Ask the Experts: Gay Maid of Honor

Q: My college roommate and dearest friend is going to be my maid of honor. She’s in a committed gay relationship. How can I shield her from my soon-to-be in-laws and guests who haven’t had much exposure to gay relationships?

A: “Proper etiquette is whatever makes the largest number of people the most comfortable,” says Mark Kingsdorf, owner of the Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants in Philadelphia and a consultant on the latest edition of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette (HarperCollins, 2005). “If you sense some discomfort, talk with a few select people beforehand and express your concern for your friend’s feelings.” Then count on these trusted people to preserve the good mood.

Also have a word with the maid of honor, says Megan Kline of Megan Kline Events in Philadelphia. “Alert her to the fact that the parents are a bit old-school,” she says.

Don’t differentiate between the MOH’s partner and the better halves of the rest of the wedding party, and seat her with the dates of the other attendants. —Eileen Smith