expected/hoped for when they wrote that note. I’m sure nobody expects 100% success when they send a note like this, it’s more hoping for 85%. Same with the LW – if they went the note-writing route, it would be with the understanding that their relatives aren’t going to have a personality transplant. If they read the note, still come, and dial their hate down from a 100 to a 20, I think that’s what’s going to be realistic.

          • Amy March

            Oh yeah totally! Worth a shot as long as expectations of success are reasonable.

          • sofar

            “Oh my god” and “Christ on a cracker” are things I also say all the time without thinking, and I have totally slipped up around this family. They are too nice to ever call me on it, but I’m glad I know it’s a faux pas for them, so that I can at least strive not to say it. If I had no idea, I’d be saying it left and right. I generally refuse to follow their dress-code, though, unless we are in their church or in one of their homes.

            Nobody expected people to be perfect at the wedding — the instructions were to get them to TRY to follow the rules (or just stay home if the rules pissed them off).

    • Kat

      “And the bride’s parents, who were SO insistent on inviting all these people, got to see their true colors and be mad at them instead of the bride.”
      THIS part is so important to me. If you have to invite hateful people, make it hard for your parents to ignore how hateful they truly are, and maybe save yourself some agony down the line (plus won’t it be nice when your mom is like “OMG YOU WERE RIGHT!”?)

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  • FALCON.

    But seriously, as other commenters have mentioned don’t invite them if you really don’t want to…but if you *have* to, then perhaps consider both tactics that Najva mentioned? Both be upfront on the invite (“Hey this is what’s going down and if you’re not cool with it, don’t come”) and also take phones? And maybe even go so far as to be upfront that you’ll be taking phones (something on your wedding site that’s like “We’ll be collecting phones at the door so all of our guests can live in the moment. We’ll share our photographer’s photos with you afterwards, we promise!”

    Sorry to hear that some of your family is not accepting and this is causing stress for you. I think you’re going to have a rad wedding!

    • GotMarried!

      I second being up front if you go the no cell phone route – I would be very uncomfortable turning my phone over to someone a the door of a wedding/party/meeting etc; but would be fine leaving it in my car or at home for the day.

      • Also, in this case encouraging people who don’t want to turn over their phones to stay home, might be an ideal outcome ;)

        • GotMarried!

          Yes! win for everyone – grumpy relatives get to ‘enjoy’ their own well deserved grumpy company and LW gets to enjoy a wedding with fewer unsupportive folks.

      • e.e.hershey

        Yeah, I didn’t know asking to turn over cell phones was ever a thing that people did. That strikes me as kind of a rude request (even though I completely understand that the request is being made to stop awful people from being rude themselves). But if someone asked me to turn over my phone at the start of a wedding, I wouldn’t do it. Both out of fear of theft and out of fear that my babysitter may be calling with an emergency. I would totally be open to a reminder to silence it… although I realize that won’t stop people from taking pics. Not sure what the right course of action is here, but the “take their phones!” thing struck me as a little improbable.

        • I’ve actually been to many events where cell phones were not allowed for a portion/all of it for security reasons. I do think advance notice is helpful, so other arrangements can be made. I can easily think of multiple ways someone who is worried about an emergency have a phone check person find them if there’s a call coming in/ arrange an alternate point person for a set duration/etc. I mean unless someone has literally never gone somewhere without cell service, most people have a way to cope with not having an active phone for a few hours! As other people said, perhaps a phone could be in the car and a guest could go back periodically to check on it!

          I do think it’s ok to get creative here since it’s a special circumstance!

          • GotMarried!

            absolutely – i have no concerns about not having my phone on me. I think that sounds like a good idea for a lot of weddings … I just don’t love the last-minute leaving it in a basket somewhere.

        • H

          Yeahhhhh you can pry my cell phone out of my cold, dead hands.

        • MDBethann

          I have to go into “no cell phone” areas for work on occasion. I know in advance and I make alternative plans – daycare has my husband’s number or our emergency backups if something happens and I always text my husband “phone is off for X hours because of a meeting” so he knows I’m offline. And until about what? 10-15 years ago, cell phones weren’t prolific so parents or others who needed to be reached HAD to give out the venue phone number so people could find them. It is definitely doable.

