In My Words: Why I'm planning a patriarchy-free wedding
I’m a modern woman, a feminist. I started my own goddamn company! I am also a woman in love; my partner of over ten years and I are getting married next summer. I also love to throw a good party. But, like pretty much everything else in society, weddings are deeply entrenched in patriarchal tradition. I feel that they are designed to set up a marriage in which husband is superior to wife. So, I made a list of all the things we’re doing to remove the patriarchy (Ken horses and all) from our wedding.
Our non-traditional wedding checklist:
I am not going from my father’s domain to my husband’s.
Nobody asked anybody for permission to propose. The only people who need to agree on getting married are Nate and I. And what about walking down the aisle? That will be both of my parents.
I am nobody’s property.
Originally, engagement rings were collateral when women’s success was tied to a trip down the aisle. Now, they’re thought of as a symbol to the world – saying ‘I’m taken, back off’. Our engagement is a mutual commitment to each other, we both wear rings. Bonus – I actually proposed to my now-finance, and then he later proposed to me!
I’m reclaiming the idea that wedding dresses are a symbol of purity.
As a fan of color in a happy 10-year-cohabiting relationship, you better believe my dress will not be all white.
No flower toss or garter toss here!
Bouquets get tossed to pass the ‘luck’ to single women and the garter toss serves to show that the marriage has been consummated. Big nope on both of those for me.
We’re including religious traditions without the sexism.
I’m Jewish, and Jewish weddings don’t have traditional wedding vows (so we don’t even have to worry about words like ‘obey’). That doesn’t mean they’re not without their patriarchal influence. The “Ketubah," or Jewish marriage contract, traditionally states that the groom is ‘acquiring’ the bride. Instead, we will have a ketubah that outlines the commitment we make to each other every day.
I don’t think it takes much explaining as to why “Mr. & Mrs. John Smith” is just a bit antiquated. While many opt for simple, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (or reversed as Mrs. and Mr.) we’re simplifying it. Joe and Jane’s invitation will read Joe and Jane!
We’re working hard to be intentional. For us, that means understanding the meaning behind each tradition before we decide what to keep and what to leave behind. There is so much that we’re still working through – like what we’ll do about last names. And there’s some things that have played out according to normal gender norms. Since we’re aware of that decision, we’re okay with that, too!
I encourage everyone to make intentional choices with their wedding traditions. If it makes you happy, go for it!
An anti-patriarchy bride-to-be