Engagement

Wedding Show Casting Call

We Do Casting Notice Photo Only.001A casting agent reached out to me to share this casting call. While it sounds like double the wedding industrial complex to me, ya’ll are adults that can make the decision on your own (maybe your episode is all about double rejection the wedding industrial complex or showing viewers how to be a feminist bride!). So here’s the info if you, your fiance and another couple want to apply. See you in the spotlight!

23 Signs You’re A Feminist Groom

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

For a wedding to be about equality, it’s not enough to just be a feminist bride. Your fiancé needs to be on board too! (Equality is harder to achieve if it’s one-sided.) So for those grooms out there wondering how they can help truly be their partner’s equal in life and down the aisle, here are 23 signs of a feminist groom.

(Disclosure note: It’s unclear if self-proclaimed feminist, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a feminist groom, we can only hope…and dream)

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 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?

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?

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!”

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! 

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!

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. 

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?

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.

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?

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.

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 Greatest Lessons Are The Ones Not Told

Image c/o Queenlatifah.com

Image c/o Queenlatifah.com

Most of us learn about wedding culture from our parents, peers, religion, businesses, media and pop culture. It’s very easy to feel like experts on the subjects since we’re inundated with lessons of how to buy the perfect wedding dress, get him to propose, what to say during the wedding ceremony, how to pick out a flawless diamond ring and how women can easily change their last name to his. When it comes to weddings and marriage, people have always been told what, when, where, how, but few ever think for themselves - ‘why?’

Are Facebook Relationship Over-sharers Overcompensating?

facebook meme 6Ever wonder what the deal is behind your social media friends who incessantly post about their relationships? Are they overcompensating for something else or do they really have the best boyfriend/girlfriend in the whole wide world as they claim? Are they truly happy or are the rest of us just curmudgeons and incapable of being happy for someone else’s happiness?

Interview: Demystifying Wedding Ritual One Cross-Stitch at a Time

Crowned, Oil on Canvas by Katrina Majkut

Crowned, Oil on Canvas by Katrina Majkut

I recently had the privilege of being asked for an interview for the website SIN/GIN founded by human rights law professor, Chiseche Salome MibengeWe discussed a lot of important topics from how fashion impact women’s identities to the pressures of having it all, from self worth to social conformity to the power of art. I found it to be a really intellectually-demanding experience in a great way, so I hope it provokes your own questions and ideas. And I also got to clarify the long-standing debate on where feminism stands on, not nudity, but whether or not most feminists are nudist. Check it out here!

I don’t use feminism to try to eradicate the wedding dress though; because last time I checked most feminists are not nudists so we, too, need to wear something down the aisle… I use feminism to find positive solutions between the customs that have been handed down to us and properly honoring women with respect and equality.”

My Shotgun Wedding: A Beginner’s Guide

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Contributing Writer: Kathryn Marie Lavin

In a dimly lit theater, spending quality time with my big brother over a box of Sour Patch Kids and the soon-to-be-classic, The Wolverine, I felt what I assumed was gas. However, as the movie closed in on its predictable ending, I felt what I can only describe as the sensation of a koi fish trapped in my bowels. As my brother and I exited the movie, I thought about running my amphibious sensation by him. Normally tossing around topics like “abdominal distress” and “public farts” would be standard with my bro, but this feeling exceeded our bodily comfort zone. I felt like I had more in common with the hero of the film, a mutant.

Hey Brides, Harvard Says Your Future Success Depends on Your Future Hubby…

groom-lifting-bride-over-her-head-in-fieldStop for a minute and ask yourself these questions: Do you have an egalitarian relationship? Are you on the path to achieve your career goals? Have you ever put your guy’s career before your own? And does he put forth as much effort as you in the home? Your honest answers, not your ideal ones, are important. (And for the record, no, this article is not about how to ride the coattails of your hubby, as if…)

Harvard Business School study reports that both male and female HSB graduates, who believe in parity in the workforce and in relationships…don’t actually practice it. This is an incredibly important discrepancy because it negatively impacts women’s professional achievements, particularly in top management positions. That’s why answering honestly was so important, most of us believe we have egalitarian relationships, but per the study that’s not really the case.

Where Are All The Bridesmen and Groomswomen?

