Alternatives

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!

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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! 

8 Songs for a Father-Son Wedding Dance

Photo by Kathryn Krueger Photography

Photo by Kathryn Krueger Photography

There’s simply no reason why a groom can’t dance with his dad or the man who raised him. It doesn’t have to be with just mom because some outdated dance tradition dictates that formal dancing should be with someone of the opposite sex. So in keeping with the post, 8 Songs for a Mother-Daughter Wedding Dance (which explains the selection criteria too), here are a eight potential songs to cut a rug with dad.

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?”

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.

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.

 

 

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).

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.

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

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.

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…”

‘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?”

Jewelry that Empowers Survivors of Human Trafficking

Free Bird BraceletsFor this Feminist Fashion Friday, take a moment to think about the jewelry you are wearing right now – who made it? By buying it, did it help someone in need or make the world a better place? Here at The Feminist Bride jewelry often comes under scrutiny due to the wedding industrial complex or how it can sometimes negatively affect gender equality; but sometimes there’s jewelry that creates positive social welfare and makes an amazing difference in the lives of women and their families. Relevée jewelry does just that, and we love socially conscious options for weddings. Founder and Executive Director of Made by Survivors, Sarah Symons explains how Relevée jewelry is made not only by women but specifically helps survivors of human trafficking in South Asia. So if you need to buy your best ladies, your bride, your mother of the bride/groom, your local mailwoman or just a friend a gift consider Relevée jewelry first. Here’s more on how amazing and socially minded it is.

Why Do Brides ‘Trash The Dress?’

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Tamagni Photography

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Tamagni Photography

Allegedly, trashing the dress became a thing circa 2001 courtesy of Las Vegas wedding photographer, John Michael Cooper. Cooper may have gotten the idea as early as 1998 when he watched an episode of Sunset Beach, in which Meg Cummings threw a massive tantrum and her bridal self into the ocean after her wedding was interrupted. And from there an idea was born, “I can make this type of crazy, sexy.” With the average wedding dress costing $1,211, it’s hard to imagine why a bride would want to demolish a dress that Oscar de la Renta described as “the most important dress in the life of a woman,” so the question remains, why destroy it?

Pst! Bridesmaids Are Not Your Personal Maids

il_570xN.392967110_huviWhat it means to be a bridesmaid these days has run amuck. Once upon an ancient to Victorian time, a bridesmaid’s main job was to dress like the bride as a divergence to evil demons who wished to dispel bad luck on the bride (think how Pippa Middleton diverted everyone’s attention). Nowadays, the duties of a bridesmaid are endless. It includes being a shoulder to cry on, party planner, envelope licker, penis paraphernalia collector, moral compass, yes-woman, Mother of the Bride interference runner, 24/7 on-call support, mind reader, errand girl, attention giver and wine supplier at every occasion. And to boot bridesmaids get to buy their boss multiple presents, spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on travel and buy their own work uniform that they will wear once.

Does that sound like a job you want?

Can Guests Wear White to A Wedding?

Castle Hill weddingWearing white is difficult. You gotta wear matching colored underwear or none at all. You can’t get caught in the rain, especially if you chose not to wear that underwear. As women you gotta be extra secure when your Aunt Flo is in town or when you’re eating a meatball sub. You can’t wear it after Labor Day because some snobby rich, white people in the 19th century said you can’t, but never elaborated when that rule is lifted, meaning technically you can’t wear it all year. But you can wear it if you’re part of a private tennis club, in a cult, getting baptized or a bride…

Oh ya, and most people and etiquette books will tell you it’s a huge no-no to wear white to a wedding, but is that really the case?

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.

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.

Solange Knowles, Caped Crusader of Avant-Garde Wedding Fashion 

Contributing Writer: Sally Pillay

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Feminist Fashion Friday: With a modern twist of unique elegance, Solange Knowles and longtime boyfriend Alan Ferguson married over the weekend. Pair that with a star-studded guest list including the one and only Queen B and husband, Jay-Z, and you’ve got my attention.

Counting at least six bridal outfits through the wedding weekend, Solange started at her rehearsal dinner with a v-neck, bell sleeved dress by Ellery with golden Loeffler Randall heels. This ensemble was just a mere taste of the fashion delicacies to follow!

