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Sarah
Newbie June 2019 Saskatchewan

Feminist wedding?

Sarah, on May 9, 2018 at 11:38 Posted in Wedding ceremony 2 19
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Hi all, FI and I are both feminists, and are trying to be mindful to remove patriarchal tradition, and generally wedding elements that don't sit well with us from our day. (No bouquet/garter toss or veil, we are both being walked down aisle by both parents, wording in ceremony, he wears an engagement ring, etc.)
I am wondering what other couples who feel similarly have done, which traditional elements didn't sit well with you, and whether you removed them or modified them (and how?) Would love to get a better feel for how things could be modified instead of removing so many aspects that older family members expect altogether. Would also love to know what others did in their ceremony to really make it feel like a marriage of equals and not "man and wife."

TIA!

19 Comments

Latest activity by Shelly, on May 14, 2018 at 19:43
  • Shelly
    Curious June 2019 Ontario
    Shelly ·
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    That’s great to see that others are doing away with the old patriarchal traditions. I’m pretty much making all the same changes as you. They will be announcing us as husband and wife and no mention of Mr and Mrs so and so since I will be hyphenating my last name. I won’t be doing a bouquet or garter toss and both my parents will be walking me down the aisle. Also for our ceremony we have the option of writing it ourself, so we will Smiley smile

    One thing we will be doing is a first look. I wanted to feel less like I was being led to marriage by my parents or given away but I know they want to be included in that part of the ceremony so instead of seeing each other the first time as I walk down the aisle with them we will have a private first look moment with each other.
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  • Lynnie
    WeddingWire Admin October 2016 North Carolina
    Lynnie ·
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    Congrats and welcome to WeddingWire Sarah!!

    I also skipped the bouquet and garter toss! My dad did walk me down the aisle, but we used "who promises to support this couple" language with both my mom and dad answering with "we do" instead of "giving the bride away".

    Our vows also focused on being each other's support system, partner, and best friend!

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  • Leah
    VIP April 2019 British Columbia
    Leah ·
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    Hi there! Welcome to WW and congrats on your engagement!

    I think this is a great question and am curious about this as well. So far I’ve found that I’ve removed a bunch of “traditions” but I like the idea of making modifications instead.

    I’m looking forward to reading the replies and promise to contribute a more thoughtful one of my own later this weekend.
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  • Stephanie
    VIP May 2019 Ontario
    Stephanie ·
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    View quoted message
    Ok I love this idea of the dedication bouquet!!!!
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  • Stephanie
    VIP May 2019 Ontario
    Stephanie ·
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    "Husband and Wife" will be how we word it! I agree with the equality it drives me NUUUUUTS when they say "Mr and Mrs (Grooms first and last name) like no I'm still my own person. Mr and Mrs (last name) is fine for me or Mr and Mrs (Grooms first) (brides first) (combined last name)

    We are keeping the bouquet toss and garter I see that as being a fun little tradition and isn't necessarily a feminist issue. Those traditions could easily be celebrated for couples of different genders and sexualities too.

    I do NOT like the idea of my dad "giving me away" so I will have both parents to walk me down the isle too!

    Great ideas tho!
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  • Sarah
    Newbie June 2019 Saskatchewan
    Sarah ·
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    Thanks all for your responses! Definitely some food for thought here-- thank you for sharing your stories and views on what aspects of a traditional ceremony aren't for you and your spouse!
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  • Jane
    Frequent user July 2018 British Columbia
    Jane ·
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    My partner and I are a same sex couple, and are both quite close with our dads, and our mums. We are limited by the space we have to have a certain width aisle (patio wedding with the "altar" being in the corner with the best view), so we will likely be walked down by our dads only, but we are not doing any of the "giving away" wording. Our commissioner also has a very good alternative ceremony that is worded more around the bond and power of love than the bond of a man and wife. Also no garters as I think it's creepy and no bouquet toss either. We are honouring the women in our families by using my grandmother's veil as a table accent for the signing table and having a donation pot supporting a local shelter for women in need of a safe place and for youth who have been rejected from their families because of their sexual orientation.
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  • Jackie
    Devoted April 2019 Ontario
    Jackie ·
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    We are having a morning wedding with a brunch. So no need for a dj or alcohol. I have ordered wood flowers and not the traditional real flowers. I can’t remember if I ordered one to toss or not. My dad only has two daughters and he’s waited a long time for me to get married, so I’ve asked him to walk me down the aisle. I agree that some of the old wording is out dated and not with the times. So I’ll choose wisely. My fiancé doesn’t want a wedding ring but I want him to have one. So maybe he can wear it on special occasions.
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  • Emily
    Devoted November 2018 Ontario
    Emily ·
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    That's really cool. We really don't like the father walking the bride down the aisle tradition, so we are walking eachother down, and having our parents walk in ahead of us. It's actually what the Catholic Church prefers you to do Smiley smile (we're getting married in the Catholic Church).
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  • Holly
    VIP June 2019 Ontario
    Holly ·
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    I was considering that! I'll be getting one of those for myself to wear during my pregnancy (swelling).. I was thinking he may like that more than an actual ring but I know he wants an actual one for the wedding and formal events we go to.
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  • Jessica
    Super March 2018 Ontario
    Jessica ·
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    View quoted message