Dominique as a groomswoman next to her best friend, the groom

Dominique as a groomswoman next to her best friend, the groom

Ladies, if your best friend is your brother, or that awkward college guy who naively explained that Beirut is a place, not a beer game, or your male coworker who loves afternoon Hot Pockets almost just as much as you and you’re getting married to…someone else, why not put that best friend in your wedding party?

Gentlemen, if your best friend is your sister, or cousin who encouraged you to embrace your affinity for knitting infinity scarves, or your former high school prom date who danced so awkwardly to House of Pain’s Jump Around that you found a platonic, kindred spirit and you are also marrying someone else? Then you, too, should feel free to put them in your wedding party.

Should You Have An Engagement Party?

I love parties. I love dressing up for parties. I love being the hostess with keep-calm-were-engagedthe mostess. I love playing bartender. I love mingling. And I love themed parties. So if you asked me whether or not it’s worth having an engagement party, I would clearly answer, “meh, it’s not really necessary.”

Here’s the thing – weddings are never singular events. There’s the shower, the bachelor or bachelorette party, the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony, the reception and maybe there’s an after party. It’s like asking if you really need a sixth finger; I could…but it’s not necessary. Not to mention, that if you’re involved in the wedding…forget having a social life until the fiancés say. “I do.” Each event requires time, energy, money and travel. Everyone is happy to celebrate this new stage of your life, but after awhile it’s like seeing the same Broadway play for the 11th time – getting up to give a standing “O” for the umpteenth time is not going to have as much energy as it did the first.

Managing a Bridal Meltdown     

Bridezillas aside, a bridal meltdown can happen to anyone. It will undoubtedly bridezilla-wedding-stressbe over something worthy of emotion or either a tantrum over nothing. (Though please know that being a bride or groom does not give you the right to have one or be a bridezilla.) Meltdowns can come in all shapes, sizes and reactions. Regardless, as a best lady, mother of the bride, fiancé, wedding planner or consultant, it’s best to brace yourself for the storm. Like any hurricane, no one can predict with accuracy what class it will be and how much it will huff and puff until it tries to take everyone down. As a bridesmaid (Best Lady) or whomever though, contrary to popular belief, there’s no reason to go down with the ship.

Is Choosing to Take Your Husband’s Surname Really Feminist?

I winced when I heard Ms. Amal Alamuddin was changing her name to Mrs. George Clooney. She became yet another example of a women choosing for her identity to be represented by a man’s after marrying. Here’s how her decision, one shared by the majority of women, is vastly more complicated than it seems.

Creating Diamond Engagement Rings From Cremated Ashes

Forget proposing with Grandma’s diamond ring, what about proposing with Artist, Damien Hirst's Diamond SkullGrandma’s ashes as the diamond ring? Yes, you heard me right. A Swiss company called Algordanza will take the cremated remains of your beloved one and synthesize a diamond between 0.25 and 1.0 carats. Not only is a diamond forever, but now, so is Grandma or Great Uncle Ezekiel or your beloved cat Mr. Jenkins (alright, maybe not Mr. Jenkins, turns out they don’t allow pets). Gives new meaning to DIY.

The Modern Equation for Getting Married

Tired of winking at people online? Starting to wonder why you’re friends with some Jessa, from HBO's Girls, getting marriedpeople if their other friends are the duds they keep setting you up with? Finding yourself starring over to the kitchen, wondering what type of hors d’ oeuvres they’ll be serving after the wedding ceremony? Focused on your career, grad school or the number of dates you have lined up? Thinking you can have it all and NOT be married? Or are you just holding out for the perfect one and the perfect conditions?

You are not alone my friend.

Knocking up or knocking out baby making wedding traditions

Whether or not to invite kids to a wedding is a one decision, but the bigger polls_baby_bride_0958_923980_poll_xlargedecision is whether not to practice superstitious wedding traditions that try to conceive a baby. The Feminist Bride has established that there are nine wedding traditions that exist in order to get the bride pregnant, now we’re going to provide nine modernized versions of these traditions so getting knocked up is more of an open ended choice.

How to Give the Worst Wedding Speech Ever

Here are a few tips on how to give the worst wedding speech ever. (Or here’s what not to do…)

The Bigger the Engagement Ring, The Bigger the Divorce?