          • GotMarried!

            This is a great point – communicating to your spouse or whomever. My husband likewise has no cellphone/internet/etc areas at work. And if I KNOW he’s going to be out of communication I just shrug and make a note to talk about whatever with him later. If he somehow forgets to mention it I have gotten worried a time or two.

    • Eyema

      The venue itself potentially has really bad cell phone coverage (we’re looking at a girl scout camp) so there’s definitely hope there.

      • Another Meg

        1) HELL YES Girl Scout camp (former camper/counselor here)
        2) Our venue was in the middle of nowhere which really helped us enforce our “no social media” request. Signs outside, a notice in the program, and it was on our website. I’m pretty sure there were still photos on Facebook.
        I hope you’re able to have the wedding you want! And that includes loving and supportive guests.

  • emmers

    I am loving Najva’s thoughtful and sensitive advice. Nothing to add, but congratulations on your wedding, LW! I hope that it’s a wonderful day filled with love and joy.

  • Jane

    I 100% agree that ignoring your significant other for 5 years is something you can point to as crossing the line. That’s a very strong and hurtful message to send. I can’t imagine my family doing that to anyone, and there have been significant others that my extended family really disliked.
    So, wedding aside, I’m just sorry you have to deal with that at your other family events.

  • ann

    Yikes, these family members sound like a lot to put up with. I think if your fiance is on-board with it, you could not invite them and explain to Grandma that “Since they haven’t spoken to [fiance] in 5 years, we’re [he’s — if he’s ok being used for this purpose] not comfortable having them present” and leave it at that.

    Also, despite opening with the polyamory part, that doesn’t seem to be the core issue here. People who know, know, and others may wonder (or just figure that people are HAPPY at weddings, so they kiss and dance together and whatnot). To the extent possible, I’d stop worrying about what anyone thinks about your bf being there.

  • idkmybffjill

    I LOVE the idea of the note. Honestly that might ruffle the right feathers just enough to get the haters to not attend and I think that is a win for EVERYONE. If they do attend, I honestly feel like people behave better when their behavior has been put on notice.

    I would also maybe only include the note with the haters invites – then if they ask around they’ll know they’ve been specifically put on notice and I am about that.

    • sofar

      Your last paragraph = genius. Evil genius, used for the power of good.

      • idkmybffjill

        Muahaha

    • another lady

      As much as I like that idea for spite, I would put it in everyone’s invite just for the fact that they might ask around and you want everyone to be treated the same. Also, there might be some secret haters out there who also need the notice!

      • idkmybffjill

        In this circumstance I don’t want everyone to be treated the same. I want the people I know are hateful jerks to be treated as such, and the people who aren’t to be treated like normal guests at my wedding.

        My interpretation from the LW was that there is a whole group of AMAZING supportive chosen family, and then a group of haters. Only the haters need the note.

        • rg223

          I think the chosen family needs the notice too, just so they know the LW’s got their backs.

          • idkmybffjill

            Maybe! To each their own.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          In this situation I would be a non-hater, and it would make me really happy to see that note and RSVP with a FUCK YES.

          • idkmybffjill

            To each their own! I’m in it for that moment when someone is like “omg did you get that note can you believe that?” and non-hater is like, “no, what note”… and then hater is like OMG THEY MEANT ME SPECIFICALLY I SUCK.

  • Stephanie B.

    If you can handle the reactions from Grandma and others, don’t invite
    your hateful family members. You and your fiance do not need that on
    your wedding day. You want people there who actually love and support
    you. I obviously don’t know your family dynamics, but I feel like telling Grandma (and anyone else) that, okay, she’s hurt that you didn’t invite the hateful family members, but you and your fiance have been hurt that the hateful family members haven’t spoken to him for FIVE YEARS, so hey, there’s plenty of hurt to go around.

    But if you invite them, I agree with including something with the invitation that spells out very clearly what kind of wedding and festivities they can expect, and if they can’t embrace that, they should stay home, because that’s not how you want to start your life together.

    Also: GET THE FALCON. And then submit pictures, PLEEEEEEEASE!

