Wedding Party

Feminist AF Bachelorette Party Costume Ideas

Take your bachelorette party to the next level with a little help from our overseas sisters, the British. Yes, with their pomp and circumstance our sisters know how to throw down both a scone and a party, especially when it comes to their hen parties. Hen parties are the equivalent of bachelorette parties in the US and they like to get all dolled up in fancy dress (that’s British for costume). Costumes are a great way to unite the party especially if there’s a common theme and antics.

The Purpose of Ring Bearers and Flower Girls

Image: Bustle Events

Image: Bustle Events

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

Why Do Bridesmaids (aka Best Ladies) Dress Alike?

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

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

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

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

 

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!”

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.

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

Image Courtesy of Matt Sayles/Invision AP

Image Courtesy of Matt Sayles/Invision AP

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

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?

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.

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.

Admitting Groomsmen Have It Better Than Bridesmaids

I know that by saying I’d rather be a groomsman over a bridesmaid, it sounds like I’m confirming the old Wedding33Freudian theory that feminism is nothing more than penis envy. Don’t worry Freud, this has nothing to do with penises or mommy issues. I’m merely trying to bring attention to that fact that the role and responsibility of being a bridesmaid has completely turned to the dark side. Bridesmaids used to enjoy the minimal involvement that groomsmen experience today. Nowadays the difference in the responsibilities of the two are a lot like the wage gap; both sexes enjoy the same status and title but bridesmaids are expected to do a hell of a lot more for the same job! I’m campaigning that bridesmaids and groomsmen responsibilities be on par with each other.

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.

How to Give A Kickass Wedding Toast

Not to leave you hanging with how to give the worst wedding speech, here’s some bridesmaids-movie-quotes-9good advice so you can give the most kickass speech ever.

  1. Welcome Everybody and Introduce Yourself: A well-structured speech will always have a warm introduction and introduce you so they know what relationship you have to the newlyweds.
  2. Give Thanks: Give thanks to the big guy in the sky, the weather, and the little people like the caterers or anyone that helped make the special day possible.
  3. Always Stay Positive: Luke Wilson was hilarious when he gave his disastrous speech at Will Ferrell’s wedding in Old School, but only the movies can pull off negative speeches and still be funny without offense. Positive or inspirational speeches pump up the crowd, good vibes will translate to good times at the wedding. Nobody likes a Debby Downer.
  4. Ignore the Jerks Who Talk During Your Speech: Nothing good comes from stopping the speech midway to call out the people with poor manners and attention spans (and there’s a good chance others will do it for you, if that’s the case thank those people and play off the moment by just smiling or giving a quick joke). Never go angry.
  5. Tease (Only If There’s A Compliment in There): I recently gave a speech at my best friends wedding, I teased her family how they kept on stealing the tissues I had intended for the bride but it was adorable because they were so sweetly emotional and showed how much they loved the couple (there was barely a dry eye at the ceremony). They had a good chuckle at my observation. Any teasing that’s not complimentary or positive should be scrapped.
  6. Keep It Short: Attention spans are short at a weddings, everyone just wants to get to the steak dinner, open bar and dance floor. If it’s too long people will just start talking over you and no one is going to feel good about that.
  7. Toast: Cap off your speech by asking everyone to raise his or her glasses to the newlyweds. Maybe sneak in a short blessing too.

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…)

Wedding Traditions that Want to Get You Pregnant

Get ready, we’re gonna get briefly political and then sexy. Yes, pregnant-bride-dressyou should be confused and slightly intrigued right now.

Ever wonder why some people like to argue that marriage is only “between a man and a woman?” Would you believe that the statement is not necessarily about who has a right to marry, but more of a pretext to what marriage is supposed to be for? We’re talking baby making.

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.”

Bummed Out Over Wedding Photo Trends?

I looked up “mooning,” “photography,” and “wedding” in my Miss Manners 7162f1194fb6cd4c3e418da9b07d06acbook in the hopes that Miss M would provide some civil insight into the recent wedding trend of the bridal party baring their derrières for a photo op. Surprisingly, she had no personal opinions on the matter.

Bad Bridesmaid Dresses #TBT

In honor of Throw Back Thursday, here are a selection of bridesmaid dresses which in retrospect may not have been such a good choice.