Ever find yourself jelly over someone’s massive diamond engagement ring? o-BAD-ENGAGEMENT-RING-facebookCovet not my friend, because two dudes from Emory University did an online economic study of 3,000 married individuals (from mTurk) to see if the size of an engagement is a correlated to divorce rates. Seems it is…

Show Me the Money! Wedding Traditions without the Wage Gap

When it comes to banking on the perfect wedding no one wants to feel like what business woman with lots of moneythey’re doing is perpetuating wage inequality. Sadly, The Feminist Bride calculated that there are, in fact, wedding traditions that sprung directly from the wage gap and people’s historical lack of faith in women’s economic earning power. Rather than spend your time in traditions that are a bad investment, let’s financially reform them.

The Wage Gap in Wedding Traditions? Say It Ain’t So…

It’s hard to believe wedding traditions could be tied to something so nasty as the wage gap. wedding_moneyThat sparkly diamond is supposed to make you feel like a perfect bride under all those layers of satin and waterproof makeup. How could bringing home less than your fair share from the workplace possibly play into the happy tidings of your wedding day? Sadly, it’s totally true. (This is why we also have to write advice like How to Stay Sane While Planning A Wedding.)

Love is Love: The Most Beautiful Depiction of Marriage Equality (VIDEO)

Grab a box of tissues. This is probably the most heartwarming, poetic video I’ve ever seen about couples, relationships and families, and even better it highlights the beauty of same-sex ones. The video is courtesy of Freedom to Marry and Richard Blancothe 2012 presidential inaugural poet, wrote the poem “Until We Could.” Blanco’s poem was commissioned to mark the 10-year anniversary since Massachusetts granted same-sex couples the right to wed,” The Dailey Beast.

Easy Ways To Green Your Wedding

Guest Contributor: Kate Harrison

Most brides don’t realize how wasteful the average wedding can be, but the reality is that the average wedding produces 300-500 pounds of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. When added up, the annual impact of American weddings is like 8.3 million cars driving on the road for a year! The good news is that it has never been easier to go green, and with so many great options, you no longer need to sacrifice your style, theme or budget to it. The trick is keeping an eye on the environment as you move through the planning process and making simple substitutions when possible.

The Most Comprehensive Social Media Wedding Etiquette List Imaginable

The Internet is taking over weddings. Analog Miss Manners probably never 2ee544f1e9b082adc56acbf8443b0d80saw this technological phenomenon coming, so modern couples need new advice on how to use it properly and politely in coordination with your very classy and special day. Without understanding the speed at which information is shared means  technology #fails can easily happen. Here’s some advice on how to navigate the complicated world of wedding social media.

An Engagement Ring’s Second Chance

The idea that diamond engagement rings are bad luck after a failed engagement or marriage 140906-425x282-Return-Engagement-Ringis simply the product of clever jewelry marketing. (Along with the 4 C’s: Cut, Clarity, Color, Cost; two-months salary buy in and just about every other ring tradition.) Jewelers just want you to have an excuse to buy more brand new bling, but what if that didn’t have to be the case?

The Ugly Handiwork of Selfies on Bridal Confidence

Barely anyone in the world can be a hand model like George Costanza on Seinfeld or like David Duchovny on Zoolander, though I bet Melissa McCarthy has really beautiful hands – call it my handy instincts. Trying to live up to their dexterity standards is dangerous, it’s best to just love your paws as they are, but for some soon-to-be brides this is proving a little too difficult.

These are Christa's hands before (left) and after (right) her hand rejuvenation. (Courtesy of Dr. Ariel Ostad) ABC.com

These are Christa’s hands before (left) and after (right) her hand rejuvenation. (Courtesy of Dr. Ariel Ostad) ABC.com

It turns out that some people might love their fiancé and their fancy-pants engagement ring, but they don’t love their hands. And instead of declaring their new engagement news immediately on social media, some soon-to-be brides are headed to the plastic surgeon first.

