Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to think about which traditions I would like to form part of our wedding day. Not many of them have made the cut – here are some customs I really don’t like, and a few that I do.
Possession/permission: Most people would admit that women no longer think of themselves as belonging to men, and yet the customs of asking for the father’s permission, giving away the bride, and taking the man’s surname all continue unabated. As a feminist I find all of these quite offensive. I simply don’t understand how women can demand equal pay and opportunities and yet participate in this ancient rubbish.
White dress (or cream, off-white, ecru, eggshell etc): The colour of purity and virginity. At 38, if this described me I’d be some sort of social pariah and B would be well advised to run for the hills. I also look terrible in white and would be bound to spill something on it within the first 5 minutes.
Confetti: Traditionally thrown at the bride and groom to encourage fertility. In reality, it is annoying and creates a mess. Would also need to be very powerful pieces of coloured paper and thrown very hard indeed (from a cannon) to get through our aversion to parenthood and B’s likely infertility from the chemo.
Bridal registry: ‘Please come to my wedding, and while you’re at it buy me this John Lewis Wedgewood plate’. The personal act of giving has gone out the window with the evolution of the pre-approved gift list. Almost as offensive as asking for cash.
Providing ideas on request is fine, but overall I believe that we should return to the era of spontaneous, random, ill-conceived purchases. It’s the thought that counts. If you get several toasters, so be it.
Home made vows: Cheesy. Nobody wants to hear the tremulous expression of your love for each other, and heaven forbid that it rhymes. Stick to the script, and the shorter the better. Your guests are bored and waiting for the canapés and free drinks.
Self-designed rings: Is your love so unique, so individual, that it cannot be expressed by the wealth of ring designs currently available in shops? I think not.
Not seeing the dress: B took delivery of my online order today, so I am in all sorts of trouble if it’s bad luck for him to see the dress before the wedding day. Which, of course, it isn’t.
Family: Despite my disdain for much of the nonsense surrounding weddings, the marriage itself is important to me and it means a lot that some of B’s family and some of mine will be there.
Rings: Expensive jewellery, what’s not to like? Also the only piece of wedding symbolism that I find pleasant rather than creepy.
Photographer: This one comes down to pure vanity. My Lumix just isn’t capable of capturing the time, effort and money that will go into clothing, hair and makeup on the day. At my age it will also be wise to take advantage of any airbrushing services on offer.