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All You Need To Know About Planning The Ultimate Feminist Wedding

A wedding is one of the most important days of your life. However, if you are a feminist (which every woman should be, frankly), then a wedding might not be as happy an occasion as you imagined. This is because, unfortunately, a lot of wedding traditions are rooted in patriarchal norms, which is why it might be difficult for most women to go through with them, without flinching and grinding their teeth in frustration a thousand times. The solution to this is planning a feminist wedding, which is basically a more awesome version of a gender-biased normal, traditionally compliant wedding.

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Historically speaking, a wedding was a ceremonial way to transfer property, a.k.a. the bride, from the father to the husband. This is the reason most traditions and customs in a wedding are mostly centerd around the receiver of the property, a.k.a. the groom. Although a lot of the attitude of people towards marriage has changed, the customs have remained the same, making your wedding pretty demeaning for women still. However, it doesn’t need to be so anymore, because you can plan your very own feminist wedding and still be legally married to the love of your life without feeling like an artefact that has been bought by the highest bidder.

Suggested read: 28 gorgeous unconventional wedding dresses perfect for a non-conforming bride

Here is how to plan the ultimate feminist wedding.

1. Wear whatever the hell you want

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If you think I am going to go on a rant dissing the white dress that all brides seem to covet, then you’re wrong because if you like white, then wear white. My point is, there is no reason that you need to wear the traditional white dress, because historically speaking, the color stands for the bride’s purity and virginity, and in the 21st century, where none of your guests are going to be under any delusion of an abstinence from pre-marital sex, the color is not likely to symbolize any of its traditional meaning. If you think you can rock a white dress without its implications weighing down on you, then good on you. Otherwise, you can wear whatever the hell you want frankly.

2. You don’t have to gender-specify bridesmaids and groomsmen

It is really sad that if you have a guy best friend, you have to appoint your third cousin, who you haven’t seen in a thousand years, as your bridesmaid because it has to be a bridesMAID, right? Wrong. If you haven’t watch Made of Honor yet, you should probably go get yourself a rental right now because that movie was way ahead of its time when it released in 2008 where Patrick Dempsey was the maid of honor, and everyone was cool with it. If you want your best friend on your bridal party, and if he has male parts, then that shouldn’t be any reason to seek out that obscure third cousin of yours.

3. Read your vows first

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When it comes to reading vows, it has always bugged me how men get to always read their vows first and women seem to follow. So it is time that you say “I don’t” to all this patriarchal garbage. If you want to make your wedding very evidently feminist, you can do all the things that men are traditionally expected to do, like reading their vows first. You don’t have to wait for your groom to have his say before you can get a word in. Take the reins and have your pastor ask you to read your vows first because it is your wedding, and you can make all the rules. Also, if your groom has a problem with you reading your vows first, then you probably shouldn’t be marrying him.

4. Ditch all the Mr. And Mrs. paraphernalia in your wedding decor

A lot of people seem to dig the Mr. And Mrs. decor for their wedding. However, if you are planning a feminist wedding, you don’t need multiple signs at the venue to let people know that you are now officially someone else’s property, name and all. In fact, you don’t even have to take your husband’s last name if you don’t want to, whereby you can keep the decorations restricted to your first names, or just other pretty things without all the complication.

Suggested read: 15 things you MUST know before planning a DIY wedding

5. Have the most special person in your life walk you down the aisle

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Rooted in the age-old patriarchal custom of the transfer of the bride (property) from father to husband is the tradition of the father walking his daughter down the aisle and “giving her away” to his son-in-law-to-be. If you are planning a serious feminist wedding, this is something that you definitely have to do away with. Even if you want your father to walk you down the aisle, make sure you do it after knowing the historical implications, and not out of compulsion. You can have anyone – your mum, your favorite uncle, your best friend or hell, even your groom walk you down the aisle. And if none of that works for you, then you can act like the adult that you are and walk the walk yourself.

6. Get engagement rings for you and your partner

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Image source: Pinterest

An engagement ring is basically a super fancy way of putting a tab on your bride-to-be to tell other suitors that she is taken. However, unsurprisingly, men have never been asked to wear engagement rings too. If you want a wedding that is feminist and respects you as a woman, it is only fair that you both wear engagement rings before your wedding, or none at all. That too, you should do it if you are comfortable with wearing signs of being engaged on your person, and the same goes for your betrothed.

7. Have your priest word your ceremony carefully

If you listen to a priest officiating a wedding, and you look at it from a purely feminist point of view, you might be surprised at how patriarchal and back-dated it sounds. Your wedding is a day which celebrates a union, whereas a marriage is the real deal, where you officially become a married couple. Thus, during a wedding, you are free to choose what you want your priest to say/ask and in whatever manner you want. For example, instead of declaring you “man and wife,” have your priest say “partners” or “companions for life,” which old, conservative people might mistake for “man and wife” because it rhymes and they can’t hear. But jokes apart, write down your own ceremony and ensure that you don’t feel like an inanimate sidekick at your own wedding.

8. Research your wedding traditions and know what to include

A lot of wedding traditions have weird and often patriarchal origins, which you need to ditch if you plan to have a feminist wedding. For example, the deal with the engagement ring, wearing white for your wedding, having your dad walk you down the aisle, all these things are not exactly tailored to make a woman feel like a woman and not a piece of property. When you are getting married, it is important to research your traditions, and include the things that you are comfortable with.

9. Throw your bouquet at all your guests, not just the single ladies

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One of the most exciting parts about a wedding is the bouquet toss, where the bride tosses her gorgeous bouquet at a bunch of hankering women who have to be single, and whoever is ‘lucky’ enough to catch it will be the ‘lucky’ one to get married next. Although this looks like a lot of fun, the truth of the matter is that the reason only single girls are allowed to be in the crowd of catchers is because people thought that marriage was the only prospect for comfortable survival for women, because a husband was a one-way ticket to a secure life. To add a feminist touch to this otherwise fun game is to throw your bouquet at all your wedding guests and make sure that the men participate too. It is time this became the new tradition.

Suggested read: 20 touching wedding readings from literature to make your day extra special

10. Make your partner plan your wedding too

People seem to think that it is the woman’s job to plan the entire wedding because they are more emotionally invested in the whole deal, while the man spends the days preceding the wedding enjoying the “last days of his bachelorhood” and “mentally preparing himself” for the “life of domestic imprisonment.” Your wedding can only be a feminist wedding if both partners are equally invested in the planning of the entire ceremony, without one shouldering all the responsibility while the other has fun with their boys. Dividing responsibility, helping each other through the stress, and taking decisions after consultation are the things that are going to help you feel like equals, when you are getting married.

The whole foundation of a feminist wedding rests on the fact that you get to get married in whichever way you feel comfortable, with whoever you want. It doesn’t mean doing the things that the groom is traditionally supposed to do, or flooding your wedding with all possible female relatives. There is a lot of scope for misinterpreting a feminist wedding, but so long as you ensure that your worth is intact and at par with the importance given to a groom during his wedding day, you are going to plan a ceremony that is going to become a cherishable memory.

Article Name
The Guide To Planning An Awesome Feminist Wedding
If you're thinking of ditching the traditional wedding and planning a feminist wedding instead, you've come to the right place. Here's how to go about it.
Rayne Carruth

Rayne Carruth

"All I can be is me - whoever that is." 20-something writer, still trying to figure it out, forever in love with cheesy rom-coms, and 19th century poetry.