1. Cuz nothing says metallic like the 80s.

Battle of the Bridesmaids

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Murray Crashes Bachelor Party, Offers Advice

I’ve heard of Bill Murray’s surprise exploits, like when he stole a Wendy’s french fry from a imagesguy and subsequently told him, “Nobody’s going to believe you.” And I’m secretly hoping, that I too, bump into him somewhere wondering into a hipster party in Brooklyn.

A bachelor party of Boston College graduates in Charleston, North Carolina had such luck though. Watch it here.

Murray offered this sage advice to the groom before quickly disappearing, “If you have someone that you think is the one … take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And … when you land at JFK and you’re still in love with that person, get married.”

I couldn’t agree more with advice and I couldn’t be more jealous. I would love to have Mr. Murray (or Bill, as we’d soon be on a name to name basis) give a surprise toast for me…basically anywhere, my bachelorette party (“Whose the penis tiara modeled after?”), my wedding (“The open bar is on me!), my honeymoon (“Give it the ole college try!”), the bathroom (“Keep up the good work!”). Though I can’t help but think what female comedian would be equally awesome to give such bachelorette advice…Fey, Pohler, Barr, Handler, Choo, Crawford? If only more comedians or celebrities crashed toasts…

To Read About More Good Speeches!

Speech! Speech! The History of the Wedding Toast

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.

Battle of the Bridesmaids

From the Golden Girls to Sex and the City, groups of women bonded by breasts, baggage and Battle of the Bridesmaidsbiology come together to celebrate being women. This celebratory sorority is most evident when a bride calls together the most important people in her life to be a bridesmaid. Bridesmaids gather to offer advice and support when needed, and laughter and levity when required; yet, brides’ egregious demands have formed the monster called Bridezilla. Suddenly, she treats her nearest and dearest with behavior that borders on verbal and monetary abuse, in what is mistaken as bridal entitlement.

Wedding March to Your Own Tune

If you’re willing to take risks and stand out, walking down the aisle to your own tune can really set in motion a lifetime with someone full of exciting risks and solid rewards, like the JK wedding in 2005 who created a YouTube viral video sensation. 

In a church ceremony, the wedding party of fifteen, carrying Gerber Daisies and decked out in sunglasses, broke into a fever of dance moves to Chris Brown’s, Forever. By 2013, the video had received over 82 million views and sparked the TV series, The Office to copycat it in an episode. Best of all, after hearing about the devastating domestic violence Chris Brown inflicted on singer, Rihanna; newlyweds Jill and Kevin decided to put their viral video to good use. From 2010 to 2011, the video managed to raise $34,600 for the Sheila Wellstone Institute that helps to prevent domestic violence. Traditions don’t always have to be broken, but look what good can come from those who do break from it.

But there are always those who may not always chose wisely. While you may be capturing a personal joke, sentiment or feel like you’re being totally honest about who you are – there is such as too much. Checking the lyrics is also really important. It seems the bride below must have known the lyrics to Buckcherry’s Crazy Bitch song as it’s hard to miss the bride air humping down the aisle: “You’re crazy bitch, But you fuck so good, I’m on top of it, When I dream, I’m doing you all night, Scratches all down my back to keep me right on.

Everyone loved the dirty wedding band in Old School, but it’s a different story when it’s real life, especially when parent’s have to earmuff their children at the ceremony (as seen in the video below). Though if you’re super into this idea, The Dan Band tours and might just be able to come play at your wedding. Just put a parental advisory rating on your wedding invitation.

 

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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Creating A Wedding Party: The False Luxury of Many Friends

At a wedding, not only do you celebrate the love you have for someone else, you also ask friends to celebrate this love with you! In today’s wedding culture, there’s this unspoken pressure to make a wedding and a wedding party a big family and friends affair. The size of a wedding party mythically indicates how rich in relationships a couple is; sort of like the more friends you have, the more popular you seem; and the grander the processional, the more seemingly expensive the wedding. Since society values relationships above all else, the number of bridesmaids and grooms is considered a sign of a person’s or couple’s emotional and relational success. However, what if quantity does not always imply quality?

