Always a bridesmaid ... wedding etiquette for the single (minded)

By Anthony Ashley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 29, 1996

Tanith Balaban
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Mutato columnist Anthony Ashley checks out the fashions for the summer bridal season.


In one week I will be heading home to Sedona for the

marriage of my aunt (like the bug) and uncle. This is a big event for my family for many reasons. First of all, my uncle is nothing but a player, and we all just want to see with our own eyes his devotion to my aunt. It's also a time for a big family argument, like all families do at such functions. You know, families only fight at happy occasions like weddings, bar mitzvahs and graduations. I still remember the fight at my quincenera, but you, reader, are not prepared for such a hideous story. I hope to start an argument with, of course, the bride's family over whether the bride should have really worn white.

If I wasn't in this wedding (No, I am not the maid of honor!), I would have immediately declined. Why, you ask? When I got my invitation, the card was addressed to "Anthony Ashley." Now, I haven't installed a revolving door because of the hordes of men at my den, but I know I could find a date for this event. What if I did happen to have a boy toy at the time - would he not be invited? I'd just have to say to him, "Keanu, you have to stay home because every hetero attending the wedding received a card stating 'and guest' but I didn't because we lead the alternative lifestyle." I don't think Keanu would be very happy.

So what should I and my fellow gay brothers and sisters do if we are invited to such an event without a date? First, assess your relationship with the people who have invited you. Sometimes, it's one of the following:

  1. They don't know you have a lover;
  2. They know you have one, but were suddenly stricken with amnesia and "forgot" when invitations were handed out;
  3. They are afraid you and your lover will create a big ol' gay scene by dancing too closely;
  4. They fear you and your lover will have loud, wet, uncontrollable sex in the bathroom or tongue wrestle at the table, causing other guests to run like the wind, screaming to the parking lot, taking their gifts; or
  5. If you are two men, they don't want you groping for the bouquet.

One of the first things to do when you receive the guest-free invitation is figure out which category the soon-to-be newlyweds' ignorance falls into (unless you really don't like them, then it's all good). With invitation in hand, call the newlyweds. Here's what my conversation might have sounded like:

El Mojado: Hi, Tia Aimee. I'm so happy to hear about your pending marriage. Thank you for inviting me.

Tia Aimee: Blah, blah, blah.

El Mojado: I'm doing fine. Jackson and I just celebrated our third anniversary. You met Jackson, right? He is doing fine also.

Tia Aimee: Blah, blah, blah.

El Mojado: Oh ... well I called because I can't find the invitation! I think it had Jackson's name also, yes?

This is the tricky part. If Tia Aimee is a sensible hostess, she will save face by saying that, indeed, Jackson's name was on the invitation. My response would be candy-coated with thank you's and wishing many happy years.

If Tia Aimee says no, your filthy, boy-licking boyfriend was not invited, or just no, we were only able to invite the married attendees to bring their families, the appropriate response would be:

El Mojado: (In a very huffy, dramatic voice) Well, unfortunately, I won't be able to attend your celebration of heterosexual bondage! I do not attend such glorifications of the patriarchy without Keanu, my special buddy, but even then I am in grave danger of retching! So while you and your unattractive, mouth-breathing relatives are doing cumbias and celebrating your dull lifestyle, Keanu and I will be at home, naked and sweaty on our stain-mastered treated, color-coordinated carpet, knockin' boots like there's no tomorrow!

Then hang up.

But what if the invitation is properly handled and you decide to attend such an event with your lover? If you're a lesbian, remember, no matter what, do not agree to be a bridesmaid (Now, if you're a man, the decision is all yours). You may not get to sit next to your girlfriend; bridesmaids are often stuck together, dateless and at one big table gossiping about the fashions. Most of all, nothing looks sillier than a big giant lesbian in a big purple taffeta or chiffon dress with dyed-to-match pumps. You will be wishing you were dead, staring miserably at the exit, praying for a disaster to allow you to hop into your Nissan pickup and go home and change into your leather jacket and jeans.

For those of you who do not believe, clothing is a bigger issue than you might think. If you care about fashion, and I know you do, you will be careful not to dress like the other "girls" (this is true for the boys too). You don't have to wear something uncomfortable, just something formal, lightweight and returnable the next day (if you need reassurance of your butchness, girls, just slip into the restroom and glare at your tattoos or tweak your nipple ring).

If you and your mother sit together, nosy relatives will get in your Kool-Aid about your prospects for bliss, making your mother compelled to say something hopeful, such as, "Oh, she/he is just going through a phase." Is there such a thing as a lifetime phase?

With this, you will boil over with rage, jump onto the table and scream that you have met the right person - can't they see you were giving him a lapdance? Then you will run (if you do it in heels, you're da bomb!) to the band, grabbing the mic and yelling about homophobia and how Tia Aimee didn't initially invite Keanu and how you cannot get legally married, so why support this sad display of heterosexual promise anyway? A crowd will gather around you, holding little pigs in blankets and staring, with jaws wide open and little pools of drool forming in the clefts of their chins. You will then be forever known as the bitchy homo who ruined Helen Bed's wedding, ruining your social life and never being invited to a wedding again.

In that case, it might all be worth it.