Bride

How She Proposed to Him: Love Actually in Action

Image Courtesy of Youtube

Image Courtesy of Youtube

The woman-led proposal is as rare as a unicorn, but no less magical. Restrictive gender norms dictate that it’s the “man’s job to propose,” to which The Feminist Bride says poppycock patriarch-cock!

Wedding Crashes Women’s March

JAI GIRARD PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

JAI GIRARD PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

What better way to prove “Love Trumps Hate” than with a wedding…that also happens to coincide with the biggest coordinated global women’s march?

The Complete Wedding Survival Checklist

A feminist bride asked for a wedding “survival kit” list to prepare for her upcoming nuptials. Construction-BrideF2Assuming that this lady has packed for a trip before, I assumed she’d know to pack a toothbrush so her ceremony kiss would be minty fresh. But then I had a change of heart, when your heart is racing on the big day and your mind is overloaded, anything can happen and forgetfulness can ensue. Here’s the ultimate wedding to-do and to-bring list for everyone going to a wedding:

Should You Change Your Name?

226-SHould-you-change-your-name-The-Feminist-bride-BLOGThe Feminist Bride returns as a guest on the Bridechilla Podcast to discuss the wedding tradition of name change (Ep #226). Host Aleisha McCormack asks (and I answer) why do women change their name? Should they? What other options are there? How come men don’t? There’s a whole lot to consider than just your personal motivations – seriously, they might shock you. If you’re a feminist bride (or groom) grappling with whether or not this tradition is for you, I highly recommend you give it a listen (which you can do on iTunes, Android or by downloading the bridechilla app!

And if you missed The Feminist Bride’s first guest spot on the podcast, check out Episode 169, where I discuss the traditions in most need of feminism and the obsolete and sexist symbolism imbedded in them.

The Purpose of Ring Bearers and Flower Girls

Image: Bustle Events

Image: Bustle Events

Ever wonder what the point of flower girls and ring bearers are beyond celebratory cuteness? These mini grooms and brides are not conceited homages to the newylweds. The pomp and circumstance of the tiny tyke parade has everything to do with fertility superstition actually.  

Wedding Invitation Name Etiquette

I adore the New York Times and I love me a good party, but even more so I am pedantic about honoring people’s surnames. So I was particularly dismayed when Phillip Galanes answered in a NYT’s Social Q’s column to a C. Z., San Francisco that they should by no means be concerned about their spouses poor invitation etiquette, “Your neighbors will be far happier to be invited than distraught by Hubby’s inability to spell Frances. (Or is it Francis?)” Galanes idea of invitation etiquette is probably the worst advice two people planning a wedding and writing their invitations could possibly follow.  Galanes probably has no clue what problems he is contributing to in his response.

Don’t Fear Taking the Plunge (Video)

Image: Taking the PlungeMany fear taking the plunge. They wonder what if he or she is not the one or if they can afford to get married or worry that if Brangelina can’t make it than who can? Four seniors from The School of Visual Arts literally dive into these questions and fears with their senior thesis film, Taking The Plunge.

Eco-Friendly Engagement And Wedding Ring Ideas

c86b68bf5d1769980c357ab50d9bd83cAn engagement ring and wedding band carries priceless memories and meaning, but producing it comes with a high cost (not including what you pay for it). The negative impact precious metal and stone mining has on the environment and human rights is huge, “the mining watchdog group Earthworks estimates that a standard 18-karat wedding band leaves behind 20 tons of ore and waste rock.” Improving how and what one consumes in relationship to the environment is important in terms of eco-feminism too as environmental issues tend to hurt women more. Here are some ring alternatives that help make your wedding more eco-conscious for the couple that’s looking for some good karma to add to their marital hope and future. 

Katherine Heigl puts on another wedding dress in Jenny’s Wedding (Movie Review)

3 Fem Rating SMJenny’s Wedding (2015): When I saw Katherine Heigl in yet another wedding/rom com movie, I rolled my eyes. What other type of Wedding Industrial Complex and women-are-only-valuable-if-they’re-in-a-relationship shenanigans is she getting into this time?

The Pros And Cons Of The #LoveYourSpouse Challenge (Bust.com)

635695324548228861-XXX-homer-marge-danceDoes posting a picture each day over seven days prove to yourself, your marriage and the Internet that you love your spouse? I take a look at the #LoveYourSpouse e-chain challenge that’s slowly taking over your newsfeed for Bust Magazine. Is this hashtag challenge all that it’s cracked up to be? What do you think?

Why Do Bridesmaids (aka Best Ladies) Dress Alike?

Courtesy: http://www.tyngc.org/Every wonder why best ladies dress alike? It’s not because the bride has a twin fetish or because ordering someone what to wear is part of some sick and twisted mommy dearest game (though who knows, it could be…). It’s actually not for anal uniformity in photos either or team spirit. And would you believe it wasn’t originally so the bride would stand out among her entourage (though it has sorta become that)?

The dressing alike tradition goes all the way back to before the middle ages. It was thought that evil demons wanted to curse the bride with their bad juju. So her maids, nearest or dearest would actually dress like the bride in order to fool the mean spirits. This explains why it was kosher for Pippa Middleton to dress in white like her future-queen sister, Kate. And if you think about it, Pippa did indeed thwart any negative attention away from Kate; although in 2011 the evil spirits where more like the paparazzi and anyone with the Internet who thought it was okay to objectify Pippa’s derriere…

Best ladies are not the only ones who originally dressed like the bride; the flower girl mimics her outfit too. Although a flower girl’s goal is not to thwart the evil eye but it’s still equally superstitious. She is supposed to represent the bride’s future children, who would biologically-speaking physically resemble the bride, hence the matching uniform.