Movie Review: Bachelorette

Bachelorette (2012): The Hangover and Bridesmaids, this movie, is not (but it tries really hard to be). Despite featuring actresses and actors I really enjoy and my doppleganger, K. Dunst, there’s little brilliance they could bring to this script. To start, this is a good example of how good-hearted humor goes much farther than mean-spirited humor and there was a lot of the later in the movie. From making fun of the bride for being fat, calling strippers skanks, and calling bulimics messed up in the head just to name a few feel-good gems, it got really good with the profuse use of calling just about everyone the C-word. Then there was the scene that pretty much encouraged one groomsmen to take advantage of an inebriated bridesmaid. And he should get over his moral anxiety by taking a Xanax so he can take advantage of the drunk girl who was G.T.G. (good to go). There was one redeeming moment when the bridesmaids start arguing with a strip club doorman about how misogynistic it is for women to need a male escort in order to enter the premises, but that was short-lived. I’m all for raunchy comedy, but the degenerate humor just came off as…degenerate, unlike its predecessor movies that managed to take off-color comedy and make it fun and clever. Director: Leslye Headland

How Well Balanced Is Your Name Change Decision?

I created this ‘Name Change Cultural Spectrum’ for a lecture I gave at Tufts University this spring. I wanted people to understand where their decisions stand in the broader context of equality. For example, a lot of women who retain their surname but also incorporate their new spouse’s name through hyphenation will defend their decision as being progressive or feminist or seemingly more about equality. If you look on the spectrum, that one-sided name change is not as based on equality as we might like to think, especially since men typically do not join women in this one-sided hyphenation.

Also to show that existing name change culture does not encourage equality, I had to invent the term Neutronymics. Neutronymics is the adoption of a new name or combination of names created using the names of married individuals or the retention of separate surnames. It is meant to be a solution to those wishing to participate in neither patronymics nor matronymics and to increase name equality. Mutual hyphenation, the Scrabble Name Game and Surname Retention are all options people are aware of, but had never been grouped before or labeled. Labeling it gives it legitimacy and really puts into perspective the other options that favor one sex over another.

So when it comes time for you to get married and you’re not sure if you’re making the right decision that honors yourself and/or your partner – take a look at the Name Change Culture Spectrum. See where your decision places on the map and you’ll get a better sense as to whether you are helping to buck the dominating patriarchy, are alone in your name change decisions or are making a healthy decision that really promotes equality in your relationship and teaches women to value their name too. And if you’re a lady getting married, don’t forget to make the groom put in the same type of name change consideration you are putting in yourself!

Why Women Change Their Last Names After Marriage

 

Wedding Invitation Name Etiquette

The Lucy Stone League: Crusaders for more name equality!

Platonic Politics: Inviting an Ex to Your Wedding

People are in an uproar because Prince William and Kate Middleton, wedding trendsetters of the 21st century, are (gasp!) inviting their exes to their wedding. People just can’t seem to jump on board with this one, which tells me there are one too many unrepaired, broken hearts out there. If these wedding icons can say to their amorous past, “Let bygones, be bygones,” it’s a little bit of egg on the face to those who can’t.

The Last Hurrah

It’s the last call, the final mile, and the end of an era.  It’s the time you spend saying goodbye to  singlehood: It’s the bachelor/bachelorette party.

It’s a night that strikes fear into the hearts of many a young lover – where fiancés disappear in the night to sow wild oats; where irresistible strippers spread their legs for the almighty dollar; where “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is more than just a motto, it’s a credo; and where the ability to remember the night’s events is worn either as a medal of honor or as a sign of disgrace.

The event itself has historically been the man’s day, yet women are now taking part as well. Some women dare to rival the debauchery of bachelor parties, but many also insist upon propriety and decorum above this one “get-out-of-jail free” card.  No matter your taste in parties, it’s important to make sure the party is a representation of your ideals – not what other people think a bachelorette party should entail or how a woman should act.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t believe this momentous night is about saying goodbye to singlehood. Whether you’re the bride with the “suck-for-a-buck” t-shirt, or want to form a sewing circle, a bachelorette party is more about bonding with friends – of all genders.  Traditionally, this is a same-sex party, and while I’m all for ladies’ nights, women keep anatomically dissimilar friends these days.  So invite your guy friends! There is no rulebook that says a bachelorette party has to be ”just the girls.”

