Now, I’m not going to pretend I like weddings. Although the idea of wanting to spend your life with one person is adorable and I probably will end up marrying (social norms are called social norms for a reason) I find the day where you declare your love very problematic. Especially as I’ve just returned from one, I recognise that there’s nothing worse than being a feminist at a wedding- not to generalise all feminists here but for the next 800 words or so I’ve already decided you’re siding with me.
For example The Bride Is Given Away: This stems from when daughters were considered the property of their parents and therefore it was their parental right to give them away aka this is scarily possessive. Why do we treat women like the Home Alone VHS that I donated to charity last month? Especially when the grooms are capable of getting themselves to the venue and up the aisle alone, surely the bride should be doing the same. Unless she needs her dad to use as a crutch because she can’t walk in her platforms- in fact that would explain a lot.
Speaking of The Bride, why can no one see her before the ceremony? The groom is cartwheeling across the carpark to greet the guests and thank them for coming while the makeup artist plays Where’s Wally? with the bride because they can’t find her amongst all that dress. It’s as if the woman has to look nice and therefore her presence is supposed to be impressive, but realistically this just inspires judgement over the length of her train (babe you’re not Princess Diana) or lipstick shade. The pressure to look on top form would majorly infringe on my capacity to have fun. Which is already small enough without a £2,000 weighing me down.
Last Names: And then the woman takes the man’s name? Why, in the modern world where ship-names are like 62% of the reason why we love new celebrity couples, is this still a thing? How much more fun would it’ve been if she was Cheryl Versace-Vagina-Tweedy-Cole! You could filter your Tinder dates based on surnames just to make sure you’re nice and mashable. Imagine if I, Herbert, married a Miller- we could be the Herbmills- or a Burton- the Burtberts. The possibilities are endless. But no, tradition says we take his name.
If that wasn’t bad enough we then face the worst part of the day: Throwing the Bouquet to foreshadow who’ll marry next. Now I wouldn’t mind this as much if all the guests (barring children because there’s something a little wrong about that) tried to catch the bouquet, however it’s not. It’s only the women. In fact at the wedding on Saturday, a man caught it by accident so everyone laughed and it was rethrown. Serious case of wtf. The women are expected to stand in a gaggle and fight each other to catch a grotesque bundle of fake flowers while they’re boyfriends- unless they’re lesbians, which would be incredibly handy in the situation as you’ve got double chances- stand on the sidelines as if they’re super chill about marriage, unlike they’re desperate wife-to-bes. Plus, we all know it isn’t really synonymous with getting engaged next.
Speeches: The speeches usually come from the father-of-the-bride (who’s usually really dull and hasn’t had enough to drink to make us laugh), the groom (who just talks about how fit the bride is between an irrelevant story about how they met at Butlins in 2010) and the best man (who’s Googled all his jokes. Fun fact, I once went to a wedding where the speeches were so WikiHow-ed that the dad and best man actually had the same speech. How cringe. It’s like when you let someone copy your homework and they don’t change the wording, but worse). At my wedding I will be doing a speech and it will be blady hilarious.
Planning: Most of the time all the planning is done by the woman, and I know we laugh when the groom throws his hands up and exclaims ‘All I did was turn up!’ but I’d actually be quite embarrassed to admit that. A wedding day is between two people (or three if you’re into that kind of thing) so you should both contribute. Even if the bride’s a complete control freak. Planning my wedding we will Pinterest together or not at all.
The Buffet is Shite: Obviously this is the greatest gender equality issue and a very sensitive topic for many. There’s simply no nice way to put it. I do not want to eat a cold spring roll that’s been breathed on by a queue of guests before me and now has a fly squatting on its filo casing. Just no.
Ultimately, the world is progressing and therefore I find it hard to understand why we maintain traditions which subconsciously reinforce all the things feminism is trying to eradicate: gender roles, female expectations of beauty, patriarchal power in a family, etc. Fine, keep the commitment, the Honeymoon and the table favours (in fact if you try and scrap these I will fight you. What else am I supposed to do during the speeches if not build my polystyrene plane and spill bubble mix over my bargain Lipsy dress?) but scrap the rest of it. Why can’t we just reinvent the wedding?
Note: many of the examples below are taken from a heterosexual couple’s day however I’d be interested to know if same sex couples faced the same misogynies.