The fact that best ladies still dress alike harkens back to these ancient superstitions, though the efforts of the wedding industry and advertising has oppositely influenced the tradition. Now it’s about making the bride stand out, like a white bull’s-eye among a uniform sea of crimson cocktail dresses. This new age emphasis on the bride is what has created bridezillas, so one could argue that the me-me-me bride has indeed become infected by those demons or become one… Maybe there’s something to this dress-alike tradition after all.

 

The Power of the Penis Tiara

Artwork by Katrina Majkut, Limelight, Spotlight, G-Spot, Oil on canvas, 68x50 in., 2013Originally published on In the Powder Room. Reprinted with permission.

It’s not often that penises are appropriate outerwear. They’re weather sensitive, you never know if you’re going to pull out a turtle or v-neck, and they shrink in the wash. Occasionally, they create a pearl necklace.

For bachelorettes though, the dick diadem is standard ware for one night. When asked by a bachelorette (who opted out) why brides wear them and why they attract so much attention, I thought, “What a sizable question!”

10 Ways to Donate Your Wedding Dress

9510835101_a62eef0fa8_bNot sure what to do with your wedding dress collecting dust in your closet taking up precious square footage OR those bridesmaid dresses the bride swore you could wear again but never will? Consider donating it to one of the ten charities below. It’s important to note that, overall, donating your wedding dress will most likely come at an additional expense to you – many of the shops require dry cleaning or at least an additional monetary donation; that also doesn’t include the cost for shipping your dress to the non-profit if you don’t live in the area and some even want a self-addressed stamp envelop to send you a tax donation receipt. The upside to the extra financial burden is that your dress will eventually make someone very happy and the sale proceeds will go towards various causes, plus you’ll be practicing eco-feminism because you won’t be sending your dress to sit in a landfill.

Why is Miss Piggy Obsessed with Marriage?

Photo Courtesy: Muppets Most Wanted

Photo Courtesy: Muppets Most Wanted

The great romances of our time have always unfolded like a Greek tragedy, a Shakespearian play, a Dickinson novel or sometimes a delicious telenovela. Heloise and Abelard, Romeo and Juliet, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Kennedy and Monroe, Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel, Franco and Rogen, there’s a long list of would-be lovers but none are as memorable, iconic, romantically complicated and plushy as Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.

Kermit will lament that, “it’s not easy being green;” but Miss Piggy embodies how difficult it is, loving and wanting someone – who is green. For the last 30-plus years, Miss Piggy has chased, bamboozled, coerced and sometimes karate-chopped Kermit towards marital submission. However, the slippery amphibian has continuously dodged and spurned her advances. Why after so many years of cat and mouse is marriage Miss Piggy’s pièce de résistance?

The Benefits of Not Changing Your Surname After Marriage

Image Copyright: TheFeministBride.com

Modern Wedding Bouquet Toss Alternatives

Bouquet Toss AlternativeA bridal bouquet usually costs mucho dinero (I think I paid over $100 for mine in 2010), so it can be hard to justify tossing it away for someone else to keep when you barely had any time to bond with it. It also stops a bride from being able to dry it out and keep it for eternity in their hutch á la Miss Havisham. There’s also plenty of feminist reason to modernize the bouquet especially so it’s less of a double standard and pushy-marriage game. So if you’re on the fence about whether or not to play the game or want to update it to minimize the downsides to the traditional rules, here are ten modern wedding bouquet toss alternatives.

Why The Bouquet Toss Needs A Makeover

These days, the bridal bouquet toss is as popular as Beanie Babies. There’s a mildly fond recollection of the pastime, but no one really wants to play with them anymore. Maybe the reason why is that somehow despite the “me” generation clamoring for attention online, clamoring for a bunch of flowers in front of family and friends is just not cool? Or maybe it’s also not cool to pressure people into marriage anymore (if it ever was)? Then again, maybe it’s because the floral game is a sexual double standard compared to the erotic garter toss? Or maybe it has something to do with identifying all the single ladies in the room and playing a game that implies being single is bad and undesirable? I’m gonna go with D. All of the Above.

Modern (Feminist) Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Invitation Etiquette Infographic

Speech! Speech! The History of the Wedding Toast

vintage_art_nouveau_taverne_olympia_drinks_party_sticker-r13e32438c3784a69bf4337c676ee1d1c_v9waf_8byvr_512We all love the wedding toast, mostly because it can either go amazingly awesome or terribly wrong. I don’t really have much to offer in the way of feminist words or suggestions, though recognizing both people and not just the bride or groom is important.

The history of the wedding toast comes courtesy of my spouse from a speech he gave as a best man once. In ancient times, when people were most likely at war with their neighbors, many would come to a truce by marrying the leaders’ children. At the banquet table, the bride’s father would be the first to drink from a communal wine pitcher to show his guests that it was not poisoned. My spouse, being a good best man promised to all the guests at the wedding his own self-sacrifice by sampling all the beer and liquor behind the bar for their safekeeping. Feel free to borrow this one, it went over well.

And speaking of toast, we call it a toast because wine was not always a tasty libation. To cure the spirit of its rancidness, a burnt piece of toast was placed in the pitcher to absorb some of the acidity. The host would also eat this piece after everyone had drunk from the vessel as a sign of graciousness to his guests.

