'Can I be bridesmaid?' Combining the personal and political in same-sex weddings

Carol Smart

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The availability of same-sex weddings poses a number of personal and political dilemmas for couples who decide that they wish to go through a ceremony of recognition or civil partnership. In this article I argue that British couples are acutely aware of the political ramifications of their decisions and I focus attention on the interplay between the personal and political in decisions that couples make on the types of ceremony they want. For example, some couples want very prominent, high profile weddings while others insist that same-sex couples do not need to display their relationships in public ceremonies because this merely emulates heterosexual practices. These issues are explored through qualitative interviews with same-sex couples which collected stories on 54 same-sex ceremonies held in the UK. © SAGE Publications, Inc. 2008.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-776
Number of pages15
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Civil partnership
  • Gay men
  • Lesbians
  • Personal politics
  • Same-sex weddings


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