How To Make Wedding Traditions More Feminist

As a feminist, attending weddings can be incredibly frustrating. There are ludicrous payment expectations for the bride’s family, readings about a wife’s obedience to her husband, and don’t get me started on the dreaded bouquet toss. Today’s couples often break from these outdated practices — thank goodness! — but there are still plenty more wedding conventions that could use a 21st century update. Marrying someone you love is a beautiful thing, and having more feminist wedding traditions will make your wedding that much more glorious.

Traditionally, the bride’s role in the marriage process is passive — minus all that crazy wedding planning. She waits for her beau to propose, is given away by her father, and then assumes her new husband’s last name. Breaking from these conventions will not only make your wedding stand out (in the best possible way), it’ll showcase the equality between you and your partner. After all, you two are doing this whole life thing together now!

So don’t be scared to do something different. Your mom and dad may not understand why you’re breaking from tradition, but they’re still going to tear up when you and your partner say “I do.” Go ahead, try one of these empowering twists on old traditions:

1. Pop the question if you feel like it

If you know you want to spend forever with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and marriage is a thing you're into, ask him or her to marry you. Don't wait just because it's what you see in the movies.

2. Plan and pay for the wedding together

Do you know how expensive weddings are? It's INSANE. Nobody's family should foot that bill alone. And the headache of making wedding arrangements? Share that pain, too.

3. Wear whatever color you want — and it doesn't have to be a dress

No need to declare your purity in a white dress, just do you! Want to wear a rainbow suit a la Jenny Lewis? Go for it! A flowing emerald gown? Why not? And if a white princess dress is your thing, then that's totally cool, too.

4. Walk down the aisle with anyone you please

Whether you walk with your dad, your mom, your grandma, or a good friend, nobody is giving you away. They're just joining you for a special moment.

5. Screw traditional vows

They're the most important part of the ceremony, the things you're promising forever. Take the time to write your own with your partner that express who you two are as individuals and as a couple.

6. Forget the veil

Traditionally, the groom lifting his bride's veil signaled that she was now "his." I mean, veils can be pretty and all, but that's B.S. So skip it, or wear some other headpiece... flower crown? Real crown? Cat ears? All fair game.

7. Ignore wedding party genders

Bridesmaids, groomsmen, bridesmen, groomsmaids... just go for it! Your closest friends should stand beside you, regardless of gender.

8. Skip the bouquet toss

Maybe none of your lady friends care about getting married next, and does anyone really want to hear "Single Ladies" at another wedding? Personally, I'd rather have a candy toss with all guests involved, because who doesn't like candy?

9. ... and the garter removal

We won't go into the origins of this one, but why not save the fun for the wedding night instead?

10. Keep your last name

You're still you, and chances are you've begun a professional career with your familial last name. Keeping it doesn't mean you love your partner any less.

11. Don't get married

Hey, maybe the institution of marriage is just too steeped in patriarchy for you. Go on loving in your own way!

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