But here’s a feminist toast – “ To friends and foes, it doesn’t matter who you know, feminists will unite, and always fight the good fight!”

Wedding Anniversary Gifts: Tradition Gets A Makeover

Life Magazine, photo unknown

Life Magazine, photo unknown

Hey folks, remember that time you got married? I hope so because you’re required to keep on remembering  - every year, FOREVER. Not remembering wedding anniversaries can lead to nights on the couch, even more-expensive-than-you’d-normally-buy jewelry or signing up for things you’d normally refuse to do with your spouse like Zumba lessons or using your naked body as a platter for an intimate Sunday football meal.

14 Alternative Bridal Bouquets

il_570xN.401819851_q3p5Eco-feminism – it’s a thing! It’s known that environmental issues adversely affect women the most as a result of their higher exposure to poverty and lower access to healthcare and education. When it comes to living a green life, even the smallest gesture can help offset hurting the environment. Flower bouquets and arrangements can have huge carbon footprints if the flowers are out of season or shipped in from far away; not to mention, their short and expensive life can seem like a waste in the big scheme of things. When it comes to achieving the perfect wedding why not take the environment into consideration too, especially if down the road there’s a correlation to the condition of women’s equality and health? Even if you don’t think skipping one or two clipped flower bouquets will make a positive difference on the environment, there are plenty of other benefits and upsides to these bouquet alternatives. So for the feminist bride who is also an eco-feminist here are fourteen bouquet alternatives that focus on easily accessible (local), found, upcycled and recyclable bouquets that can either become a family heirloom for future brides or be easily dismantled with little negative impact on the environment.

The (New) Bindaas Bride: FB Interview in Little India

Image: Little India - Ekta Patel and Amar Patel’s wedding I was interviewed as The Feminist Bride for the magazine, Little India about brides attempting to personalize, honor but also modernize wedding traditions. Check it out to hear what Indian fiances are doing to navigate the old and the new! 

The Origins of the Wedding Cake

Every wonder why wedding cake is a tradition? Here’s a fun lecture I did at Tufts University on The Origins of the Wedding Cake and in my own wedding dress to boot! The origins is just a small part in my full lecture of “The Sexy and Sexist Layers of the Wedding Cake” for the Women’s Center 2nd Annual Symposium.

Finding A Natural Approach to Wedding Skincare

yZdwbFgP0AqPzXzmsDKiSisx89aTuEdrNO9bP2V917cWhen Joanna Shu and I first saw The Devil Wears Prada, we agreed Anne Hathaway had it much easier than us. Our first jobs out of college were far worse, there was no free designer clothing and plenty of modern sexism to endure as two of the few women in the office. Without getting into specifics, our boss’s daily mistreatment made Meryl Streep’s character look like a sweet puppy. It’s no wonder that we forged a deep friendship as a result, and it’s definitely no wonder that both of us, almost a decade later, have set out to work for ourselves; myself as a visual artist and writer, and Shu as the founder and COO of Refresh Skin Therapy.

As The Feminist Bride, I’m always on the look out for companies that meet fiancé’s wedding needs without sucking them down the deep, dark consumerist hole that is the wedding industrial complex. I’m also interested in featuring companies that promote and support women either socially or professionally (e.g. there are way too few companies with women in leadership positions). Shu, a divorced single-mom of two and leader of this vegan skincare line, fit the bill perfectly. So I wanted to ask Ms. Shu how Refresh Skin Therapy fits into the bridal beauty industry and what sets her and her company apart from the others.

25 Signs You’re A Feminist Bride

plus-size-woman-and-small-groom-funny-wedding-topper-designWhat does it take to be a truly modern and feminist bride? I come across a lot of proud brides proclaiming to me how forward thinking they are. For example, a bride might explain how she explored all the equitable options before taking her husband’s surname…but forgot to ask him to consider taking hers. Or a bride will explain how she is going to trash the dress to stick it to the wedding industrial complex not realizing the wedding industrial complex doesn’t care because it already got her $1,500 for the designer gown.

Our Interview on the #1 Wedding Podcast, Save The Date!

169-The-Feminist-bride-blog-1Super excited to be interviewed on the #1 wedding podcast, Save The Date. It was really fun sitting down with the host, Aleisha McCormack to talk about some of the most sexist wedding traditions out there and what “bridechillas”‘ and “groomchillas” (bride/grooms who are chill) can do to make them more feminist and respectful for all. So please check out and listen to Episode 169, which by the way, is a totally appropriate number considering how much we discussed the role of sex in wedding traditions! To all the feminist brides (and grooms) out there, I hope it’s an eye opening listen and as fun for you as it was for me in recording it!

8 Songs for a Mother-Daughter Wedding Dance

mother-daughter-2Even in 2016, formal dancing still reeks of gender divides (even Dancing with the Stars has yet to feature two partners of the same sex), but modern, feminist brides should feel absolutely free to dance with the woman who raised them instead of their father or next male of kin as tradition usually dictates. There’s absolutely no reason why a bride can’t dance with her mom for the parental wedding reception dance instead (or split a song so both parents can take a turn). So here are eight song suggestions to inspire the moment you cut a rug with mom.

How to Poop in A Wedding Dress…

DSC_5363Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes. Will a bride take a big one on her big day? Probably. How the bear drops a deuce, thankfully, is not my problem. But if you’ve been a bridesmaid, you’ve probably had an up close encounter with a bride doing her business on the porcelain throne (which might explain why they insist on wearing tiaras sometimes). It’s because most brides select cumbersome wedding gowns, begging the question, “How do I pee in this?”