The Most Feminist Bachelorette Party Imaginable is in Rochester, New York

From Suffragette to Bachelorette, believe it or not, but Rochester, New York is where you can have the most feminist bachelorette party imaginable. It’s true. Ranked as one of the US cities with the best quality of life, it is also home to the women’s rights movement. Any bachelorette party can be feminist because a b-party is really just about women congregating together to celebrate a sister and womanhood in general, but with so Suffragists celebratingmany special women’s activities and locations this is the quintessential one. Having always known of Rochester, I was overwhelmingly impressed with the city during my first visit. From its adorable Victorian era neighborhoods to the Genesee River High Falls, from the preserved architecture to the plethora of museums and the general geniality of the city and the super wealth of American history, needless to say, I have never fallen in love with a city so quickly (then I remembered how cold it gets in the winter and immediately reconsidered my moving there). It also offers a tons of adventurous fun (I covered some options) to balance out its intellectual side – i.e. the perfect place for a feminist bachelorette party. Here’s a list of cultural, feminist and generally fun activities as ideas for your next bachelorette party (you’ll need to rent a car). As a small disclosure, I haven’t done everything but I look forward to one day!

Creating a Socially Responsible Wedding

Fiancés planning a wedding have incredible purchasing power. I’m not just talking about the social_responsibility_1ability to buy two nude ice sculptures in the likeness of the newlyweds for the reception; I’m talking about the kind of purchases and investments that help make the world a better place via your wedding.

FB Movie Review: The Big Wedding

3 Fem Rating SMThe Big Wedding (2013) – A dynamic family converges for the weekend for a famMV5BMTcwODUwMjg2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTc2NzkxOA@@._V1_SX214_AL_ily wedding. Like all typical wedding movies, hijinks ensue because no one wants to be honest about themselves or their sex life. Though to be fair to the movie, there’s a lot of scandal that you don’t see coming. As one character aptly put it – it’s like watching a telenovela. It does sport a strong cast: Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Amanda Seyfried, Katherin Heigl, which makes it pleasant to watch. Though without giving away too much it’s easy to guess that in The Big Wedding, the big lesson in the end is that honesty is always best. Director: Justin Zackham

Part 2: Love on Las Vegas Boulevard – Creating a Wedding Experience      

Click to read first Part 1: Love on Las Vegas Boulevard – Finding Zion

Among the Bail bondsmen, pawnshops, liquor stores and Adult Video purveyors on Las Vegas Boulevard, you’ll find the two most famous wedding chapels in Las Vegas, A Little White Wedding Chapel (ALWWC) and the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel (VLVWC).

10 Wedding Traditions Worth Skipping

If you’re looking for some real advice as to what type of wedding traditions you should skip, look notumblr_lurk61U2S71r6ahc3o1_500 further. Other lists give fluffy advice and are usually limited to things you buy. This top 10 list gives you wedding traditions that are ripe with unfair conditions like sexism or consumerism which can either be thrown out like a garter or bouquet (#8 & #9) or modernized so it treats everyone a little bit better.

Amy Schumer: Bridal Shower Drinking Games FAIL

Amy Schumer and The Feminist Bride both have a lot to say about bridal showers! Here’s a hilarious bit on the type of ladies that love their bridal shower and all the insane and risqué games they like to play at them.

To read more about feminist bride stuff on wedding showers;

How to Give the Best Wedding Shower Gift

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Beware lame bridal shower games

Bridal Shower Blues

Party Planning: Who’s Booking The Stripper and/or Spa?

Creating A Wedding Party: The False Luxury of Many Friends

Not motivated to plan a wedding?

The UK’s Bachelor/Bachelorette Party: Stags and Hens

How to Give the Best Wedding Shower Gift

Since 60% of couples live together before marriage and have all the wondrous as-seen-on-tv stuff already, I find the household giving gift stuff redundant. That’s why I give a nice gift certificate from Victoria Secret and something else sexy to the bride (cuz the groom is barely at these things, lame) with a card that reads, “Pots and pans won’t make a marriage, but good sex can.” Because it’s true and is a lot more fun to give than a butter dish. Seems Comedy Central star, Amy Schumer feels that same!

To read more about feminist bride stuff on wedding showers;

Beware lame bridal shower games

Amy Schumer

Bridal Shower Blues

Party Planning: Who’s Booking The Stripper and/or Spa?

Creating A Wedding Party: The False Luxury of Many Friends

Not motivated to plan a wedding?