    • Jane

      Really just submit this wedding in general!

      • Cellistec

        Amen. Falcons can be photoshopped to great effect, I’m sure.

        • Eyema

          Get one of the queens to dress up as the wedding falcon? My wheels are spinning here.

          • Cellistec

            Tasteful falcon hats?

  • LazyMountain

    We had a similar but less extreme situation to handle, where one specific aunt (fiance’s side) and all associated cousins have been vocal critics of our “lifestyle” and seem to not be able to act like thoughtful adults around our 6 year relationship. I have trouble recalling some of their names because like the LW’s future spouse, they do not interact with me at family gatherings. We hemmed and hawed on wedding invites because it will (and has) definitely ruffled some feathers, but chose to only invite the aunt and none of her children. So far I have no regrets whatsoever. Grandma was offended, but she didn’t talk to my fiance for 2 years after she came out, gave use a generic card with a dog on it that said “congrats!” and has decided that the hour’s travel is too far for our wedding. I don’t feel like there’s any love lost there.
    Bottom line: people who don’t support you might self-select out, and anyone who thinks you shouldn’t get married probably doesn’t belong at your wedding anyhow.

    • ladyjanegreysanatomy

      THIS: “anyone who thinks you shouldn’t get married probably doesn’t belong at your wedding anyhow.”

      Full stop.

      Unless you are of the camp who are expressly interested in facilitating family reunions via your shindig (and more power to you if that is what gives you joy), you are never ever obligated to invite anybody to your party that you don’t want there (and conversely no one is ever obligated to show up to parties they don’t want to be at). I don’t know how or why such pernicious myths survive. They seem to only cause heartache. It’s a celebration and if you’re not celebrating then why are you here? This stuff is both expensive and deeply emotional. No one should be coming who is not all in when it counts.

      While this is doubly true of less socially accepted stuff, it is also true for everyone.

  • lady brett

    your wedding sounds fucking fabulous. i have no further advice, because we were lucky enough that anyone who was going to be a killjoy wasn’t about to come to our abomination (I mean wedding).

  • BSM

    Haven’t read Najva’s surely excellent response yet, but hateful Snapchats?!? Are all these people 15?? Jeez.

  • Jessica

    Humble request: Can this have “Ask APW” in the title? For the first part I thought Najva was writing this and it did not match up to what I knew about her from previous articles/instagram posts. Like, obviously I kept reading and figured it out, but still.

    • Jessica

      Thank you!

    • Whoops, yeah we don’t usually add that anymore but I can see how that could be confusing. Done!

      • Jessica

        Thanks! I think I just have Monday brain.

  • Mrrpaderp

    Great thoughts here. One more thing for LW to consider – how will you feel if you invite these people and they say no? If it were me – and you’re not me so you might feel totally differently – even if I really wanted certain people to decline, it would be hurtful to get the RSVP with a check marked “No” that doesn’t even feign a valid excuse. I mean I’d be super anxious if they said yes, so I’d also be happy they said no, but the rejection would still sting. I just don’t see what good can come of extending this invitation. Do not give these people any more power over your life.

    • Eyema

      I would genuinely feel pumped to see them decline no. That would be the best case scenario. They are super flaky about showing up to family stuff, so maybe there’s hope for that.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Also, speaking from my own (non-gay and actually super unremarkable) wedding, even if they do attend, odds are, they’ll leave pretty quickly.
        I had a fairly large chunk of family that I invited more out of obligation than love–a bit like in your case, they were never openly hateful towards me, but they were always rather snarky and unwelcoming. Still, I invited them, because that’s what a person does, and I didn’t feel like making waves.
        Several came. Several didn’t. The ones who did come attended the wedding itself, and then of those, only about half came to the reception. They sat at their own little table (assigned seating), and as soon as the cake was cut and they felt it was acceptable to do so, they left. It was all very uneventful, and in many ways, it was like they weren’t even there. There may or may not have been a snarky snapchat or two sent that I don’t know about, and I spent a couple hundred dollars paying for their meals, but at the end of the day, for me, that was all a very small price to pay for keeping the peace with those who I truly did care about.
        Obviously, your mileage may vary, but at least in my limited experience, the people who DO want to be at a wedding make a far bigger difference in the atmosphere than the ones who are just there for the dinner/chance to snark/sense of obligation.