Colorado Rules to Protect LGBT Rights in Wedding Cake Case

dudes-e1436732604953Sweet justice has been served! The Colorado State Supreme Court ruled that a public-facing business cannot refuse service to customers on religious grounds under the state’s anti-discrimination law,. The law stops businesses from discriminating against people on the basis of race, sex, national origin, or sexual orientation.

Suffering from The Bridal Shower Blues?

Of all the traditions associated with weddings, bridal showers might be one of the most obsolete traditions remaining. While there’s hope with the new trend of “Jack and Jill” showers (both sexes), it remains narcissistically sexist, greedy, outdated, and well, cheesy.

Q&A with An Out-of-The-Box Wedding Planner

Image Courtesy of Hoopla! EventsFiancés put tremendous time, energy and resources into making their wedding unforgettable; but the reality is, if they are sticking to tradition, the wedding will still look like all the others. When I met Hudson Valley wedding planner and business owner, Adina Franconi of Hoopla! Events at (un)convention Brooklyn, I was happy to meet one of the few wedding industry professionals who has the hutzpah and vision to make a wedding truly one of a kind. It’s super refreshing to meet someone in the wedding world who wants to fulfill the vision and personality of the couple over sticking to tradition for the sake of tradition, so I wanted to hear more about Franconi and Hoopla! Events. 

Ben & Jerry’s: Married to Activism, Ice Cream and Civil Rights

Ben and Jerry’s founders were arrested at the U.S. capital recently protesting money in politics, this is not the first time the ice cream enthusiasts have taken political action. In 2012, the Vermont, change-the-world-one-scoop-at-a-time ice cream enthusiasts, Ben & Jerry’s is changed some of their ice cream flavors in support of gay marriage. I can count two separate instances where the company has done so, and I found one image of a personalized ice cream flavored circulating the Internet called, My Fat Greek Gay Wedding.

When Vermont allowed gay marriage they changed classic Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby for the month in September 2009. Ben & Jerry’s opted for an ice cream buffet in 2010 instead of a wedding cake to celebrate when DC decided to allow same-sex couples the right to marry too. They hosted a wedding and reception for local couple Keith Spangler-Vellios and Andreas Vellios at the Georgetown Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop.

And overseas in the UK, they are trying to encourage same-sex marriage awareness and understanding as parliament debates whether or not to legalize it with the aid of Stonewall, a gay rights organization. The activist flavor of choice in this case is Apple-y Ever After. There is also an extensive Facebook and social media campaign to help people influence government and show their support by virtually marrying each other and being able to download a letter of support to send to parliament.

In the US they are rewarding states that approve same-sex marriage with an icy, sweet treat which is wonderful, but I wonder if more campaigns like the one in the UK are more important in the long run in achieving equal marriage rights for all.

With a lot of customized ice cream flavors and monikers associated with specific causes, it is unclear via Ben & Jerry’s company reports whether buying the same-sex flavors proceeds go directly to the partnered gay organizations.

“Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of commitment to social justice, including gay rights. Its partnership with Freedom to Marry, a national leader in the movement for marriage equality, aims to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality and to encourage other states to follow the blazing trails of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Maine.”

Ben & Jerry’s Co-founder Jerry Greenfield is a sponsor of the ReligiousFreedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009.

Ben & Jerry’s has always taken corporate social responsibility to new levels and it’s great to see such a caring company dare to support a cause that could alienate other ice cream lovers. They’re putting social gain over ice cream consumption. That’s not something most companies are willing to do, even on an internal level. (In 1993, Ben & Jerry’s was one of the first US companies to offer health and employment benefits to unmarried domestic partners regardless of their sexual orientation.) Their dedication to greater social causes and progressive business philosophies is just the cherry topping we all need.

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The Politics of Wedding Gown Color

Most brides would not consider anything other than a white wedding dress.; alternatives like cream, beige or winter winter doesn’t really count as breaking with tradition. While the connection between a white wedding dress and virginity is dying a slow (but rightful) death in bridal culture, there’s still plenty of people who will make making passive side remarks about the bride and her vagina like, “Looks like she decided to wear white after all.” Gone should be the days when wearing white or any other color for that matter should indicate what the bride’s sexual status is, but there’s plenty of bridal culture precedent to still work against. The politics of a white wedding dress was firmly shaped by religion, class and consumerism, though weirdly enough one of the big enforcers on such bogus color politics was poetry…which, might explain why brides stick with the white wedding dress.

There’s no “Me” in Bride

Some people use their astrological signs to describe their personality – preordained by time and chance according to the alignment of the stars.  Some attribute their character based on their parents or environment; access to money or lack thereof.  There are many internal and external factors that help create you, and it’s nice to think that identity, to some extent, is something we can choose. After a short lifetime of making those critical choices or being products of our genetics or childhood, when it’s time to ring the wedding bells do we still have that personal choice to choose “who am I – as a bride?”

The Feminist Bride listed in top 15 Wedding Blogs!

YouQueen Top 15 Wedding Bloggers ImageNot to brag, but totally to brag…YouQueen listed TheFeministBride.com as one of the top wedding blogs to follow! It’s so nice to know that there are others behind modernizing wedding traditions with a feminist twist! Thanks to YouQueen and all the feminist brides (and grooms) out there who support us everyday. YAS QUEEN!

