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Christiana
Super November 2020 British Columbia

Exhausted by Social Expectations re Weddings/marriage

Christiana, on August 7, 2021 at 14:45 Posted in WeddingWire 2 13
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**This is just a rant because I'm feeling extra salty about the female experience in a patriarchal world today and I'm finding myself being even less tactful than usual in the comments about wedding traditions/etiquette. Feel free to completely ignore if not in the mood for a rant. But if you are in a similar angsty mood, please add your own gripes with wedding traditions/society at large haha.**

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Is anyone else really tired of fighting against the social pressure and traditions of the wedding industry / patriarchy in general - Every. Single. Day? I'm not even planning a wedding right now and I'm so exhausted lol. One of the things I'm really dreading about when we finally start re-planning our postponed reception is that I'm going to have to throw myself back into the middle of these topics in my every day life.

I guess I'll sort of go into my experiences surrounding weddings/marriage that I found myself having to explain/defend most often when planning the first time around and I would like to avoid in the future, but I'm not optimistic lol. I'm really interested to hear from others if they've had similar issues and how they feel about all of it.

1) People assuming that I've always wanted a traditional wedding and have dreamed of my dress/wedding day "since I was a little girl".

It wasn't really an issue until we had to postpone our reception due to covid and we had a small 10 person ceremony. So many people were writing to us saying congratulations but they were so sorry our plans were ruined because I must have been dreaming about this day my whole life. And it was almost always directed just at me and not at my husband. In reality, my husband is the one who wanted a wedding and had more of a traditional idea of what it would look like. I wanted to elope and I'm actually very happy with our tiny ceremony!

2) People volunteering themselves to plan me a bridal shower or bachelorette and being upset when I said I didn't want one. Also people seeming to take person offence to me rejecting other wedding traditions like bouquets, garters, bridal parties, etc.

Can we please just stop assuming people want these events/traditions? And please don't be offended when someone tells you they don't want one of these things - it's not about you. You throw as many bridal showers as you want for your other friends, just let me and my introvert self stay at home with my cat.

3) Receiving cards after the wedding addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. husband's last name".

Fortunately we didn't receive that many cards because we didn't have a reception, so this only happened a handful of times. But every time it was like a punch to the gut. Most people asked me beforehand whether I was changing or keeping my last name, which I appreciated to avoid the above situation, but was still annoyed that I was getting the question at all when nobody asked my husband whether he was changing his name. The best wording about this we received was from one of my husband's friends who asked "how should I address the card". This was perfect and I appreciated it so so much because it made absolutely no assumptions and was open to any answer. I highly recommend asking the question this way if you don't know what your friend/family members are planning to do about their last names. Basically I just want to be respected as a whole person who is treated fully equally to my husband. But alas that is clearly too much to ask for as a lowly woman /s.

Anyway those are the main ones that come to mind today and I think I've ranted more than enough already lol. Please sound off in the comments Smiley laugh


Edit: I want to add that if you love any of these traditions and if you want to have the most traditional wedding in the world, I fully support that. You do whatever makes you and your partner happy! I just don't like how assumptions are made about weddings/marriage in general and primarily directed at women. Smiley heart

13 Comments

Latest activity by Vinod, on August 16, 2021 at 16:04
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    Your rant is true and not everyone is in the same mind frame of wedding sizes and traditions. Now a days, it seems the cost seems more to have the pre events equivalent to the wedding day. Congrats to you two and to you for what you wanted though others don't see your view. Though your husband may have wanted a big wedding, I'm sure he is happy with everything. My views would be somewhat different though it may have of your views in it. We got married and be honest, it may have been the first Indian fusion gay wedding for my side of the family in which my parents didn't see my views of the traditions wanted being the modern age of change in which a couple can be married as a male/female couple. I had 2 of the pre events taken out because they felt 2 grooms shouldn't have the henna evening. I did matter of fact get my hands done 2 days prior to the day despite of what is said culture wise. The only difference is my husband fought me on the cost of the vendors and to say upsettingly to elope than a small wedding. How much ever we fought about what was being done and costing, the final result of the wedding day was happy with him going through with it wearing the Indian attire and just being around family and friends. My parents call my husband "partner" to others while my brother did ask "Do I say partner or what to others when asked about hubby"?. I replied husband because he is and not shy to call him that.
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    It's wild to me how family members will pressure others to do what they think should happen for weddings or other life events. If someone asks for your input then definitely give it, but otherwise I just can't understand why people are so pushy or even why they care so much!