We’ve all seen the trend where opposite-sex friendships dissolve because a significant other felt threatened, or that eventually the lady felt like the male friendship was inappropriate, whether it really was or not. What does it say about a relationship that limits with whom you can be friends? If you value a friendship of the opposite sex, it’s important to honor it, and if your partner values you, then he should respect these friendships as well. It’s a powerful testament to see brides make a man a bridesmaid, and vice versa. A relationship is stronger when a partner can accept friends of all shapes, sizes and anatomy.

As my friends and I brainstormed on my own party, we stopped to consider the girls in relationships – would their boyfriends and husbands approve of a bachelorette trip…to Vegas?  We quickly noted the folly of this thought process – we considered ourselves progressive women, yet even we have been conditioned to look to our men for approval. Yes, it’s respectful to share information about the event, but we women have autonomy to make decisions, exercise that right, even if they are unpopular ones. So chose Vegas or whatever type of event that makes the night a happy one for yourself.

There are double standards when it comes to the party scene as well. Though equal opportunity partying is expected, it is still common for partners to be manipulated into thinking that if one partner abstains (for example, from seeing a stripper), the other should be held to the same standard.  The desire to party hardy and see a stripper does not by default mean a partner is straying from the relationship (there’s a no touch policy in the strip joints anyway). Sayonara-singlehood parties do have a bad reputation, but a relationship falters not because of the nature of the party, but because of deeper, rooted issues in the relationship. If trust cannot be shown even in the brief presence of a stripper or just amongst friends, how can it ever be earned before you get to the altar?

Having experienced a bachelorette party or two already, I was constantly dismayed at how most women treated this opportunity.  Most wanted to go to the beach and read – no alcohol, no scantily clad men, no penis pops or disastrous costumes only suitable for Halloween parties – not because it’s what they wanted, but because of a belief that this type of behavior was unbecoming and inappropriate since they were soon to be someone’s wife. In asking these ladies the reasons behind their choices, they simply explained, “those days are over for me.”  These ladies, who in college did keg stands, flashed their assets and spent many a night praying to the porcelain god, could not let their hair down for one night. It is perfectly fine to move past college nights of drunken debaucheries – BUT – there’s no need to assume sainthood just because we’re putting a ring on our fingers.  Neither extreme is a fair representation of who we are or who we will be, because the truth of the matter is once we do marry, we’re still the same girls who ran naked through the quad freshman year. History does not have to repeat itself, but we also don’t have to abandon it either.  Your partner loves you for who you are now, not who you will become.  Don’t change and compromise yourself because you think you have to as a wife.

The truth is there is no such thing as a “last hurrah.”  We said goodbye to singlehood the moment we stepped into a monogamous relationship.  A bachelor/bachelorette party is not a chance to experience singlehood for “one last time” – it’s a chance for camaraderie with your closest friends, to laugh, to relax. These parties are harmless, but when more power is given to its stereotypes over trust in a long-term relationship, it’s a sign of weaknesses in the relationship.  If these issues come to light, it is my hope that the partner has enough confidence to reassess the relationship, or at least address the real issue at hand. If there is real trust and each partner understands the true reasons behind hosting a bachelor/bachelorette, which is friendship, then there should be no limitations in the style of a bachelorette party.  We should be free to be ourselves amongst our friends, men and women alike – be it a night full of shots or a relaxing day at the spa.

FB Movie Review: Ready or Not?

Ready or Not (2009) – With the Hangover coming out in the same year, its hard to say which movie came first but they are exactly the same except this one is less humorous. The groomsmen use an over-the-top bachelor party to kidnap the groom to Mexico a week before his wedding. Everything starts going terribly awry from jumping out of a crashing plane to angering a mobster, from getting put in jail to being put in front of an execution squad. The question of the movie is is the groom ready to leave his bros behind for marriage? (Subject: Groomsmen, Groom, Bachelor Party, Comedy) Director: Sean Doyle

 

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day!

30 Rock’s lovably quirky Liz Lemon introduced us to Anna Howard Shaw Day. Despite the obtuse and ridiculous plots brought to us by the hijinks of Tracy Jordan, the grifts of Jenna Maroney, and the power-clashing of Jack Donaughy, Liz Lemon’s seemingly invented day to avoid Valentine’s Day, Anna Howard Shaw Day is in fact a real day. With Tina Fey as a confessed feminist, it’s no surprise this reference made it into her highly acclaimed TV show. Here is a day we can celebrate alongside our snarfing and night cheese binges with pride and in public.