Wedding Dresses That Make The World A Better Place

Image: Apaige PhotographyWhat if finding the perfect wedding dress had a lot more to do with how it impacted the world than it did in just making someone feel and look like a bride? The Feminist Bride aims to help fiancés bring more meaning to their wedding through better social practices, so when I met founder, Marcie Muehlke at (un)convention Brooklyn last fall I had to share what amazing things her wedding dress company, Celia Grace was doingCelia Grace is a women-led wedding dress company that helps impoverished women abroad (fair trade) and brings handmade, environmentally friendly and sustainable gowns to the wedding industry. If brides want to really wow guests on their wedding day, a Celia Grace dress adds an extra layer of eco-feminist thoughtfulness, empowerment and compassion that is hard to come by in the wedding dress industry.

10 Tuxedos for Brides

dietrichtuxedox633_0As a kid, I refused to wear a dress. I just wanted to be comfortable but more importantly feel like myself – the “tom-boy” who’d much rather climb a tree than play with dolls. Eventually as I grew older, I acquiesced on the dress thing, even wearing a bridal gown on the big day. But I understand that there are plenty of brides (or bridesmaid or lady groomsman) out there who, like my younger self, have no desire to wear a dress on their wedding day. So I’ve gathered what I think are ten great bridal tuxedos keeping in mind that it should be something that would be too fancy for work but perfect for the red carpet, are in the affordable range (and by affordable I mean under the average cost of a wedding gown – $1,200 (TheKnot, 2013), is not only white, won’t confuse you with the waitstaff, are cut for women and feels avant-garde bridal.

 

 

Leap Day: The Only Day Women Can Propose…NOT!

SONY DSCThere is a wedding tradition that states women are only allowed to propose to men on February 29th, Leap Day. That’s once for twenty-four hours every four years and that’s if she’s in a relationship that’s ready to move to the next step. Having such an opportunity is almost as rare as Donald Trump telling the truth or acting humble. The question is where does such nonsense come from?

Feminist Math Proof: Why “Ms.” is better than “Mrs.”

Can’t wait to become the new “Mrs. His Name?” Ever think about why men never change their title of “Mr.” when they get married, ever stop to consider what it means for women to only change her title?

Image: TheFeministBride.com

Image: TheFeministBride.com

10 Alternatives to the Superstitious Baby-Making Wedding Cake

Bridezillas 'Take The Cake' CompetitionWedding cake is not just dessert! It’s a tradition because cooked inside it is a lot of superstition. Those five layers of fondant are nothing more than a towering talisman trying to knock the bride up. Don’t believe me? Well, a cake is nothing more than wheat, sugar, water and eggs, which are all symbols for fertility. Cook them together, eat it and people thought it would literally put a bun in the oven. But today, despite lots of people going after Planned Parenthood in a modern day witch hunt, there are many women and couples, who don’t actually ever want to have kids. So instead of serving wedding cake and pushing a baby-making agenda they don’t want, here are 10 dessert alternatives that don’t come with the same sticky, messy symbolism(though feel free to pick one type of dessert if you’re not interested in a dessert bar).

How Gender Discrimination Is Creating a Marriage Crisis in India and China

Image Caption: The Economist Video -  Why China and India face a marriage crisis

Image Caption: The Economist Video -
Why China and India face a marriage crisis

Discrimination against women is a global crisis. There is not one place in the world where women experience complete equality. The belief that women should access education, which leads to better physical and financial health, intellectual fulfillment and professional opportunities is not evenly held across the globe either. A lot of this has to do with the idea that a women’s place is only in the home and not as an outside member of the community. This is why many individuals in certain countries have practiced sex-selected abortions or infanticide if they find out they are having a girl (and for the record, while the video below focuses on India and China, those are not the only two places where these practices exist). Boys are socially allowed to get educations and be income earners and therefore can contribute to the family unlike women, who are not given the same opportunities or social stature. This is why many cultures see men are the more valued gender. 

Jilted Bride Donates Wedding to Homeless

Karen Olsen talks with twin sisters, Sarah, left, and Rebecca, along with Sarah’s daughter Sarah, 7, and Rebecca’s son, Emmanuel, 9, as they thank her for the evening donated to Mary’s Place families at Sodo Park on Saturday. (Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

Karen Olsen talks with twin sisters, Sarah, left, and Rebecca, along with Sarah’s daughter Sarah, 7, and Rebecca’s son, Emmanuel, 9, as they thank her for the evening donated to Mary’s Place families at Sodo Park on Saturday. (Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

If you were left at the altar or left before you could walk down it, would you have the clarity to turn a wedding fiasco into a triumph of humanity? Dana Olsen put aside her broken heart and decided, with the help of her family, to donate her would-be-wedding to the homeless families of Seattle’s Mary’s Place emergency shelter.  Guests from Mary’s Place were treated to hairdo’s and donated formal wear to wear to their special formal dinner before they arrived to the upscale Sodo Park venue. They enjoyed a catered meal and danced the night away to a live band.

Chelsea Handler Does Marriage on Netflix

Image: Netflix

Image: Netflix

In Netflix’s new docuseries, Chelsea Does, comedian and former talk-show host, Chelsea Handler does marriage in the first episode. The only problem is that Chelsea can’t find anyone to do her until death do they part. Absent groom aside, she’s not sold on the idea of a wedding and sets off to discover what the big deal is about weddings and being married.

Shonda Rhimes and Admitting: “I Don’t Want to Get Married.”