    My husband had some trouble with his wedding band as well. We ended up ordering rubber ones, (enzorings.com) originally just to bring on the honeymoon, but we love the look of them and they can be worn in pretty much all the time. I even prefer to wear mine over my wedding band sometimes. Something to look into, in case his skin is super sensitive to metals.

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  • Jennifer
    Super July 2019 Ontario
    Jennifer ·
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    We aren't doing a bouquet toss. but going to honour a couple that is really important to me (they are what I call "chosen" parents and really stepped up when I needed someone in my life). so we will have a "throwaway" bouquet made for that. and play their wedding song

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  • Holly
    VIP June 2019 Ontario
    Holly ·
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    My fiance also has an "engagement" ring. It started to give his finger a rash the past few months so he can't wear it anymore..for using wedding band we'll get a better quality lol
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  • Holly
    VIP June 2019 Ontario
    Holly ·
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    We both love some of the basic traditional aspects of weddings, my dad walking me down the aisle (not giving me away because that part of the tradition has completely lost its meaning thankfully), bouquet and garter toss we think will just be funny and we like a few other things too. But one thing we both agreed on was the wording in the ceremony, which luckily our officiant also agrees on. The wording will be able how we are becoming one, and the celebration of our love and marriage so there will be no obeying or man and wife etc, it will be husband and wife, and things that make us who we are together and not one being for the other. I can't give you specify advice on how to change things since we don't feel the need to change it ourselves but all "typical" wedding traditions and such can easily be modified or just cut completely most people won't even notice.
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  • Jocelyn
    Expert August 2018 Ontario
    Jocelyn ·
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    My main one is that im opting NOT to have my parents walk with me, but my FH instead. im not close to my dad (estrangement, he's unsupportive etc!) and bluntly, i wouldn't notice if he was absent...
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  • Chloe
    Super May 2018 Ontario
    Chloe ·
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    If you wanted to modify the bouquet toss, you could always do a dedication bouquet; instead of tossing it to the single ladies, you gift it to the couple present among your guests who have been married the longest. Removing patriarchal traditions is pretty difficult....there are a lot of them. Even the white dress came to symbolize the bride’s virginity at one point (even though it started out as just a display of wealth).
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  • Helen
    Frequent user September 2018 British Columbia
    Helen ·
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    I am sorry to hear about your father, but I think this is a wonderful thing to do for him and I don't think you will regret that for a moment.

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  • Catherine
    Frequent user June 2018 Ontario
    Catherine ·
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    We’re feminist as well and are skipping the garter and bouquet toss as well. I’m also keeping my last name. I considered having both parents walk me down and scrapping the father-daughter dance but i’m very close to my dad and he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer this year so I want those moments with him now. Our ceremony will very focussed on us as equal partners and friends.
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  • Peggy
    Super May 2019 Alberta
    Peggy ·
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    My fiancé and I spoke with our pastor and were pleased to find out that Anglican ceremonies have removed the 'obey' part of the vows. We were going to ask to remove that if not. We aren't doing a bouquet or garter toss because we just find them distasteful, rather than for the reason you have.

    Honestly, I can't offer much by way of advice or suggestions, but I can tell you to do what makes you both happy (which it sounds like you are). Figure out what you do NOT want, what you could live with, and what you love, among the traditions. Get rid of the ones you do not want. The ones you can live with - people can help with suggestions specific to those.

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