A feminist wedding

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been thinking about this and what it means. I realize that this blog has crept away from that and has turned into a space where I get pissed about injustice and then briefly update you about the facts of what is happening wedding-wise. Rarely have I been thinking critically (in this space) about the decisions we've been making because, in all honestly, the big decisions were made with what resources we have available to us within our budget and the other decisions we made (not to have my father give me away, not using fresh cut flowers) seemed like No Duh decisions.

That being said, I still maintain that we are having a feminist wedding. And we are..I'm not just sayin' it because it sounds right. All of those No Duh things are still conscious decisions that we made. We are also using my grandmother's vintage ring that she had re-made out of her original wedding set (sentiment galore). My grandmother is a feisty/snarky woman who has been with my grandpa for 57 years. Very little about our wedding is traditional. I mean, we're having a reading about dinosaurs, for goodness sake. But I also understand that just because something isn't traditional doesn't necessarily make it feminist and there are plenty of things that are verging on traditional. We are having a wedding party (albeit small) and my brother, though clearly not my father, is walking me down the aisle (and he will NOT be giving me away).

I'm also not suggesting that if you have an entirely traditional wedding, you can not be a feminist. Forcing people to subscribe to certain ideals that put people into boxes is the opposite of feminism. But it's important to me that we think really critically about the traditions and not participate in the ones that don't suit us (which is a lot, especially for this super formal event). Striking the balance between maintaining the solemnity and sacredness of a wedding while still injecting our personalities in the wedding has been a challenge. There have been many temptations to turn the whole ordeal into a shit show because it would be funny and we like to laugh - and my go-to when I'm nervous is to make a joke but then we remember that this day is not ALL about us...it's about our family and friends that are choosing to spend that time with us.

So to recap:
Feminist decisions:
  • Dad not walking me down the aisle
  • Making pinwheels and origami flowers as opposed to pollution prone cut flowers
  • using vintage jewelry (both my grandmother's pearls and wedding ring)
  • Having readings that reflect egalitarian values
  • Choosing vows that also reflect egalitarian values
  • Not going into debt for a day that will be undoubtedly awesome, but hopefully not the best day of my life (I'm far too young for that)
  • Choosing a dress that is necessarily comfortable and "me" as opposed to what someone else thinks I should be wearing
  • Instead of gifts at the bridal shower (which was actually an origami folding party), my maid of honor collected a donation from the attendees that she donated to Access Africa, a women's empowerment organization*
  • Giving a student of photography the opportunity to build her portfolio (win-win situation)
  • No strip clubs or topless bars for either bachelor or bachelorette parties
  • having friends or local businesses provide a majority of the services
Not particularly feminist decisions:
  • Having my brother walk me down the aisle
  • Getting married in a church
  • Following traditional guidelines (bridal shower, wedding party)
  • Growing my hair out for the wedding
  • ...And I'm sure some other things
Now again, I'm not saying that those things are inherently NOT feminist - I'm just saying that they do represent some concessions on my part that I felt were necessary to honor really important people in my life.

So when people ask me how the wedding is going or if I'm looking forward to getting married or any permutation of those questions - this is the dilemma that goes through my head. It's difficult for me to reconcile my privilege in getting married, even now that I'm less that 40 days out. And I still have some guilt around it, even though I'm super happy to be making this public commitment to Ben. But I'll deal with it. and it will be a happy, joyous occasion.

Eh. Long post. Unexpected. Sorry.

love, kayt

*not my idea, but done because she is my best friend and knows my ideals