Prior to their wedding ceremony, Solange and Alan arrived on two white bicycles. Solange donned a sexy low cut Stéphane Rolland jumpsuit with a cape. (LOVE!) The groom sported a white Lanvin suit. (Way to make an entrance!) Now the only thing that can get me more excited than a bride bucking traditional trends is a bride in a jumpsuit and a cape. Pair that with a bicycle, and I’m speechless.

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.

10 Other Wedding Traditions Worth Skipping

Oh yes there’s more! In addition to the 10 The Feminist Bride has already covered, cat-throwing-brideshere are 10 more wedding traditions worth skipping. Don’t worry there are solutions for all of them! And yes, that’s a bride throwing a cat…and no, it’s not on this ten list. Sorry cats.

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 Wedding Heel Gets Footloose and Fancy-Free

One of the amazing things about living in New York City is that there’s no point in fretting about what you’re wearing or how you’re wearing it; there’s always someone else that took a much bigger fashion risk. For example, I was at an art exhibition opening at the Brooklyn Art Museum for Killer Heels. One patron was wearing a purple cape, another dressed like Colonel Sanders and someone else was wearing wire boxes for a hat. In New York City, anything goes when it comes to fashion. And so should it be as a bride, even if you’re not in New York City. For all the pomp and circumstance and Benjamins that go into dressing for the big day, why not take a leap of faith with your footwear? After all, most people won’t see your shoes underneath that long gown. And it’s a little extra fun knowing you’ve bucked the traditional white satin. Heels? Forget about them! They’re just going to come off eventually anyway as you dance into the night. Here are some awesome alternative wedding shoe ideas so your feet and your fashion can be footloose and fancy-free on your wedding day.

 

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.

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.

Hold up: Is the Term ‘Bridesmaid’ Kind of Sexist?

Check out my article on Zooey Deschanel’s lifestyle website HelloGiggles.commaxresdefault

“Being a bridesmaid has always been a coveted spot for women. It’s right up there with the titular role of BFF. But what if I told you being called a bridesmaid was really the linguistic equivalent of frenemy? It’s hard to believe, but hear me out.”

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.

Creating Social Good with Your Wedding Registry

http://www.kiva.org/lend/753659

Image: KIVA. In this Group: Saraswati, Tikeswar, Sapuri, Manorama, Ketaki, Upasi, Sumanti, Jamuna, Sumitra

Feeling like a traditional gift registry is an egregious imposition to ask for more stuff that you already have? Or an archaic gendered tradition? Suspicious that asking for money as a gift throws every etiquette book into a blazing book burning fire? Here’s an option that gives the newlyweds tremendous good karma  - consider a micro finance registry. The beauty of having guests contribute to micro finance loan account is that it generously gives to those in more immediate need and then eventually the newlyweds when their the ones in need. To read more about this idea, check out The Feminist Bride article on Green Bride Guide

Feminist Fashion Friday: Betsey Johnson’s Marriage Equality Runway

I never know what to make of Betsey Johnson. She’s kinda like your great Aunt that’s a total wild card, who curiously resembles your thirteen year old niece, who’s currently finding herself by defying convention. When it comes to fashion, she’s a great reminder of how far fashion can go and how much you don’t have to give a hoot about other people’s opinions so long as you’re happy.

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.

17 Celebrities who said, “I don’t,” to the white wedding gown

Here are 17 celebrities who decided to buck the traditional white wedding down one way or another.

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Camilla Parker finally wed Prince Charles in 2005. Her dress is beautiful, though it's explanation is as complicated as her long time princely romance: "She wore an elegant cream silk dress and matching oyster silk basket weave coat. The silk chiffon dress was hemmed with vertical rows of Swiss-made appliqued woven disks. She completed the outfit with pale beige suede shoes with almond-colored toes designed by L. K. Bennet, a Philip Treacy wide-brimmed cream-coloured straw hat overlaid with ivory French lace and feathers, and a purse made from embossed calf leather with a half flap closing and suede lining, from Launer’s “East/West” collection."
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How to be Announced as Newlyweds

Taking your first steps as a child are a big deal, so are the ones you and your spouseLady-with-megaphone-008-e1373245414958 take together as newlyweds. Who wouldn’t want to step off on the right foot into a lifetime of marital bliss? It’s not the actual steps one takes at the reception that matters (though knowing how to walk in high heels under layers of tulle is a feat unto itself); it’s how the Master of Ceremonies introduces the couple that makes a big difference.

