Whether or not to invite kids to a wedding is a one decision, but the bigger decision 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.
First, there are a few reasons and motivations to modernize them. One is to remove motherhood pressure from women, so that deciding to become a mother is truly a personal choice. It also removes judgment from those who don’t want children. Making marriage less about baby making and opening up its meaning loosens its ties to being exclusively heterosexual too. This greatly benefits marriage equality.
However, it’s important to take into account that some same-sex relationships also want to start families. Having them participate in the superstitious baby-making customs also challenges the old school perceptions of marriage and family as only for straight people. So the question then becomes how can modernization accommodate the freedom to be childless but also the freedom for all to have children?
My suggestion is better cultural education with modernization. These days, most traditions are practiced for the “sake of it.” Few actually know why we have wedding cake or why there are flower girls. Becoming aware of their fertile symbols and then seeing say, a same-sex couple with flower girls in their ceremony, changes how people perceive who can create a family. Simply opting out of these traditions is one great option or actively reasserting new meaning is another. For example, instead of associating these traditions with reproductive sex why not leave it as good sex. No one in their right mind will argue against superstitions that promote good sex.
The most important element to making weddings more egalitarian is awareness and then action. For those who liked more itemized solutions to each sexy wedding tradition, here you go!
1. Getting Married in June: Couples marry in June for a variety of reasons, which has made the month trendy and popular for nuptials. The great solution if you absolutely don’t want kids is that there are eleven other months to choose from, which probably have lower location fees anyway! My best advice is just to own when you get married. If you love fall and apple cider then push that fact instead of following the association of death in autumn. If you love Halloween or the Day of the Dead, spin that angle too. If the only thing you can think of is having a small basketball team for a family, by all means, marry in June.
2. The Flower Girl and Ring Bearer: These guys are easy to exclude from the ceremony if you don’t like their symbolism. If you must have your niece or nephew participate somehow there are plenty of other ways to incorporate them, like having a six-year-old give the reception speech (how can that not go viral?). The parents will also probably thank you for not having to buy an expensive dress or suit they’ll only wear once. If you want to keep them, consider both throwing the pedals as opposed to keeping the gender assignments like only the boy carries the ring.
3. Flowers as Decoration: You can do like Kate Middleton and use trees are decorative alternatives. There are plenty of alternative centerpieces that don’t have to be flowers – like votives or photo collage trees or ribbons. The wedding party can carry origami or vintage jewelry bouquets too. The best part about alternatives is that they are most likely renewable and more environmentally friendly.
4. Bridal Shower Ribbon Cutting Game: This alternative is pretty simple and F^&*ing awesome, for every ribbon cut…an orgasm on your wedding night. Cut away my friend, cut away…
5. The Wedding Cake: Luckily, alternative wedding desserts are completely en vogue; just find one that fits your taste buds. I’ve seen candy bars, ice cream bars, s’more bars, and apple crisp served at weddings. If you need alternative inspiration make yourself a candy cane martini and pop in Charlie and the Chocolate factory one night. Or if you like want to keep it’s meaning, then just own the symbolism and yell, “Let me eat cake!”
6. Cutting the Cake: This is another tradition that is really easy to avoid and is becoming more and more unpopular at weddings due to its sugary narcissism. If you’d like to keep the tradition and its meaning, the Jewish faith offers a great idea. The Yihud is a custom where the couple feeds each other privately. This might actually be appropriate given that the baby making will also happen in private. So take the cake to the bedroom!
7. Putting Wedding Cake Under Your Pillow: If you want to keep this tradition, the modern version is to just put it in Tupperware and save yourself a mess. A real modernized version, quite honestly, is to just do away with it. Let’s be honest, this superstition is as real as the Long Island Medium’s psychic abilities. No OBGYN is ever going to prescribe cake as a way to increase your fertility.
8. Throwing Rice: To modernize this without the fertility symbols blow bubbles. Blowing bubbles is more fun, better for seagulls and the environment, you’re not wasting food and the kiddies have something fun to take home. If you want to keep the fertility symbol, maybe everyone can grow grass seed (chemical free) or wild flower seeds instead. It’s also a “grain” and the landscaping people will thank you for doing their job.
9. The Open Bar: Let’s isolate the open bars and fertility to mead’s historical wedding role. If you like to keep the symbolism, offer mead at the bar. If not, don’t. But keep the open bar; guests love an open bar.