    For whatever it's worth, I would totally enjoy attending a wedding that's just cake and drinks! As a vegetarian, it's rare that a wedding even has food I particularly enjoy so I'm all about the party and socializing aspect of it!

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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    I can't believe people said that to you!! It's not even like people are "being cheap" when they decide to elope or do a destination wedding. It's still so expensive! Our covid ceremony which was essentially just an elopement still ended up being around $6,000 when everything was added up. Weddings are so expensive and it's absolutely unreasonable to think that everyone wants to or is able to pay for one.

    I definitely think your new motto is the way to go! Those people don't deserve any of your time if they're going to be so rude!

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  • Brittany
    Devoted December 2022 Yucatán
    Brittany ·
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    I 100% understand how you feel. After exhausting myself for weeks trying to come up with a beautiful wedding within my fiancés and I budget, we finally decide to do a destination wedding and see who would like to come and go off those numbers when they end up booking.

    I have mentioned it to a few people and one person responded "people like you are the reason why weddings are not big like they used to be, if you are too poor or selfish to do an actual wedding, don't do one."

    I completely lost it, I am not the type of person who is okay with spending 30k of our money on a wedding when I rather buy a house! There are so many other huge moments in life besides a wedding and starting off a marriage in serious credit card debt or feeling bad for taking money from family members to pay for this dumb wedding is not ideal to me. So even when I was trying to come up with a decently priced wedding that involved 50-60 people. It was still too difficult. Everyone telling me not to do this or why are you not including that. I hate everything being about tradition. I don't want to wait until I walk down the aisle for my FH to see me, I would rather do a first look then do the ceremony. I don't want to do a garter/bouquet toss, I don't want a cake smashed in my face after paying $150 just for it to be ruined. I just want to enjoy myself and my FH day, because in the end that's all who really matters, is me and fiancé.

    And if people don't like it, too bad. So that's my new motto. I am not going to spend $500 on invitations either, we have talked to some people and few want to come and others are on the fence. if they already told us no (which some have from our engagement party because that's where we announced the change of plans) then they are not getting invite. It's that simple.

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  • Samara
    Newbie January 2022 British Columbia
    Samara ·
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    This post makes me feel so much better about how I'm feeling now !
    I genuinely just want a small ceremony with our immediate family and a couple close friends, but certain family members feel much differently about that. I've never been one that dreamed about my wedding day, I genuinely never thought I would actually get married because it wasn't a huge thing for me. It wasn't until I'd been with my now fiance for 4 years where I realized I actually wanted to marry him, but never wanted the traditional wedding.

    I dont care for the bridal shower or Bachelorette party but can't seem to get away from it either, and seem to be getting pushed to do more of a traditional wedding just to avoid the drama of not doing it.
    Is it bad to just want a ceremony and have cake and some drinks after to celebrate, without the crazy cost of a full reception?

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  • Hailey
    Featured June 2022 British Columbia
    Hailey ·
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    100% feel this way sometimes! We didn’t have an engagement party due to the fact it’s not really us but also it’s something my fiancé and I should celebrate also cause of COVID (got engaged September)
    Then we decided we don’t want a bridal shower because again it’s not something that we are into! And have been told you are havin one and we’re planning it. Than I get told I have to invite so and so when my fiancé and I said I why? We just wen to look at my uncles property where we are having the wedding and I get told by a family member”we’re bringing the motorohome and bringing the dog” ok well I was going to say no dogs or just my two dogs because it’s our wedding...

