This is like, not even a satire

by on July 22, 2008  •  In Marriage

How To Have a Feminist Wedding |

By NaomiRG

What does it mean to have a "feminist wedding"? Different couples may define this in many ways, just as different people define feminism in many ways. Most would agree, however, that a feminist wedding includes alternatives to some of the more patriarchal aspects of a traditional wedding. Here’s how you can have a feminist wedding.


Keep the wedding relatively simple and have as little to do with the wedding industry as possible. This industry makes a fortune by promoting a Prince Charming fairy tale and by exploiting women into spend as much money as possible. What could be less feminist than that?

Don’t even bother picking up a bridal magazine, unless your purpose is to laugh at it.

Brides, resist the pressure to be a "perfect bride." Who cares if you’re overweight, or if your dress isn’t perfect, or if the florist messes up? Women are taught to believe that the quality of the wedding is a reflection of their self worth. Whatever!

Skip the tradition of the father walking the daughter down the aisle. This tradition dates back to the days when the bride was literally property that was being handed over from one man (the father) to the other (the groom). Both parents can walk both the bride and groom down the aisle (a tradition in Jewish weddings). Or the bride and groom can walk down the aisle holding hands, or each walk down separately. You can also skip the whole aisle concept.

Try to get guests to refrain from standing when the bride walks down the aisle. A woman earns respect through her accomplishments, not by landing a man. If you have a wedding program, include a line such as "please do not rise for the bride."

Consider alternatives to the terms "maid of honor" and "bridesmaid." Instead, have a "woman of honor," and call the men and women "attendants."

Write vows that invoke feminist principles. Vow to be equal partners who mutually respect and nurture each other without infringing upon the other’s identity.

Consider alternatives to the woman taking the man’s name, such as mutual hyphenation, or the bride and groom keeping their names. Let those in attendance know of your choice. You can print it on the wedding program, or have the officiant say something like, "Lisa and Jason are celebrating the creation of their family by creating a hyphenated last name. They henceforth will be known as Lisa and Jason Cooper-Green."

Even if the bride does take the groom’s last name, do not have the officiant introduce the couple as, "Mr. and Mrs. Jason Green." Even if you do take his name, sweetheart, you still have a first name of your very own.

Do what you want. Part of feminism is about expressing your identity as you see fit (that’s Third Wave feminism), so create a wedding that’s uniquely yours. If you have your heart set on a more traditional option, like a poofy white dress or bride and groom cake figurines, go for it. You won’t be thrown out of the feminist club.


2 Responses to This is like, not even a satire

  1. Minna Kotkin July 23, 2008 at 12:24 AM

    EHOW! Whatever were you doing there? What do they say about a gay wedding?

  2. Nan Hunter July 23, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    I’m sure there will soon be entire books on the etiquette of gay weddings, if there aren’t already. Somehow I’ve missed them …

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