We are so blessed in this day and age to be so well informed, well educated, well resourced. Those redeeming qualities have been the driving force behind the last hundred years of change towards gender equality, race equality, and marriage equality. We know now, without any doubt, that all of us, every human walking the planet has the same opportunities, the same origin and the same fate. Our race, religion, gender, or love no longer separate us, instead they bring us together. We all put our pants on the same way and that is awesome.
It’s in that theme that I am putting a call out to the wedding industry worldwide: we need to change. We need to give the sexist wedding industry the middle finger and move into the modern age we’ve been afforded.
Everyone gets it. Your wedding magazine, wedding blog or wedding book is all about brides. But weddings aren’t the sexist ordeal they used to be. Weddings in the past were one day in a lifetime of woman where they truly got to have their day, their perfect day, their one perfect day. And for the rest of their life they would be sent back to the house for home duties and childbearing.
Wedding traditions and tropes are so sexist in nature. We live in a feminist and enlightened world of equality and our weddings, marriage ceremonies, traditions and fashions need to represent that.
That vintage situation where a woman would be seen as inferior, as a gift given from a father to a groom, as a person whose greatest contribution to the world would be to give birth and clean the house, is long gone. Today we recognise that women are equals to men, and this feminist movement needs to be recognised on a wedding day.
In a marriage ceremony two people are getting married. A wedding isn’t “her day”. Honestly, if another guy says that to me I might deck him. It’s an event celebrating two people falling in love, two people humble enough to recognise that they could do life on their own, but it would be a thousand times better if they did life with this other person.
To the industry
To my friends in the wedding industry, stop calling your magazines, blogs, TV shows and podcasts bride or bridal related names. It’s two people celebrating a marriage, not a bride having her one big perfect day.
I’m personally going to casually withdraw from Facebook pages, blogs, directories and magazines that have the word bride in their name. It’s time to appreciate that two people are getting married, not one.
Even just this week I updated my booking form and contract to do away with bride and groom, and reference the people getting married in an equal and gender-less way.
To the couples
Create a couple celebration, not a bride celebration. I have a thousand ideas on this, but I’ll leave these four:
- Think about the white dress. Your wedding dress isn’t a purity uniform you wear to your wedding. Your wedding dress is a symbol of you. It’s you embodied in clothing. So maybe you look and feel really hot in a white cinderella dress, so wear that dress. But don’t wear it because you think you have to. There are hundreds of other colours for you to embrace!
- Consider seeing each other before the ceremony. It’s way more fun and relaxing and you’re recognising that you both need each other and calm each other down.
- Walk down the aisle together, or at least both have an entry. The idea of a groom being at the end of the aisle waiting for his bride is lovely, but echoes years of sexist woman-gifting. You can still walk down the aisle with dad and honour him but find a way to escape the “here’s this female person I made for you” thing that dads have been lopped with.
- Move away from the bridezilla, one perfect day, everything has to be perfect, theme and instead create a real and natural celebration of your union.
I hope that everyone reads this in the liberating spirit I wrote it. I became a celebrant because I wanted to celebrate marriage, and I’d love to help you celebrate yours!