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?

Dating Solutions on Giving Out Your Phone Number

Finally, there’s a solution for when you don’t want to give your phone number toUntitled-1_copy_2757471b creepy people, but don’t want to be rude either because as the bell Hooks hotline explains, “because we’re [women] raised to know it’s safer to give a fake phone number than to directly reject an aggressive guy.”

Feminist author bell Hooks has created the Feminist Phone Intervention Hotline for anyone to use when faced with the dating dilemma of giving out your phone number to a stranger. When you’re just not that into the suitor, you can just give them the phone number (669) 221-6251.

Reality TV Marries Strangers at First Sight 

What would it take for you to marry a complete stranger?marriedatfirstsight_16x9_1600

In New York City, with a population of 8 million, there are at least 600 people who can’t find a mate worthy of marriage. What’s their solution (or last resort) to this conundrum in the dating digital age? An “extreme social experiment” hosted by FYI TV (part of the A&E network) where four highly educated and trained professionals will match them up with the soul mate they couldn’t find independently. Sounds like a really high end dating service, right? Not quite, the catch is you can only meet this soul mate if you’re willing to marry them sight unseen.

Planning A City Slicker’s Themed Bachelorette Party

I love City Slickers (1991) with Billy Crystal; so when my engaged friend and I decided on a ranch IMG_1510experience for her bachelorette party I said yeehaw! Having a bachelorette party where chaps were more appropriate than ChapStick was a wonderful reprieve from the standard b-parties at bars. They still have a lot in common too, so don’t think you’ll be missing out. Still a festive b-party, we naturally wanted to ride some animals – though this time is would be of the four-legged variety.

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.

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.

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.

Wedding Cake: Feeding Time in Other Faiths

There are many non-Western cultures and faiths that practice magnanimous food sharing. Ukrainian korovaiIn the Jewish faither, there’s the ‘Yihud’ that provides a secluded moment for the newlyweds to feed each other their first meal as a married couple. And during the ‘kiddushin’ (betrothal ceremony) the bride and groom share wine during a blessing.

Wedding Cake Costs A Lot of Dough!

The cost of the wedding cake can be anywhere from a few dollars to $15 a slice; making it, depending money cakeon your number of guests, almost as costly as hiring a really bad DJ. While it’s a scrumptious tradition and a beautiful, artistic creation, the cost-benefit of the cake is outrageously high. Couples pay for a cake that costs nearly as much as one roundtrip honeymoon flight, lasts fifteen minutes, has enough sexual context to make a priest blush and always has leftovers that get thrown out – so is it really worth it? I can’t answer that for you, but from sexy tradition to sexy fact, I can only try to put it into a not-so sexy perspective for you.

Not everyone is ready to cut the cake. Budget constraints or taste buds might deter a couple from offering a wedding cake. Candy, chocolate or ice cream bars are fun alternatives. If newlyweds want to dangle gummy worms in front of mouths or twist open Oreos together instead – go for it. But let’s be honest, when it comes to a couple tasting and feeding each other wedding cake, none of us will ever come to being as sexy as Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger in 9 ½ Weeks so don’t even try (and yes, Mickey Rourke used to look like that). At least we can all agree nothing feels better than corn syrup euphoria.

For more related articles:

The Wedding Cake: Go Big or Go Home

Is Cutting The Cake A Gross Or Delicious Display of PDA?

Gov’t Shutdowns Wedding, Steven Colbert Shotguns Wedding Instead

A fiance leaving their partner at the altar is the least of a couples’ problems, especially these days as the government shutdown leaves both fiances stranded without a venue. The closure of national monuments and parks may have left vacationers out in the cold, but what about those looking to have a warm start to a new life together? Have no fear, Steven Colbert is here.

Mike and MaiLien hit the media lamenting their cancelled wedding at the Jefferson memorial, which marks the place of their first date.   Luckily, Steven Colbert, ordained minister of the American Marriage Ministries, swooped in to marry the couple on his TV show, The Colbert Report. Nothing says romantic better than Steven Colbert shotgunning a wedding while shotgunning shots, Smokey the Bear, Saul Goodman from Homeland and lots of shots. When America is stuck in the mud and couples need to say, ‘I do’ there’s always Super Minister Colbert to save the day.