The UK’s Bachelor/Bachelorette Party: Stags and Hens

 

Wish Wedding Tradition Never Changed? Think Again

Struggling with planning a wedding? Being a bride today is not nearly as bad as it was 60 years ago! Courtesy of Modern Bride/JezebelJezebel offers some sobering and interesting insights into what weddings and wifedom were like back in the 1950s. The article explores Modern Brides‘ advice to young brides like on selecting an intelligent or a not so intelligent mate,

The average man marries a woman who is slightly less intelligent than he is. That’s why many brilliant women never marry. They do not come in contact with sufficiently brilliant men, or fail to disguise their brilliance in order to win a man of somewhat less intelligence. College males tell us that they want a girl for a wife who is intelligent but makes them feel they are still more intelligent!

If you find yourself agreeing with this antiquity mindset, you might want to loosen that equally outdated girdle you’re wearing. The next time you hear someone talking about how wedding and marriage tradition should be firmly adhered to and never changed to accommodate modern women and same-sex couples, just send them directly to the article to read more horrific advice. And if you’re still convinced there’s a nugget of good advice in there, here’s this hilariously offensive bit of marital insight:

Is He an Agreeable Person—Or An ‘Individualist’”? The agreeable person tends to conform to the norms set by society. Particularly this is important in a girl. For example, she favors prohibition and opposes burlesque shows. She finds it easy to accept leadership when it is directed by ethical considerations. Not liking to be ‘different,’ she wants her marriage to meet community standards.

Where do engagement rings come from?

Thinking about getting an engagement ring? Have you considered whether it’s really worth it? The Feminist Bride has! The stone-cold truth is that the engagement ring and all its connected traditions were invented in a boardroom by folks who wanted to make a profit on your love! Academic College Humor has some very interesting (and might I say very accurate) information on the origins of engagement rings and their real intrinsic value.

Boston Marathon Couple to Get Dream Wedding

If a couple ever deserved a free wedding it’s Rebekah Gregory and Pete DiMartino. Gregory and DiMartino were severely injured in the Boston Marathon Bombing and are still recovering to this day. Gregory broke every bone in her foot and lower leg and DiMartino lost 90% of his Achilles. At the finish line, Gregory shielded her six-year old son, but he too sustained injuries. At separate hospitals and then recovering in different states, DiMartino, knowing they needed to be together, drove from Rochester, New York to Texas to propose.

“Being able to show people that you can take something so horrible and turn it into something so beautiful has been such a blessing for us,” Gregory told The Knot. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to walk down the aisle, but all I want to do is marry the love of my life, Pete.”

The Knot selected them as their 2014 Dream Wedding Couple. I might be biased coming from Boston and being there during that dark time, but out of all the couples you usually see vying for a free wedding on GMA or some other talk show, these two really set the perfect example of who deserves it. After such a tragic event, free wedding or not, these two were going to find a way to get married and be there for each other.

Photo courtesy of TheKnot

Photo courtesy of TheKnot

“[In] the end, we decided our relationship was worth more,” Gregory told People. “We realized that we didn’t have to survive that day -– we could’ve lost one another –- and for me, I knew I didn’t want to spend another day without this guy. For whatever time I have left on Earth I want to be with him.”

Granted, even free stuff comes with a cost – TheKnot users vote on the details of the wedding, but if you’d like to find out more about their story or send the couple a warm congratulations feel free to do so here. Congratulations to a Boston Strong couple!

To Read More - Couple Injured In Boston Marathon Bombing Will Get A Fairy Tale Wedding.

FB Movie Review: The Five Year Engagement

5 Fem Rating SMThe Five Year Engagement (2012) – I might be two years behind writing this review, Five Year Engagementbut it still puts me ahead of Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet’s (Emily Blunt) own ill-fated nuptials. As you can guess the movie is about the quirky mishaps that can easily set young fiances off the marriage track. In the land of comedic rom-coms, FYE holds more character and relationship substance than most. High feminist fives for addressing the complicated politics of managing two ambitious career-driven partners in an egalitarian way! And kudos to writer’s Segel and  for opting to put the lady’s career first. I haven’t seen that done in the movies since Father of the Bride II. I also haven’t seen such a weird sex scene involving lots of condiments and deli meat before. And to top it off, they settle their marriage woes with the most endearing and heartfelt f^$%# off to the wedding industrial complex in the end (you’ll have to watch it to understand). There’s even a female proposal (the last one by my count was in Leap Year with Amy Adams and contrary to what you might think holds very few feminist values). If you’re looking for a good feminist flick on weddings, this one is great and if you’re just into fun movies, it also sports an incredible lineup of talented comedians. (Subjects: Engagements, Wedding Planning, Marriage, Jobs) Director: 

