Happy International Women’s Day! Today (and everyday) we want to celebrate women. Marriage is traditionally where the patriarchy has thrived, but not any more! Here’s a roundup of how to have an amazing wedding whilst still living loudly & proudly as a feminist, as we all should be:
‘The Big White Dress’…or not
You can wear whatever you want on your wedding day, whether it’s a big meringue, white, or a dress at all. You should feel entirely, 100% yourself at your wedding – after all, the whole point of it is to celebrate someone loving you for exactly who you are and vice versa – and for a lot of people this isn’t the ‘traditional’ bridal look any more. Have a think about something you’re going to really, genuinely enjoy yourself in, which you can dance in, eat in, breathe in, and feel exceptional in. Those are the only boxes you need to tick – the rest is totally up to you.
Bridesmaids, mates and men
Way back when, bridesmaids were specifically meant to be younger than the bride, and had to dress just like the bride to confuse the aggy spirits who might try to harm the couple. Basically, bridesmaids used to be a potential sacrifice. Luckily, your role as a bridesmaid has drastically changed since then, with less expectation to offer your life to a demon and more expectation to offer a hand to squeeze when they need it. Alongside that, the parameters of a bridal party have shifted too, eschewing the idea that your bridesmaids have to be female. If you’ve got a male who’s been the best rock you could ever ask for, it’s a shame to not include him in your bridal party – so include whoever you want in your bridal party (and vice versa for your grooms(wo)men).
Being ‘given away’
This is one of the biggest symbolic elements of the day, and one that people will ask about (and make assumptions about) the most frequently. Of course, originally being ‘given away’ was less about your dad asking your new spouse to look after you and take really good care of you, and more about literally transferring legal ownership over to them. If you’ve always dreamt of being given away by your father figure then that’s absolutely great and the case is closed, but if you feel a bit unsure about the concept, there are alternatives. You can, of course, walk down the aisle with your mum, both parents or your spouse instead. You can also walk down on your own, to completely avoid any confusion as to who’s property you are.
Vows of equality
Another part of weddings where the whole ownership thing can really come out is your vows. If you’re having a religious ceremony, it’s checking with your vicar what the exact wording is, to avoid making any promises of ‘serving’ your partner. With a humanist ceremony, you can create your own vows and ceremony wording to ensure it reflects your relationship as equals.
Brides giving speeches
We all know how it goes traditionally – father of the bride, groom, best man. We think it’s about time we heard some womxn speak too, don’t you? Whether you both want to do a speech or neither of you, make sure that you know you’re perfectly allowed to take up some of that top table space.
Grooms, enjoy the outfit process too
Men suffer under the patriarchy too – so if you want to relish your time buying your outfit and being pampered and prepped on the day of, you should be able to without fear of judgment. Gather your grooms(wo)men for a fitting, hire a barber to come the morning of – enjoy it as much as you want to.