Feminist weddings: You totally should and you totally can!

Ideas What makes a feminist wedding? The answer totally depends on who you ask. If you’re thinking that you’d like to ensure that your wedding reflects your love of equality and power for women, then you’ve got a challenging road ahead, but it’ll totally be worth it, we promise.

Weddings and feminism pretty uneasy bedfellows. Back in yonder olden times, a wedding was a transaction from one man to another (from the bride’s father to the groom) and so a lot of traditions revolved around this dynamic. Even for same-sex couples, leaving behind such outdated messages can be harder than you’d expect.

What’s more, you might have been looking forward to some of these traditions from a young age, back before you and feminism were a thing. So what do you do when removing a non-feminist wedding element will, at best, leave a gap and, at worst, get rid of something you were actually quite looking forward to? It’s a feminist minefield and a real mental workout, we know.

The first step in your feminist wedding planning is a little research about traditions. Seemingly innocuous details such as having a veil or having fathers-of give speeches both link back to women being a vulnerable possession, traditionally passed from her family to the groom’s. It’s surprising what a few internet searches will reveal.

Alright, so you and all of your guests know that a woman is her own person and that she doesn’t belong to anyone, but actions give a message, so think carefully about how you can update or replace traditions that originate in primitive ownership principles.

When making decisions on the format and feel of your wedding, ask yourself questions. Start with ‘Does this support the women at the wedding?’ and ‘Does this reflect the equality I believe in?’. In fact, it’s good to take that a step further and ask, ‘Will this wedding further the advancement of women?’.

It might seem far-fetched to believe that whether or not we have a father–daughter first dance will make any difference, but what about your young guests who watch and, without realising, have their horizons expanded? Your wedding is more powerful than you know.

Also, don’t feel pressure to ‘gender’ yourselves as the ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ while organising your big day. In fact, we <>! If one of you wants to wear a full dress and the other wants to wear top-hat and tails, fine. But don’t polarise your relationship just because that’s what people are used to seeing.

Is one of you unwittingly being dubbed the ‘groom’ or ‘bride’ without you noticing? You might be surprised once you start paying attention. Take notice of this not just when it comes to outfits but to photography poses, speeches, engagement rings, even who gets asked the wedding planning questions.

Sadly, you can’t change decades of culture shaping those around you, but you can act according to your own true personalities, the unique nature of your relationship and to your beliefs that equality should reign. So keep your eyes open and act in a way you’ll be proud of later.

Are you planning a feminist wedding? How are you making it happen?

Tags: feminism, equality, ideas, advice, inspiration, planning, relationships, family

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