The Modern Wedding Ceremony: Full Of Patriarchal Pitfalls!

Illustration for article titled The Modern Wedding Ceremony: Full Of Patriarchal Pitfalls!

Perhaps diamond rings are "profoundly anti-feminist," but what about those other deeply entrenched wedding traditions? Where did those come from and are they secretly evil? Mental Floss has done a round-up of 8 common rites of marriage and boy, is it informative. Apparently brides didn't start wearing white until the sassy Queen Victoria "wore a pale gown trimmed in orange blossoms for her 1840 wedding to her first cousin, Prince Albert." After that, the adoring commoners copied her, and thus a tradition was born. But beyond that, most of the old school ceremonial stuff does have profoundly anti-feminist origins. Particularly patriarchal: your father giving you away.

"Next time you tear up watching a beaming father walk his little girl down the aisle, remember that it's just a tiny, barbaric little holdover from the days when daughters were nothing but dollar signs to daddy dearest," writes Jenn Thompson. "And that veil she's wearing? Yeah, that was so the groom wouldn't know if he was stuck with an uggo until it was time to kiss the bride and too late to back out on the transaction." Heartwarming! But here's the real question. Have these acts become divorced from their original meanings in a thoroughly modern world? I probably want my dad to walk me down the aisle when I get married, not because I think he owns me or because my husband-to-be is my "master", but because I really love my dad and I think it would be sweet to show our affection and connection in that ceremonial context.


If thinking about the patriarchy's influence on your beloved traditions has got you down, Thompson also describes some weird wedding laws that might cheer you up. My favorite is this one from Montana, which states that a couple can get married without even having to show up to court. "This miracle marriage is done by way of a 'double proxy' ceremony. Particularly popular with soldiers deployed overseas who wish to get married without coming home on leave, this type of marriage is arranged through a lawyer, who then hires two proxies (anyone with a free afternoon and a desire for some extra cash) to come sit before the judge, recite the vows and sign the marriage license on behalf of the absent bride and groom." Or, as Thompson points out, this kind of thing would be fantastic for the extremely lazy. Just picture it: you and your dude (or your lady), sitting on the couch in some nice A/C, wearing your skivvies, and getting married while watching Judge Judy.

The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions[Mental Floss]

Weird Wedding Laws Still on the Books [Mental Floss]

Earlier:Dude Says Diamonds Are "Profoundly Anti-Feminist," And Not Just Because He Can't Afford One [Jezebel]

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@mynameisrio: Why do I have to explain to people that my dad walking me down the aisle is NOT a domineering act? Should I print out little cards for their seats expressing my view that the traditions herein contained are not for the purpose of reinforcing the patriarchy, but because I love my family and I like these things? That's ridiculous.

I attended the wedding of a friend in which she was joined by her father in her walk, they gave each other a long hug and a kiss, he cried a bit, shook her now-husband's hand, sat down, and burst into tears, and was comforted by his wife. No one read any ridiculous "The dominant man gives the female to her next dominant man" into that situation. At the wedding I will attend in the future being put on by two serious military families, in which the bride's father is a 2 star general and VERY domineering, there will be swords and saluting and the patriarchical context will be VERY clear.

Neither of those wedding required (or will require) explaination cards. I don't think I need to explain my future wedding to anyone invited. My friends and familly are smarter than that.