For More Related Stories on Wedding Planning:

Wedding Planning & Planners

Wedding Planning: Motivating the Mister

Manly Men Plan Weddings

VideoHow to Take Out Your Wedding Planning Aggression Elsewhere

Not motivated to plan a wedding?

A Feminist Bride reader asks: “Looking for advice for a feminist bride that doesn’t want to plan oaks-wedding-planning-stressa wedding but her fiance wants the wedding…it’s important to him…”

An engagement is when a couple starts collaborating on the formalities that will lead them to the altar. Marriage is about knowing when it’s more important to support the team and when it’s okay to indulged in (and support the other’s) personal preferences. It is going to the comic book convention when you’d rather have a root canal; but there are trade offs in marriage like when you want to go see a double feature of Nicholas Sparks movies. While planning might be a drag, the engagement period helps work out those teamwork skills. Treat marriage like a sport, if you want to play in the big game – you gotta show up to the practices.

FB TV Review: My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding

2 Fem Rating SMMy Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding (TV – 2012) – Child brides, High School drop outs, first cousin incest, virgin brides, extreme consumerism, fashion nightmares, arranged marriages – TLC reveals that all of this is happening in America’s backyard. TLC dives into yet another cultural minority’s hidden and secret world, this time with Romanichal Gypsies. Given TLC’s penchant for supporting the Wedding Industrial Complex with their other wedding shows, one might expect this to be in line with the rest (and seems to be racing to become the next Jersey Shore).  It does manage to raise the occasional eye on the double standards between the sexes. Girls are restricted to the home, married off at 16 (ish), and are only expected to become mothers and housewives; the men are the breadwinners. Girls on their wedding day must be virgins (many have not even kissed a boy, let alone know their groom well) or else are labeled unfit to be someone’s wife. (It even shared the story of a same-sex wedding, a big taboo in Romanical culture and TLC.)

And the show is not shy about highlighting the tawdry fashion of the community. It often relies on the fashion designer, Sondra Celli to explain the bride’s culture and fashion choices. While the massive, plantation-style wedding gowns run upwards of $10,000 and run amuck with Swarovski Crystals, the day-to-day dress of a Romney is very provactive. Why the Romani lifestyle is quite anti-feminist, they do have feminist fashion leanings. The women in the show often struggle with being called sluts by “gorgers” (non-travellers) for their attire and seductive dancing given that a Romani woman’s innocence is extremely protected and cherished by her family and community. They struggle constantly with discrimination and judgment being placed on them by outsiders, period. Though the show heros even admit part of the sexy outfits is to attract a mate…

The heros of the show describe their culture as extremely family driven, they carry a strong pride within it and are firmly dedicated to keeping the community alive through new generations and upholding traditions – no matter how outlandish they are. My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding is an odd mash up of respectable values, trashy TV, feminist and anti-feminist rhetoric, media exploitation, big personalities and lots and lots of tulle. It’s sort of a train wreck; and it’s impossible to look away.

FB Movie Review: Cheerful Weather for the Wedding

3 Fem Rating SMCheerful Weather for the Wedding (2012) – A rather dry and witty period film MV5BMjEyMzczODAyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzU1MDA3OA@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_set in England visits an anxious and inebriated bride on her wedding day. Downstairs as crotchety guests get ready for the wedding, her lost and uninvited lover arrives with hidden motives. As the bride deliberates on her impending nuptials, remembrances of the last summer return to when the two fell in love. Despite the conflict between two loves – the groom and her lover, there’s a twist to the story that’s hard to see coming – proving that love may not always be what a bride needs to say, ‘I do.” Side note: keep an eye out for the incorrigible boy and his bag full of surprises! Director:  (Subjects: Love, Bride, Wedding, Decision Making)

The UK’s Bachelor/Bachelorette Party: Stags and Hens

A stag (bachelor) and hen (bachelorette) party are something to behold, but in feminist bride fashion first: SpecialEventPartys_StagHenParty_1Why do men get to call their parties after a noble animal, and women get to name theirs after one that poops eggs? Better than naming a group of women after a brood of cackling hens, let’s rename them lioness parties. 