    So many thing ugh. On a bright side my dress came in last night and I wasn’t suppose to get it till End of September lol
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  • Caitlyn
    Frequent user September 2021 Alberta
    Caitlyn ·
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    Definitely! After I said I didn't want a bridal shower, my fiance suggested I make it VERY clear because he had a hunch that his Aunts would try and throw me a shower regardless. I thought that was such a bizarre concept, like the Bride says no but you're going to just ignore that and do it anyway because you've decided you want to have the shower? 🙄
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Oh I feel you! It’s just not my thing at all and the idea of it makes me so uncomfortable. And then I’d get push back about how I should just suck it up because it’s important to the people who want to throw it for me 🙄
    They can throw their own party and I’ll come as a guest, but I don’t want to open a bunch of presents and play games while people watch me hahaha!
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  • Caitlyn
    Frequent user September 2021 Alberta
    Caitlyn ·
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    Agree with the bridal shower/bachelorette thing! Whenever someone would ask if I was having a bridal shower and I would say no, they would follow up with "well why not?". Because I don't want one, that's why. I shouldn't need to explain my decision, you should just respect that I don't want one. The idea of having a bridal shower, where all the attention is directed at me, where I'm sitting there opening gifts in front of friends/family sounds dreadful to me (no disrespect to anyone who does choose to have one).
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Totally! And with the cheque thing it could potentially make it so that only he can deposit it! Like I know once you're married you can assume each other's names, but it might still get weird at the bank if they ask for your marriage certificate or if you're trying to deposit it through a banking app.

    I definitely think most people that make the assumption think that it's fun and playful because maybe they have changed their name or they just think it's what people do. For example, my cousin messaged me after my wedding and said something along the lines of "Congratulations Mrs!" and I corrected her. I know she just meant it as a playful message and I wasn't sure whether to correct her because she might take it the wrong way, but I ultimately decided that I needed to nip it in the bud and be clear. And I know some people don't have an issue with the mistake, but for some reason it really bothers me.

    I think I probably react strongly to it for a couple of reasons. One is that people have pronounced my name incorrectly for like my entire life - even people I've known for years and have corrected many, many times. And my name isn't even difficult to pronounce, it's just not a very common name lol. So having someone just like completely erase my name and think it's okay is something I find really disrespectful. But it's definitely an equality thing too. I think if my husband got the question or assumption made just as often I wouldn't mind. But he's literally never been asked whether he's changing his name. Rather, both him and I have been asked many times whether I'm changing my name or it's just assumed that I will.

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  • Samantha
    Super June 2021 Ontario
    Samantha ·
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    Yes to all of this!
    I will touch on the one though that I definitely get frustrated with most, which is the last name point. We got many cards with cheques in them and probably 80% of them were addressed as Mr and Mrs "husband's last name". I get it, it's the traditional way of doing things and the older generations meant no disrespect, but that doesn't mean that it didn't annoy me.
    The week after the wedding I also had a co-worker come up to me and say "I guess I have to refer to you as Mrs "husband's name" now". And I asked what if husband took my name or we didn't swap names at all? It was totally meant as a joke as I'm close to this co-worker and he's close to my age,but he was so apologetic about the comment and I actually felt bad because the look on his face was one of sheer horror.I'm totally fine with people taking whoever's name they want, I just don't like the assumption that it's the woman's job to do so as I'm also a working professional and have established a name for myself with my clients.
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    I'm still not sure why Ms just isn't the standard lol! That's what I've always gone by and will continue going by, although I kind of wish we could just drop the Mr/Ms thing altogether and be called by our names. Too formal and grown up for me haha!

    I really like how couples are exploring options like taking an entirely new name or in some cases a man taking a woman's name. I think everyone should just be able to do whatever they want without any expectations, which is why I loved the question of how to address the card vs specifically about changing names. Just out of curiosity, had you discussed sort of mashing up the two names or was it something entirely fresh?

    That's great that everyone has been so inclusive! It's not something everyone thinks about, especially if they come from a more traditional background and are in a heterosexual relationship, but just using inclusive language and tossing gender based assumptions aside helps everyone feel equal Smiley smile

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  • Stacey Tc
    Devoted August 2022 Saskatchewan
    Stacey Tc ·
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    Yes to this!
    I'm having a wedding because it's what he's dreamed of. Me not so much. We've been living together almost 6 years and together longer I haven't had a lot of people making this comment yet but not every girl/woman dreams of a wedding.
    Already had an aunt volunteer her acreage for a shower just haven't responded yet because she sent it as a reply to my Save the date email.Haven't encountered the "Mr and Mrs" thing yet, but even though I'm taking his last name (personal reasons) we both discussed taking a new name together. After marriage I'm continuing to use Ms. because I don't need to announce my martial status by my honourific and I am not a man's property.
    I've been lucky that (so far) everyone I'm dealing with is LGBTQIA+ and inclusive friendly so it hasn't been a big problem.
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