  • JenC

    If you have to invite them, in addition to the note in the invite try word of mouth. It may mean that some things aren’t a surprise on the day but you can definitely get the info out there in a way that it’ll be noticed. Grandmas and moms are great at word of mouth, as is Facebook. So for example, if you are happy sharing something on Facebook it’ll reach the haters. I know your partner has shot down the falcon, but (with his knowledge) maybe post a (slightly elaborate) status about how hard it is to find a falcon that can drop pink glitter over guests. Whilst people might realise you aren’t being serious they might start a conversation in the comments and you can comment about how you’d love a falcon. Maybe get the drag group to post something as a collective about how they’re looking forward to pulling out their best gear for your special day, maybe a teasing selfie? Tell grandma and mom about the falcon and the drag group. When mom and grandma talk to the haters and they see things on Facebook it’ll already set the tone for when the invites and notes go out. With word of mouth (with any luck) they’ll be hating the wedding before the invites even go out and your note should then be the final nail in the coffin.

    • Eyema

      God, I want a glitter falcon. Think about the cascade of pink, shimmering glitter falling down onto the aisle as it swoops in with our rings

    • Eyema

      What kind of phrasing would you suggest using for the note? I feel like there’s gotta be a balance between “Listen up bitches!” and rhyming pinteresty shit.

      • JenC

        I’m not very good at the “listen up bitches” or the rhyming pintrest shit, which is why word of mouth was a good one for us. In this instance I would probably go for subtlety, frequent and often. So I would have probably gone with an invitation of “LW and Partner invite you to have a wonderfully gay time at our fabulous celebration of our love”. On an enclosure I’d probably put something like “We cannot wait to spend the day surrounded by those who love us, respect us and can embrace our values. We are looking forward to sharing our fabulous day with those who share our vision and wish us well. As such, we do not need any gifts as your respect, your love, your presence with us that day is more than enough gift for us”. (Although this is assuming the couple were willing to do no a gift is necessary announcement). Then in the wedding website under dress code, mention anything specific about the venue (outside/stupid staircase) or the season (“it’s winter so don’t feel you need to freeze just for our photos – bring a jacket) and note that “drag is heartily accepted/encouraged but in no way mandatory”. Under the about the couple page, LW could write something about his drag group and post some photos. Maybe mention that it’s customary to put their finery on for weddings. Under other info, they could some provide some “for your info” on the religion and why the different elements will be done. I’d then probably warn my friends that I was going to be THAT annoying person who overshares my wedding website on Facebook but at least then the haters are likely to see it.

        • Jessica

          *appreciation slow clap for that wording*

        • ladyjanegreysanatomy

          Also clapping at the thought of glitter invites. I mean I’m pretty down with not inviting them at all, but the passive aggressive part of me who knows just how hard it is to ever truly be rid of glitter is cackling gleefully.

        • GotMarried!

          Seriously anyone who would be mad at an invite full of glitter is not someone i want at my wedding! Glitter is amazing!

      • AgainstHope

        So I’m bored – and I loved the idea of a rhyming pinteresty take “Listen up bitches!” soooo… (Anyone who wants feel free to use – in whole or as a jumping off point)

        No rain, just rainbows,
        on our parade
        All of the colors,
        none of the shade.
        We’re gay and we’re proud,
        (as are some friends)
        If you don’t like it-
        Please don’t attend.

        On our day of love,
        hate has no place.
        So we invite you,
        but just in case…
        If men in dresses
        (or stylish skirts)
        is not to your taste,
        we won’t be hurt.

        Just check the “Decline”
        R.S.V.P.
        And we’ll catch up later,
        more privately.

        • Eyema

          Well, that was exquisite thank you.

  • Transnonymous

    As someone who has a lot of regrets about what could not be done at his wedding for similar reasons, do whatever makes you the happiest. Don’t invite people who will be full of cattiness, snark, and possibly hate on a day filled with so much love. Also, jealous that I will not be in attendance at what sounds like the most incredible wedding ever.