On a 2011 summer trip to Edinburg, Scotland, my spouse and I celebrated our one-year anniversary. What we thought would be a magical weekend full of castles and becoming famous by discovering the Loch Ness monster, ended up being caught in an endless sea of stag and hen parties. Little did we know, Edinburg was party central for them, and little did we know, the romantic room we booked over a pub would be on top of were they all congregated from 10am till 2am (Yes, 10 AM).

What is unique about stag and hen parties is that one; they seem to include people of all ages – your mom’s mom, your aunt, you, all the way to your local librarian it seems. Wondering what all the ruckus was that made our anniversary bed vibrate (it wasn’t us), we wandered into an underground club blasting Katie Perry to Lady Gaga while grandpa got jiggy with it next to some bride-to-be in her 1.99£ tiara, veil and sash.

StagsHensPartiesThe second amazing thing is the dedication to costume these groups have: from sexy sailors to sexy witches to something else sexy. Every hen party is decked out in an outrageous costume. Equally amazing is that while, the stag parties don’t seem to dress up as much there were a lot of men who looked liked they had found an equally drunk girl to pull a phone booth clothing swap. There was always a barely coherent guy in a tilted wig, a mini skirt, trying to balance in high heels on cobblestones while trying not to spill his ale. The next blight, post plague, for this little medieval part of Edinburg seems to be hen and stag parties because many pub doors had written warnings on them reading, “No fancy dress allowed.” For an international b-party, dust off a Halloween costume and head to Edinburg. It was such a sight that on our one-year anniversary, my spouse and I starred at others more than at each other, but we made wonderful memories anyway.

 



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In saying, “I Do,” did you choose wisely?

Stonehill College was nice enough to invite me as the keynote speaker to a panel on gay marriage. As a Catholic school, it had just added anti-hazing based on one’s sexuality to its school charter; and given the recent US Supreme Court decision, same sex marriage was a hot topic on campus. I was joined by two professors one with a law background commenting on the recent US Supreme Court ruling and another who specialized in the gender issues and gay marriage. I decided to talk about choice feminism and how within a hetero framework, women who use the “freedom of choice” to justify patriarchal or socialized gender traditions perpetuate prejudice and discrimination in both sexual spheres. In my lecture, I asked that choice be made not just to the benefit of oneself, but keeping in mind the needs and welfare of others as choice is constraint by many systems, both seen and unseen, and therefore must be made wisely.

A special thanks to Stonehill College. The students and faculty were very welcoming, respectful and engaged; and I appreciate the opportunity to share my ideas and research.

Breaking the Rules Panel. April 2013

FB Movie Review: Ceremony

Ceremony (2010): A quirky and fun independent film of two estranged friends, Sam and Marshall, who set off on a weekend to reconnect, but instead end up crashing a wedding. False pretenses surround the party of eccentric characters as Sam acts like he is a successful author, he and the bride barely know each other, the groom ignores that he knows they had an affair, and Marshall tries to act like everything is okay despite the weekend going horribly wrong for him. Ceremony is a fun, offbeat movie with fast talk and so many oddballs that it certainly keeps you entertained. If you like the weirdness of The Royal Tenenbaums and ill-fated love stories, this movie is for you. (Subjects: Affairs, Wedding, Love) Director: Max Winkler

FB Movie Review: When Harry Tries to Marry

4 Fem Rating SMWhen Harry Tries to Marry (2011): As a result of his parents divorce, young Harry believes arranged marriages are the only way to have a successful marriage. Straight out of college he rushes to employ a matchmaker, gets paired with a very nice match and goes about planning his wedding. Except amid a long-distance relationship… life and love unexpectedly happen. Harry is left to decide between his hardcore beliefs and the natural path that is laid before him. The movie ends on a really good lesson; that life and love cannot be rushed in youth, inexperience and impatience. Time is one of most important assets we can give ourselves. (Subjects: Marriage, Love, Arranged Marriages) Director: Nayan Padrai