Anna Howard Shaw (February 14, 1847 – July 2, 1919) was born in England and came to Lawrence, Massachusetts at the age of 2. Her father sent her mother and five siblings away to fend for themselves on a desolate farm in remote northern Michigan. Her childhood sounds very similar to the story in Agnes Smedley ‘s Daughter of Earth. Shaw’s mother also suffered considerably from her inability to support a family. Shaw tried to fill the shoes a son would by doing much of the labor work around the farm. Eventually, she became a teacher to help support the family. When the opportunity to become the first ordained female Methodist minister arose, she took advantage of it even when her friends and family offered to pay for her college education if she stopped preaching.

After graduating from Albion College (where she had to support herself because she kept preaching), she went onto Boston University’s School of Theology in 1876 where she had the sinking feeling of, “the abysmal conviction that [she] was not really wanted there.” She was the only female amongst 42 men. There is now a Anna Howard Shaw Center at Boston University School of Theology that promotes structures and practices that empower women and honor diversity.

A strong support of female suffragism, Shaw met  Susan B. Anthony in 1888. She convinced Anthony to unite two women’s groups to form the National Woman Suffrage Association, of which she became president from 1904 to 1915. Eventually the group became more militant in its protest. Shaw opposed to such tactics eventually resigned from her post. Her dedication to women’s suffrage never abated though. During World War I, Shaw was head of the Women’s Committee of the United States Council of National Defense, for which she became the first woman to earn the Distinguished Service Medal. Shaw died a few months before the ratification 19th amendment due to pneumonia.

A woman of many firsts in the United States, she was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000. Her birthday on February 14th stands as an alternative to Valentine’s Day to celebrate the power and independence of women. In addition to celebrating Anna Howard Shaw Day, here is another Valentine’s Day alternative.

Happy Galentine’s Day!

On February 13th, what will you be doing to treat your favorite gals on Galentine’s Day?

Parks & Recreation

Parks & Recreation

Full Lecture: The Sexy and Sexist Layers of the Wedding Cake

Katrina Majkut, founder of TheFeministBride.com, speaking on “The Sexy and Sexist Layers of the Wedding Cake

Feminist Fight for Change, Not The Wedding Bouquet

(This post first appeared 4/17/2010) Come July, I am marrying a man, I will wear white, I will Bouquet Toss Teresa_Tam_bouquet tosseven wear high heels (for at least a portion of the wedding) and I call myself a feminist.  As a bride and a feminist, my goal is to dissect the formal, patriarchal institution of weddings in order to modernize the practice and align with current women’s rights.  So, because this is a topic that I have been actively thinking on for months, it came as no surprise to me when Jessica Valenti, feminist and author of Full Frontal Feminism and the website www.Feministing.organnounced her marriage to a man and her intention to wear a bridal gown.  The overwhelming discontent and criticism from Valenti’s feminist readership, on the other hand, was a surprise.

Walk Down the Aisle to Your Own Tune

Feminist Bride Movie Review – 27 Dresses

27 Dresses (2008) – A young women (played by Kathering Heigl) has always been a bridesmaid and never a bride, but the lucky owner of 27 hideous bridesmaid dresses. While the movie is a classic, predictable rom-com and Heigl’s character tends to be a pushover when it comes to the wishes of needy brides, she never manages to attend to her needs (and love life). The movie is a good look at the obscene financial commitment and dedication bridesmaid devote to their engaged friends, but also how totally vain and based in consumerism it can be as well. Director: Anne Fletcher (Subject: Bridesmaid, Consumerism, Love, Money, Vanity, Clothes)

Petition Asks Bert And Ernie To Get Married On Sesame Street

Despite Ernie, a lifelong bachelor, amorously announcing his preferred partner with the statement, “Rubber ducky you’re the one…I’m awfully fond of you,” people are insisting that Ernie is in fact, partners with his lifelong roommate Bert.