I’m not sure there’s anyone in the world who could sit down with Oprah Winfrey and not suddenly start pouring their heart out to her. I’d be like Chunk in The Goonies who wildly confesses to everything and anything the moment Oprah said, “Hello, how are you?” No mortal has a fighting chance against Oprah and a couch. So when TV Queen/Feminist/Writer/Producer/Future President, Shonda Rhimes sat down with her, I thought, as a fellow immortal, she stood a fighting chance. Turns out even feminist immortals bare their soul to the Big O, and I’m glad she did.

Ms. Rhimes revealed “I don’t want to get married…at all.” Both single gals confided and revealed to each other how complicated such a personal belief is received in a social context, “There’s a huge amount of pressure…you’re suppose to want to [get married] and if you don’t want it – what’s wrong with you?” This is an important element that everyone, even here at The Feminist Bride, must consider. What’s powerful of Rhimes’ revelation is that she gave herself time and permission to explore whether or not marriage was right for her, which gave her the strength and confidence to say, “I don’t want to get married.” And quit frankly, how much do any of us give ourselves the time, permission and freedom to block out social convention and pressure to figure out what we truly want? For all the peer, media, religious and environmental pressure placed on women to get married, there needs to be an open and accepting dialogue that tells women – you don’t have to get married if you don’t want to and that is perfectly acceptable. As friends and family of those people, it’s important such stances are met with support and not doubt too. Rhimes goes onto further share that just because marriage isn’t on the table that does not mean meaningful or long-term relationships aren’t. I know not everyone can sit down with Oprah and get to the bottom of their psyche or desires, but perhaps if we all pretended to bare our souls to the Big O we’d learn just a little more about want we want and be a little happier for it.

Image Courtesy of OWN

Image Courtesy of OWN/Super Soul Sunday TV

Worried about A Wasteful Wedding?

What if creating the perfect wedding included much more than a well choreographed first dance or coordinated dove release? What if the perfect wedding included a keen consciousness as to how one’s wedding celebration affected the environment around the couple? It makes sense, because how nice can a wedding be if it’s in a dump? AJ+, a global news community brings fiancés an important ecological breakdown of just how wasteful a wedding can be and how it impacts the environment. From how conflicting a diamond ring to how horrible imported flowers can be, the video gives a brief overview of how important it is to really think beyond just the happiness of the couple.

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Are bridal parties the same as Taylor Swift’s “Nazi-Barbie” Girl Squad?

Image Courtesy of Matt Sayles/Invision AP

Image Courtesy of Matt Sayles/Invision AP

Hollywood reporter, Camille Paglia is taking umbrage against Taylor Swift’s girl squad, which she describes as a “Nazi-Barbie routine.” Paglia reflects on Swift’s appropriation of girl power squads from the 1990s, e.g. The Spice Girls, Def Squad, to promote a sense of women-empowered camaraderie through social media, in-person staged appearances and the pervasive selfie. After reading her fair but also pretty scathing review where she ultimately describes Swift as a “fascist blonde,” I can’t help wonder if there are lots of similarities between Swift’s posse power and bridal parties?

Tina Fey Spanx Ridiculous Clothing Trend #LastDressEver

Tina Fey on The Late Show with David Letterman

Tina Fey on The Late Show with David Letterman

Next to my tattoo of Notorious RBG will go my tattoo of Tina Fey. Though maybe I’m thinking too small and these broads need their own Mount Rushmore. Tina Fey visited David Letterman for the last time (it was her 20th appearance). (By the way, the podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You has a really eye-opening episode about late night television and women. It talks about the scandal where Letterman inappropriately slept with a number of women staffers, which gives Fey’s clothing message of “Bye Dave” new meaning.) She wanted to show to him what the underworld of undergarments looks like and how she “will no longer conform to gender norms” in this way with the message #LastDressEver. And so the saucy lady from 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt stripped down to her Spanx on national television to show the world the absurd lengths women go to look a certain way. It got me thinking about the ridiculous contraptions brides often wear to look “perfect” too, which is silly because the wedding dress probably already comes with corset bone ribbing…Thanks Tina Fey for bearing all and calling out the ridiculousness of women’s clothing, more like #LastCorsetEver.

A Wedding Centerpiece You Can Eat

If I can’t use feminism to upgrade the quality and equality of a wedding, The Feminist Bride at least likes to offer eco-solutions for your wedding. From Southern Living, I was absolutely floored by this earthy idea of a wedding table centerpiece. A centerpiece doesn’t get any better when you can take it home and eat it! Or at least you can throw 90% of it in the compost heap. Here’s their cabbage centerpiece idea (honestly I’m not even sure you’d need the mason jar, but you might want to to play it safe. You could even but in a live plant that you can transplant later too! I bet you could do this with a pineapple, watermelon, definitely gourds of any kind, and blocks of wood.

Southern Living Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Southern Living Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

The Burger-King Wedding – Corporate Sell-Out or Name Equality Champions?

Photo Ashley King & Joel Burger

Photo Ashley King & Joel Burger

As you’ve already heard Ashley King and Joel Burger, who started as 5th grade elementary friends and ended up twenty-years later as fiancés are getting married and planning on having a Whopper© of a wedding. Their joint destiny may not have been written in the stars, but on a menu as their surnames suggested – Burger and King.

