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Is Uber's Gay Shotgun Wedding Offer Uber Offensive?

UberWedding on Pride Weekend is Controversial

Anne Parsons
Is Uber's Gay Shotgun Wedding Offer Uber Offensive?© 2018 Uber

Pride is happening this weekend in San Francisco and Uber is offering, you’ve guessed it, a wedding on demand. “Whether you and your partner have considered tying the knot for years or are just feeling a spark of spontaneity — we’re here to help start you on your new adventure.”

If you are the chosen pair, you will be whisked off to a location of your choice, Uber will help you do the paperwork, and “from arrival to “I do” should take max 60 minutes. Haven’t had time to write down any vows? Chill the beans because Uber will provide them for you. There are perks - the wedding and the honeymoon are free “in the spirit of the season.”

“We realize that marriage is a massive decision and we’re sure you may have questions!”

Naturally enough, Uber’s idea has gotten a mixed reaction. Some people are complaining that it reeks of commercial opportunism, especially since you will be “surrounded by flowers from Bloom That and candles from bella j. After you both say ‘I Do,’ we’ll celebrate with dessert from SusieCakes, cheers with champagne from Iron Horse and you’ll receive a gift bag from L.”

Others have said that they thought it was undermining the institution of marriage, especially the hard-won right to do so for the LGBT community, and that it is a way of straight people cashing in on the ‘trendiness’ of gay marriage. Certainly, while I can see this angle, I don’t think the idea is as badly intentioned as that. Sure, their dubious and awkwardly phrased statement, “in honor of Pride week, we’re celebrating the inclusive idea that love is love with something that lasts a lifetime” sounds like it has been written by someone who presumes that marriage is a novel idea to the gay community. “Hey, this is your slogan...now have you heard of marriage, that long-term thing?” 

On the whole though, while I think that while the offer is indeed tacky and commercial, and lacking nuance, it really isn’t so different to a shotgun wedding in Vegas. Which is also tacky and commercial (and fun, and spontaneous). And a couple who wants to do that, have the choice to do that if they want to, right? Just becasue gay marriage is now legal, doesn't mean all gay people are required to be extremely reverent to the notion that a wedding should be traditional and po-faced. They have the right to do it however they please.

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