| Inclusive Wedding | Wedding Ceremony | Wedding Legals
Australia, gender is now immaterial when you are
getting married. Granted, on the Notice of Intended
Marriage there is a check box for sex, with the choice
of male, female, or X. But that information is
not transferred onto your marriage certificate.
Apparently it is for statistical purposes only. You
can have a gender-free wedding if you wish. That is
However, once you start looking at advice about
everything from invitations to the ceremony, gender
and is everywhere. As are assumptions about gendered
The first formal step in a wedding is the invitation.
How you word your invitation sends a message to your
guests not only about what sort of wedding they should
expect – formal, casual, modest, or completely over
the top – but about who you are, how you identify. But
most etiquette guides are highly gendered.
The traditional invitation wording reflects the role
of the bride’s parents as hosts. For example
Mr. and Mrs. Peter R. Jones
request the pleasure of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Clarissa Mary ….
Where both sets of parents are hosting the wedding,
the wording may say “at the marriage of their
Take a leaf out of that book, and replace gendered
words with neutral ones, such as child, or don’t
replace them at all. There are many ways to word an
invitation that don’t require any such identification.
In the actual marriage ceremony it is legal to replace
the gendered terms husband/wife spouse or partner in
marriage, including in the mandatory vows that create
It is the 21st century. You can and should marry as
who you are, using the terms and pronouns you wish and
without conforming to stereotypical gendered roles. A
simple statement to each and every vendor to the
effect that “We prefer to be referred to as ……. And
these are the pronouns we use” should be sufficient.
If it is not, find yourselves a new vendor!