“We have yet to escape the teasing, but we have fully embraced our nickname,” Joel Burger told the Register. While people are having a good laugh with the couple over their uniquely commercial union, let’s talk about how it seems that the couple are practicing the rare neutronymics! Neutronymics is a term I coined where a married couple either retains their two surnames, incorporate both names (hyphenation or middle name replacement) or create a completely new name out of both their names. If Mr. Burger is actually adding on Ms. King’s surname, it is one of the rarest examples of men doing so.

As it stands less than 10% of women today either practice neutronymics or one-sided hyphenation (meaning as a couple, only the woman changes her name). Around 90% of women practice patronymics (taking his name) and so few men practice matronymics (taking her name) or neutronymics that their number doesn’t register on the scale at all. So it’s a pretty big deal if Mr. Burger is going for the full regal sandwich moniker. Which if he is, I think that’s amazing. Even if he wasn’t planning on it, it might be in his finance’s and frig’s best interest if the chain is looking for local spokespeople. Because by the powers of fast food, the burger chain, Burger King discovered their nuptials through the modern wedding announcement platform – Twitter. Instead of celebrating the couple by gifting them with a copyright infringement lawsuit, Burger King decided to gift them an entire wedding.

While I have strong mixed feelings about such corporate sponsorship for “one of the most important day in the couple’s life,” I can’t help but wonder what a Burger King Wedding would look like? First and foremost, the King has to reside as their officiant. If he approves of the marriage he will give his signature thumbs up, then the couple may kiss. Upon saying I do, the couple shall be crowned in BK’s customary regalia. The cocktail hour will serve mini sliders, onion rings and chicken nuggets. Instead of a swan-sculpted ice luge, a large B.K. insignia will dispense the finest of Pepsi colas and Mountain Dews for guests. The reception will start with the chain’s classic chicken Caesar salad and then be followed with a banquet of burgers piled so high it could reach the Gods. The couple will have their first dance to the classic Burger King song, “Have It Your Way” and cut into a burger-themed wedding cake designed by none other than Cake Boss. Guests, with their bellies full from Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburgers, will leave happy, especially when go home with a kid’s meal toy and their pockets full of Junior Whoppers. But most importantly the after party will feature a sacrificial Ronald McDonald effigy in order to ensure a prosperous life together and many little Kid’s meals in the couple’s future.

So why is Burger King doing all of this. For one, it’s really good press, especially after the debacle in 2005 when a lady called 911 because the store couldn’t get her order right. But maybe I’m being cynical and they just believe in a good old fashioned love story. It will be really interesting to see if the chain totally commercializes the couple’s wedding in a marketing stunt and a gross display of the wedding industrial complex or leave the couple to their own wedding design devices (their original intention was to just hand out koozies with their name and the BK logo on the back). If selling out their wedding is the cost for a man practicing neutronymics, I’m actually on board for a Whopper-themed wedding then. Sexism in name change is one of the worst sources of inequality in wedding traditions so I say take the small wins even if it’s from the dollar menu.

The Chicken Dance Conspiracy Theory: Why America’s Classic Wedding Dance Disappeared

baby-in-chicken-suitOn a non-feminist, but equally as fun note…

Have you noticed that America’s favorite group dance after the Electric Slide to The Dougie has more or less disappeared from the wedding reception’s dance floor? The chicken dance’s armpit flapping and fingering yapping were as American as saluting and doing the wave. How could it possibly disappear from DJ’s playlists, where has our patriotism gone? What the cluck?

The Perfect Feminist Burlesque Dance (Video)

Image: Comedian Nadia Kamil

Image: Comedian Nadia Kamil

Nothing is better and sexier than a feminist burlesque dance. Here’s why…

  1. There’s no exchange of dollar bills into G-strings. Aside from saving money, no one is supporting the sex industry.
  2. No post-shower needed cuz you don’t feel like a dirty miscreant after watching it.
  3. It’s the “new consensual sexy” cuz it overpowers the male gaze and privilege.
  4. Men and women can enjoy it together if they want.
  5. There’s no skeevy touching, except for the moments that pull on your heartstrings because you feel empathy towards women.
  6. It’s masters the art of comedy and activism, which means you feel really empowered by it.
  7. You WANT to tell all your friends about how awesome it was afterwards because it’s not shady.

UK comedian, Nadia Kamil does a perfect job of showing how awesome a feminist burlesque can be. Her routine is inspired by a Margaret Thatcher burlesque act, and thought she could one-up the Iron Lady and her patriot pubes. (By the way, doesn’t Kamil look like Tina Fey and Molly Shannon’s long lost British sister?) So next time you’re looking to book a bachelor or bachelorette party think about tracking down a feminist burlesque show, you will never regret it.

Should You Get Married If You Have Debt?

wedding-debtDebating between getting married or paying off your debt can be extremely difficult. The little financial advisor that magically appears on your shoulder will insist, “Don’t do it! Be fiscally responsible so you can properly take care of your beloved,” but the idealistic mini-bride or groom on your other shoulder will say, “Follow your heart! People get married so they can take care of each other.” While it feels better to give into matters of the heart, being money-wise is critical to a healthy relationship too; after all, money woes are the number one cause of divorce. So to live happily ever after, what’s a cash-strapped lover to do?

