Last week , I ranted about how it has been suggested that you can't call yourself a feminist and a wife. I felt that this was a load of old rubbish as I believe that it is possible to have an equal marriage. Those wedding shackles of old have been left behind in the 1950s. What prompted my ranting was an article in which a journalist claimed that
However, her main objection seemed to be the wedding itself. I agree that the wedding is hardly dream feminist material. Therefore, I have come up with my own tongue-in-cheek guide to making your own dream feminist wedding;
Who says you have to wait for the man to propose, get down on that knee and ask your fella. Perhaps even present him with a ring. However, if your man is a bit of a cave man and surprises you (how dare he) with an engagement ring then you graciously accept. However, you could suggest that you wear matching engagement bands. Or perhaps take that engagement ring back to the shop and treat yourself to a lovely "whoop, we are engaged" holiday. You could even suggest he give you a haribo ring and then you could eat it in the ultimate act of defiance! However, this man is not a keeper if you find out that he asked your dad for permission to get married. Feel free to rant at him, remind him that you are not an object to be bargained for and that neither will you accept being treated like one. If he suggests a just engaged photoshoot then you know you are in real trouble. I suggest you leave pronto. If you decide to stay you could have planned photo shoot and ensure that you spend the whole time pulling faces and flicking the Vs at your husband to be. Who said romance was dead eh?
Try before you buy
Tradition stipulates that the woman should hold onto her virginity before the big day. Sod that! You don't want to spend the whole day worrying about the wedding night and believe you me it probably won't happen anyway as
a) you either won't be able to get out of your wedding dress (that corset looked so good in the shop) or
b) you will both be so tired that you will fall asleep even before your head hits the pillow.
Therefore, you don't want that worry hanging over your head, so banish any old-fashioned guilt and hop on the right foot and do the bad thing!
Planning the wedding
You divide all planning equally. The man has to pull his weight so start as you mean to go on or kick him to the kerb. Get him practising his calligraphy skills and stuffing those wedding invitations envelopes with confetti. He will love you all the more for it. Although he won't thank you for the repetitive strain injury from writing all of those wedding invitations. On the plus side he will now have beautiful penmanship.
Who says you have to get married in a church. Go off-piste. What about your favourite place? Although the pub with all its delightful regulars may not be the best place to hold the most romantic event of the decade. You don't want Jim shouting for his pork scratchings just as you are about to say "I do". Perhaps where you met then? The local take-away might be a bit of a squeeze and the shouting of "69. 69. 69 now ready" might take away from the romance of the day. How about a massive bonfire? Just like the lady above? Now that's a statement. Granted it might not be that comfortable.
Oh the dress. The most important part of the day....after the deep and meaningful vows of course. If you want to steer clear from virgin white then the world is your oyster. Go crazy. Black is very chic. Or you could make a bold statement and write on your white dress in red paint or blood (if you are a bit nuts), RIP Virgin. Go wild, unleash your creativity. Perhaps a dress isn't your thing. You could wear anything! Bin bags could be a strong statement to make - think of them as being a metaphor for your true feelings, as in I think this wedding ceremony is a load of patriarchal rubbish.
Walking down the aisle
Ditch dad, he's only going to take away some of your glory and quite frankly clash with your dress. Instead show everyone that you are independent and sashay down that aisle in style! Or maybe stomp, march, or bounce on a pogo stick. This is your moment so you are the boss. Or perhaps just walk down very slowly to maximise the impact and to savour the moment. It's not everyday you go down the aisle. We are not all Kate Middleton and therefore some of us have a very short aisle. We can't get all get married in Westminster! With this in mind feel free to reach the altar and then to turn around again. This will cause a dramatic sense of frisson as the congregation wonder if you are doing a runner. Imagine their relief when you then turn back. Milk that moment baby!
There will be no 'obeying' in your vows so scrub those words right out and start from scratch. Perhaps offer to rub his back when the dodgy kebab makes a reappearance or to never judge him when he comfort eats throughout your pregnancy. Tell him you will love him even when he becomes a grumpy git because his football team are rubbish and you will support him when he gets stuck on that tricky level on Candy Crush. The key is to make it personal, deep and meaningful and to avoid any references to obey!
Get rid of them. Simples. It's your day.
Best woman more like. This is the perfect way to placate your best friend who had her heart set on becoming your bridesmaid. Offer her best woman instead. Remember to act outraged when husband dares to suggests he has his best mate - "are you saying my best mate isn't good enough?! Or are you being sexist?"
We all get to listen to what all the other members of the party think of the bride but do we actually hear it from the horse's mouth? Stand up and tell the world just why you are amazing and why the Mr is a lucky man to have snared you.
Throwing the bouquet
Do you know how much flowers at a wedding actually cost? A fortune. There will be no throwing of anything. You hold onto those beautiful blooms and ignore your mum when she starts eyeing them up and making wistful noises. They are yours. You earned those blooms.
Who says you have to take his name! Go double-barrelled. Best avoided if it means you end with a gem like Fish-Face. Why don't you both invent your own surname. Create your own married name that celebrates the essence of you both. Smelly-Bum? Poo-Face? Bannana-Lover? Go crazy. The world will thank you for it.
So by chucking out the wedding rule book you are creating the ultimate feminist statement and husband will thank his lucky stars that he married you.
Do you have any tips for creating the perfect feminist wedding?
*please note that this was entirely tongue in cheek and I do consider myself a feminist as well as a wife, mother and writer
This post was originally published on Island Living 365