16 ways to have a Feminist Wedding

It’s time to flip the script on these seven antiquated wedding traditions

We’ve mentioned this a time or two before, but marriage and weddings are deeply rooted in heteronormative, classist, and patriarchal ideals. And we think that’s bullshit. We believe that marriage — and specifically weddings — should be accessible to all folks who want to get married* and celebrate that union.

Whether or not you’re a heterosexual couple, everyone can benefit from making their weddings more feminist (yes, even us gay folks can still succumb to heteronormativity). Really, this mostly just looks like doing something you want because you want to, not because you’re “supposed” to do it. 

That being said, here’s seven wedding traditions that are rooted in patriarchy and 16 ways you can put a feminist spin on them. 

7 Ways to Have a Feminist Wedding | Rogue Wed Co | Elopements and Alternative Weddings | Atlanta, Georgia

A woman being “given” away

This tradition comes from the days when a man “bought” a woman from her father with a dowry. Because obviously women are property. Ew.

Make it feminist

  • Choose to have your dad give you away because you want to. Lindsey had her dad walk her down the aisle because she wanted to share that moment with him. She knew as his only daughter, that would be important to him

  • Walk yourself down the aisle

  • Walk down the aisle together. Andrew & Michelle made the decision to get married together, so they wanted to honor that by entering their ceremony together

  • Have both parents or other important family members walk with you. In addition to her dad, our friend Marla had her oldest son walk with her down the aisle to symbolize the union of their family

Promising to “honor and obey” your husband

This line in traditional vows stems from when women were thought of as property (ew) and is even still used today in some Christian ceremonies *face palm*.

Make it feminist

  • Write your own script. Completely circumvent this as on option by writing your own ceremony and vows

  • Reclaim what it means to “obey” your man. Apparently there are women choosing to interpret the term “obey” as a means to agree that they trust and support their husband’s role as “head of household.” And if that works for you, cool

  • De-gender the term. Rather than just the woman agreeing to obey the man, you could both agree to respectfully consider each other’s point of view in disagreements before making decisions

Best men and maids of honor

The wedding party was created to aid in the capture of the bride, to make sure she went through with the union, and/or to deter dowry thieves/trick evil spirits. Ugh.

Make it feminist

  • Forgo the wedding party in general. Save yourself the drama and the expense

  • Invite your loved ones, regardless of gender, to be a part of your wedding party

Tossing the garter

In the olden times, guests/family members wanted proof that the marriage had been consummated; a consummated marriage was especially important for station marriages. The garter was that proof. So maybe brides should be grateful that ripping off a piece of her dress for “good luck” is a thing of the past and the garter toss is the modern-day equivalent? Gross.

Make it feminist

  • Just don’t do it because it’s weird as hell for everyone to watch

Tossing the Bouquet

In similar fashion as the garter toss/ripping the bride’s dress, single women wanted something that the bride has touched for good luck. You know, because being single is literally the worst thing that could happen to a woman, so hopefully catching the bouquet will get her a man soon *eye roll*.

Make it feminist

  • Don’t do it. It’s awkward af to force all of the single women at your wedding to stand up in front of everyone to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies" as they all secretly pray to Beyoncé for this stupid tradition to be over already

  • Do it, but ironically. At our wedding, two of our single girl friends jokingly asked if our bouquet toss could be rigged. We weren’t planning on doing one at all, but I didn’t care to take my flowers home, so my wife and I v. dramatically tossed them to these two friends in unison. It was goofy and I loved it

  • Do it, but invite anyone who wants pretty flowers — regardless of relationship status or gender — to participate

Wearing white

Contrary to popular belief, brides don’t wear white because it symbolizes purity. White wedding gowns became popular after Queen Victoria decided to forgo the traditional red to make a statement. Yas, kween!

Make it feminist

  • Wear whatever the hell you want. White. A different color. A suit. A jumpsuit. A crop top and a poofy tulle skirt. A sequin gown

  • Flip the script and have the groom wear white

men not being involved in wedding planning

It’s assumed that women are more “naturally gifted” at planning, so men get a pass to take the backseat. But most women have other shit going on in their lives and don’t have all the free time in the world to plan a wedding by themselves. Obviously.

Make it feminist

  • Straight dudes, actively help plan your wedding. It’s your day too and planning shouldn’t be your fiancée’s sole responsibility. Music important to you? You take charge of finding the DJ or band. Fairly split up the boring tasks that neither of you particularly want to do, but that need to be done to have a party

*We fully recognize and support that not everyone even wants to get married. Marriage isn’t the ultimate thing to aspire to. Ones propensity to get married or not does not correlate to their worthiness as someone who deserves or desires love

Neither you nor your partner have countless hours to plan your wedding?

We can help make wedding planning suck way less