What Historically Accurate Disney Princesses Look Like

Ever wonder what Disney princesses would be like if they were placed in their correct times in human history? This video reverses all the Princesses’ Fairy Godmother’s work and reverts them back to reality. And it turns out it ain’t all songs and furry animal sidekicks, like how Jasmine would have been a lot more covered up due to strict religious mores. The video asks, “Did they live happily ever after?” but doesn’t answer the question directly other than showing the stark reality between the women’s fantasy lives and real life ones. However, I’m reading Stephanie Coontz​’s Marriage, A History and it seems unlikely that they lived happily as few women in these periods had any civil and social rights. Until the 19th century few women were allowed to get an education or retain any type of power, except over a household. And forget about their knights in shining armor, these women barely got to choose whom they married and loving them was generally out of the question. Husbands usually controlled their lives and the finances too, even if through a dowry, she was the wealthy one. They could even legally beat their wives, and cheating was generally accepted. Reality gives a glimpse as to why perhaps these princess fantasies were appealing…

Courtesy of Eugene Lee Yang / Via youtube.com

Courtesy of Eugene Lee Yang / Via youtube.com

Hollywood’s Runaway Brides

Courtesy of Friends

Courtesy of Friends

There’s an urban myth that men are commitment-phobes when it comes to marriage. If this were true, then why do so many of Hollywood’s brides have cold feet? If I had to guess, it’s probably because most lead women wake up moments before walking down the aisle realizing they are about to get married in order to meet societal expectations – don’t be alone, marry for security, it’s what everyone else wants, your ticking biological clock, all your friends are doing it, it’s not cool to be a cat-lady, etc., etc. – as opposed to a bride marrying for herself and to be with a person she truly loves. I would like to think those runaway brides are sticking it the Wedding Industrial Complex or those icky societal expectations, but the reality is their journey usually ends with another relationship and less self fulfillment. Here’s a list of Hollywood’s ten classic runaway brides and what their feminist (or unfeminist) epiphany was after they  said, “F%^& it, I’m running…”

The Flaw in Tiffany & Co.’s Same-sex Engagement Ring Ad

Image Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Image Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Everyone’s favorite breakfast shop and jeweler, Tiffany & Co. has just released a new engagement ring ad, “Will you?” featuring a real life same-sex couple. Like an engagement, there’s plenty of reason to celebrate when a company diversifies its ad campaigns to include more than just white heterosexuals. J. Crew, The Gap, JC Penny and Ray-Ban are just a few of the companies that are starting to cater to the LGBT market. However, before we pop that champagne there’s still plenty to consider.

The Power of Feminism in Tradition and Culture

 

Image: Tedx, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Image: Tedx, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an important Nigerian novelist and gave an inspiring lecture at Tedx in 2013 called “We Should All Be Feminists.” It explores her own personal interactions and observations regarding gender in Nigeria. She shares her thoughts on these moments as they relate to feminism, power, equality and culture, but what was most powerful is how she described how gender roles in marriage often shape women and men’s equality. Here are some amazingly insightful quotes from the talk and some Feminist Bride reflections on them. I also strongly recommend watching the talk in its entirety too.

Feminist Bride T-Shirts Available!

The Feminist Bride t-shirt, www.TheFeministBride.comHear ye, hear ye! What bride would be complete without announcing her passion, her conviction and her independent spirit on a Feminist Bride t-shirt? Wedding swag purchases go towards supporting the technological and administrative needs of TheFeministBride.com, and maybe eventually an employee happy hour outing because we work hard too.

Pink, blue and purple t-shirts are currently available (though feel free to inquire within for customizable options!). Current available sizes include Medium (Bust/hips 20″, Length from neckline to bottom 25″), and small. 100% Heavy Preshrunk Cotton, Lettering: textured, light pink lettering 5.5″ Length, 3″ width. Washing Machine Safe

Saying No to The Wedding Diet #ThisGirlCan

Image: Sports England #ThisGirlCan

Image: Sports England #ThisGirlCan

The whole concept of the “wedding diet” is to bust your ass in the gym over a short period of time so you can look “perfect” for an even shorter period, one day. The thing is, what is perfect? Who defines at what point you can stop sweating at the gym because you’ve reached “perfection?” And why is anyone working so hard for just one day? This is why the “wedding diet” is an absurd exercise plan. It’s a Quixote quest invented by the delusions of someone else and projected onto you. It’s maddening.

The State of the Same-Sex Marriage Equality Today

Image: Freedom to Marry

Image: Freedom to Marry

Obama in the State of the Union (#SOTU) hit some unprecedented markers when it comes to civil rights. He spoke of same-sex marriage as a civil right and he spoke of the protection of those in the LGBT community, a first for SOTU. What’s even more exciting is that 2015 could make the final mile for same-sex marriage approval. Here’s a quick breakdown of milestones in the quest for marriage equality and its current status in terms of social and political approval.

‘To Sleep or Not to Sleep’ with Your Fiancé the Night before the Wedding?

Image via HuffPo & alexeyrumyantsev via Getty Images

Image via HuffPo & alexeyrumyantsev via Getty Images

There’s the superstition that it’s bad luck to see your fiancé the day of the wedding, but it starts with the tradition that says a couple should stay in separate bedrooms the night before the wedding too. In this modern day of cohabiting couples and non-virgins, is the not-sleeping-together tradition relative anymore? By sleep I mean, whatever you want to do; be it hitting the hay or having a roll in it. And for the record nowhere in this two-sided argument will higher-than-thou sexual morality be a legitimate defense for it. The whole notion of ‘not-sleeping-together’ is historically part of an oppressive and discriminatory conduct code that demeans sex and anyone who chooses to have it outside of marriage (mostly women). By eliminating the tradition’s inherent sexism, the Shakespearian-esque question still remains, “to sleep or not to sleep with your fiancé the night before the wedding?”