  • Eyema

    LW here. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel like Navja really grasped the truth of the dynamic with families and queerness, which that is sometimes you make compromises. I loved all the practical suggestions for how to deal with them if we do wind up making the choice to invite them.
    And, OMG y’all, the wedding falcon. My sweetheart feels very strongly about the question “Is this potential wedding addition for spectacle or is it a reflection of our relationship?”. While drag is genuinely a thing we love and have explored deeply throughout our relationship, I can’t make a case for wedding falcon beyond it would be seriously seriously cool.
    We’d love to submit photos when it’s time!

    • Gaby

      Yesssss, please submit photos! Best of luck to you

    • CMT

      Okay, that’s a legit reason to nix the falcon. Hopefully somebody else is inspired by the idea! Best of luck!

    • Katharine Parker

      How far away is your wedding? Do you have time to take up falconry in the meantime?

      • Gaby

        This made me laugh out loud

      • Eyema

        I mean, fair enough!

        However, both my boyfriend and my fiance have agreed there will be no wedding falcon, so I think we’re SOL. Unless a tiny, helpless, baby hawk just happens to turn up at my doorstep in need of love and guidance? I’ll see what I can make happen.

    • suchbrightlights

      I read your post at Happy Hour and continue to send you Be Your Best Strong Self vibes. Your family situation sounds really tough. These particular relatives, though? Screw ’em. They don’t get to play silent treatment to your fiance for five years like we’re in third grade and then play martyr when they’re not invited.

      If you are around the greater DC area, I know a falconer who would probably come and bring the bird if there’s good alcohol. Just sayin’.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Pleeeeeeease submit photos. Pleeeeeeeease.

    • lawngnomejack

      I know this is way late and you’ve said below you’ve already decided, which is totally fine. But I just want to say that not everything about your wedding needs to be a reflection of your relationship. There’s nothing wrong with just having [item] because you like it, or it would be wicked cool, or even because it would be a spectacle (not just for your guests, but for you too!) I can only compare this to hiring entertainment, like fire dancers, for your wedding when it or anything towards the same end of the entertainment spectrum isn’t part of your job, or community, or talents, or hobbies etc. Maybe you went to a show once. Or not. Whatever. You hired them because they’re fun and entertaining. I don’t see the falcon as any different.
      And when else can you have a falcon? Sure you could just do it randomly, but this is a special occasion. When I saw the bit about the “wedding falcon” I was immediately like, “Yes. Yes. Of course you should have a wedding falcon. Do it. Yes.”

  • EF

    YAY NAJVA’S BACK!

    just another reason to love pride week.

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  • Alexandra

    Brain struggling to process this question. Feeling a bit enraged. Sputtering.

    A bunch of rude people who judge alternative lifestyles doesn’t seem to have any motivation to attend a wedding of this description other than to be judge-y and horrible. They’re not going to regard it as a legit wedding. They’re going to see it as a freakshow. They’re going to want to bring popcorn. They’re hateful and offensive and I can’t guess why they’d be invited…

    except for parents who MIGHT insist on them being invited as a condition of funding the alternative, super-cool but very unorthodox wedding.

    Well, don’t invite them, I say. Mostly I have a “more the merrier” philosophy of wedding invitations and second the Meg point that your wedding day is such a clusterfuck of insanity that you won’t even notice most of the people you invited, so there’s no need to get too persnickety about the guest list. It’s almost never worth the relationship fall-out to not invite people, in my opinion.

    But these people don’t “get it” about your wedding. Demonstrably, they don’t. They aren’t going to have their feelings hurt about not being invited because they think they have a relationship with you. They’re going to be sad about not getting to see the freakshow that they believe it to be. Well, fuck that. (I’m cursing quite a bit here, for a Baptist. My ire must be up!)

    If it were me, I’d just not allow my parents to give me any money for the wedding, and invite the people who supported me or at least could be trusted to speak to my fiance with some measure of civility and not post catty things on social media. Then I’d train my wedding falcon myself to cut down on expenses.

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  • Staria

    You could always take the low road, take a selfie with some of these family members or their picture and snapchat mock them right back, to your own mates. Let them wonder what you’re writing about them ;)