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Down with the patriarchy: How to have a feminist wedding

Feminist wedding

With more and more couples deciding to live together before getting married it raises the question, “is such a patriarchal tradition really necessary these days?” Add to that the growing number of women who realize they don’t require a husband to be financially secure. However, for couples deciding to marry, there are plenty of ways to have a feminist wedding that upholds personal values and celebrates the life ahead together.

Here are some great ideas to have a wedding that celebrates equality. Let’s get started!

Skip the asking for permission tradition

While this isn’t actually part of the ceremony, it still plays an important role when it comes to the patriarchal nature of most wedding traditions. By asking the father’s permission implies the bride belongs to her father and is not her own autonomous person. For this reason, it’s not something that everyone supports.

If you’re thinking of forgoing this activity, talk it over with your fiance to get her feelings on the situation. Have it be a mutual decision rather than something you ran by her dad first. After all, this is about having a feminist wedding not kowtowing to tradition.  

Feminist wedding? Ditch the white wedding gown

Even though it is a fairly modern phenomenon – it started with Queen Victoria about 160 years ago – white wedding dresses have become the standard when it comes to bridal fashion. Said to represent the innocence and purity of the bride, the white dress is quite literally a representation of the outdated idea that a woman’s value is in her chastity.

So, instead of spending thousands of dollars on a virginal white dress, why not go with something that matches your personality better? I’m not giving it away but mine isn’t going to be all-white when I wed later this year.

Don’t be afraid to add color or skip the dress altogether. Nothing is stopping both the bride and groom from wearing suits; which, let’s admit it, could look really cool and snazzy together. There are also lots of great choices in modern outfits for your wedding party; here are a few fashionable ideas.

Talk openly about type of ceremony

If you believe that religious institutions aren’t exactly the bastion of feminist ideal then you probably won’t pick a church for the ceremony. But that’s a personal decision between you and your partner. For us, it makes sense as we’re both of the same religion and it means a lot to us to be wed in church.

If you believe though that exchanging vows in a church ceremony doesn’t represent what you and your partner stand behind then there are plenty of other options. Never settle for less than what you believe in!

Instead, why not think about having a beautiful, secular ceremony in a gorgeous outdoor venue? Even if you live in a highly religious city, there are still tons of great locations to have a civil wedding. For example, here are some of the best outdoor wedding venues in Salt Lake City Utah

There is no cookie-cutter feminist wedding

What is most important when planning a feminist wedding is that there are no hard and steadfast rules on how it to plan it. You may decide to take your husband’s last name or have your father walk you down the aisle. You may not.

The point is to make sure to remember it is the wedding of you two and no one else; never get bullied into decisions you don’t support. Furthermore, what’s most important is the marriage that comes after the “I do”s. And that’s going to be one built on equality when you marry someone who is as passionate about equality as you are.

Wishing you all the best with your unique and wonderful wedding! If you’re looking for more inspiration about equality and feminism, check out this post of 10 famous feminists.

14 thoughts on “Down with the patriarchy: How to have a feminist wedding”

  1. I’m reading all of this and agreeing! I think I must be a trust feminist! Times sure have changed for the better. I love the dignity and respect that is offered during a more feminist wedding!

  2. I think your choice of wedding is also influenced by your age when you marry. Many young women are quite taken with the idea of the long white dress and all the trimmings that go with a traditional wedding. Ours was traditional and we married in a Chapel with a Minster presiding over the service. Lots of people don’t go this route anymore.

  3. I don’t really have anybody to give me away and it has always seemed really weird to me. My idea is to meet my partner in the middle, each of us coming from our own side and walking from the back together. It didn’t really hit me entirely until he and I started our relationship but I don’t want to walk in with him because I want it to symbolically suggest that I am independently choosing to be with this person and to commit myself to the life we are building together, while also acknowledging that we are starting that life and walking into it bonded together, if that makes sense.

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