I Now Pronounce You...Ma'am and Wife?

As Harvardians duel strangers for library seats and claw at one another to reach the top of the curve, students

As Harvardians duel strangers for library seats and claw at one another to reach the top of the curve, students across town are tackling a different battle. Think “Bride Wars.”

On Tuesday evening, the MIT Students Activities Office hosted the seminar “Gay Wedding Planning 101.”

As Director of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgendered services at MIT, Abigail Francis cooked up this guide to getting hitched.

“Gay marriage has been on the radar,” explained Francis.

Francis was inspired by a “cliché and kitschy” wedding planning class she attended with LBGT students last year. She came away disillusioned, and decided that MIT’s Independent Activities Period in January would be the perfect time to improve on the idea.

While Francis’ class covered all the essentials, from color swatches—cream vs. beige—to place settings—linen vs. chiffon, it also targeted some of the weightier issues surrounding gay weddings and aimed to promote understanding about the different set of expectations, sources of support, and vendors for gay ceremonies compared to straight ones.

A panel of students and staff spoke about planning their own nuptials. Attendees socialized and nibbled on an array of hors d’oeurves. A spectrum of colorful sticky notes adorned the walls of the room with the attendees’ reasons for coming to the event.

One of the main issues? Family Drama. According to Francis, matrimonial festivities can be ideal opportunities for communication between friends and relatives. “This is sometimes an educational moment,” said Francis. “It can be a growth opportunity for people.”

And, in keeping with its message of openness, the seminar wasn’t only for MIT students. Marco Chan ’11, co-chair of the Harvard-Radcliffe Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance, agreed with its aims. “Discussing the dynamics of a same-sex relationship in an event with traditionally heterosexual context is a really healthy conversation to have,” said Chan.

Nathalie P. Galindo ’07, an LGBT Proctor in Stoughton, voiced a similar response. “Being surrounded by diversity and learning to build your wedding helps you feel more comfortable creating a celebration of your love,” she said.

Maybe during next year’s new “J-Term,” Harvard students will be attending Gay Wedding Planning 102?