I’m not a very traditional girl. For example, at my wedding, my only bridesmaid carried my son (her godson) down the aisle ahead of me. I do believe that was a fairly strong indication to the assembled guests that the bride was not a virgin.
As much as I’ve loved them, every wedding I’ve attended has been pretty much the same. Beautiful bride in long white dress, gorgeous bridesmaids in matching colours and men in suits. The feminist in me is sometimes surprised at this standard wedding fare. And let’s be honest, it’s a little samey.
Is it time the modern bride got a feminist make-over? April Fraser (pseudonym), feminist and mother-of-the-bride writes in the SMH:
Having spent the ’70s fighting the common assumption that a traditional wedding was every girl’s dream, I was stunned to discover that it seemed to have become exactly that. I had failed to take in that the traditional wedding had made such a spectacular comeback and, more shockingly, that it had resurrected itself with (almost) all the gender-role trimmings in place.
And then, more than 30 years later, what did I find in my daughter’s 21st-century wedding organiser? That if the bride’s mother is a widow, the bride should be given away by “a relative of mature years, an uncle for example”. Oh, and that the toastmaster should refer to the bride’s mother in the absence of the father as “Mrs John Jones”.
I can hardly claim to have been the most rebellious bride of my era, though. I did wear a white dress (bought off the peg); I did have two bridesmaids (in summer frocks); and the bridegroom did wear a suit (wide-lapelled, flared brown pinstripe, clashing beautifully with the best man’s mauve). I reassured myself that we embraced those traditional elements to appease our parents. Now we, in the parental role ourselves, are embracing them again, only this time to appease our daughters.
For ageing feminists like me, our daughters’ decision to go for the full froth-and-flowers function can be baffling – even something of a betrayal. My three strong and independent daughters and their friends expect to be proposed to, advertise their status with expensive engagement rings and agree that it is the groom’s duty to decide on the honeymoon destination. They also seem prepared to plan the wedding details for months. The wedding industry, of course, has risen magnificently to the occasion and expectations seem to have grown exponentially.
This post has been republished here with full permission. Read the original here
Does feminism have a place in weddings? Do women give it all up for the one day they want to be treated like a princess in a Disney movie? Did you have any modern touches at your wedding or was it traditional all the way? If you’re not married and think you might like to be one day, what do you have in mind?