With gay marriage now legal in New York (aka Sesame Street), people are taking a hard look at whether this lifetime arrangement is nothing more than a “Boston Marriage.” Lair Scott with Change.org is starting a petition for Sesame Street to have its first gay couple and marriage. Since Sesame Street has always been a trailblazer in adjusting kids to socially hard issues, it seems only natural that Sesame Street address concerns expressed in the gay community. Of particular concern for Scott is the high incidence of suicides by gay people, who hopes that by creating a gay couple on Sesame Street kids will learn to be “tolerant of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives.”

Fun Wedding Cultural Fact – The Baraat

Baraat (Hindi: बरात, Urdu: برات) is a bridegroom’s wedding procession in North India and Pakistan. In North Indian communities, it is customary for the bridegroom to travel to the wedding venue (often the bride‘s house) on a mare, accompanied by his family members.

Military gay couples still won’t enjoy benefits

Despite the recent repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” gay service members still face considerable discrimination. While other states are providing equal marriage benefits to gay couples as we speak, the US military and Pentagon will maintain its stance on gay marriage based on the “1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act — which defines marriage for federal program purposes as a legal union between a man and woman” Meaning legal gay marriages will not and can not access the same rights as straight married couples through the Defense Department such as subsidized costs of medical care, travel, housing and other living expenses.

Thin wife key to happy marriage!

A recent study revealing that skinny wives, or wives with a lower BMI (Body Mass Index: a person’s height to weight ratio) enjoy happier marriages. Funny thing is there’s an increase in women who marry shorter men… So before you start handing your bowl of ice cream over to hubby, the University of Tennessee study only used a sample group of 169 married couples under 35, which is not much of a study to make serious conclusions. But thanks for putting it out anyway, your inadequate findings should really help wives feel better about their body image and state of their marriage.

To read more: Thin wife key to happy marriage! – Times Of India.

FB Movie Review: I Do & I Don’t

I Do & I Don’t (2007) – A couple undergoes marriage counseling from a dysfunctional married couple. The ‘never have I ever’ games played within the sessions sends the young couple into spiraling doubt as to whether or not they get married. Ultimately, despite multiple uncomfortable nude scenes, overbearing parents, infidelity and sexual harassment by the counselors, the young couple realize that marriage and love is about embracing the perfection and imperfection in our relationships and partners. Director Steve Blair. (Subject: Marriage, Relationships, Comedy)

FB Movie Review: Wedding Weekend

Wedding Weekend (2006) – A seven-man college a cappella group is Wedding Weekendbrought back together, fifteen years later, to sing at the wedding of one of their friends. While practicing for their big performance, the guys realize that they each lack harmonywith themselves, as friends and with their spouses. Things crescendo as hijinks ensue, ultimately resulting in a rock bottom note. The singers finally realize that life, relationships and marriage can’t be worked out if you’re sitting in the audience. To harmonize, you have to join in and sing the right notes. (Subjects: Men, Marriage, Relationships)

FB Movie Review: The Groomsmen


The Groomsmen (2006) – A wedding movie about the emotional roller coasters caused by the life changes a wedding can bring. What makes this movie interesting is that the stereotypical drama doesn’t come from an anxious bride or crazy bridesmaids, but from the groom and his groomsmen. Each guy deals individually with the change a wedding and marriage can cause – from more responsibility, from children to infertility issues, to accepting ones sexuality and to letting go of one’s glory days. Director Edward Burns does a good job of giving gravitas to each issue. I only wish when it came to similar women’s film, they were given the same luxury instead of being frequently portrayed as irrational drama queens. (Subjects: Grooms, Wedding, Life)

Judd Apatow Puts on Some Panties in ‘Bridesmaid’

Having turned 18 at the birth of the Sex and the City era, college and adulthood came at a time when sexual expression and alcohol could be worn like Girl Scout badges, proudly and with accomplishment. It was the best of times (that I could remember) and the worst of times (that were gladly hazy). The graduates of the millennium celebrated leaving the sophomoric comedy of American Pie and blissfully embraced the gratuitous ass shots of Will Ferrell. And just as quickly as we got on “double-secret-probation” in college,” we just as quickly matriculated from it. Now working stiffs and pissed off about having $160,000 in college debt, Judd Apatow appeared to ease our pain with raunchy and outrageous humor.