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I just started reading "History of the Wife" and am realizing what all the traditions in a wedding ceremony symbolize (male ownership).

I was interested in finding a guide to a feminist ceremony. When my friends and I have talked about weddings and all of that stuff, I've always said I wouldn't want a big to-do and that I'd even just go to a court house and they've almost gotten mad at me for thinking that way. Now I have even better reasons to break with tradition.

I Googled 'feminist wedding ceremony' and didn't get any help there, so I'm turning to you. I really liked your book Grassroots. Thanks!


Autumn -- I have actually had the idea to do a feminist guide to weddings, but haven't quite gotten there on my to do list yet. I really wanted to do something along the lines of a "friends guide to friend's weddings," essentially how you negotiate this, especially as a feminist seeing her friends make traditional choices that seem counter to their instincts, but just in general, what are the rules?

I actually don't know of any guide that can help you -- it might be best to look for something under gay and lesbian weddings as those are presumed to be inherently more feminist, though that hasn't entirely been my experience. In general, I think it's just really important to just create what you want rather than deconstruct what exists -- for instance, if you want to splurge on a dress what would it be -- maybe it would be a white, long dress, but maybe it would be something else? If you have someone who is closer to you than your father -- i.e. your mother, an aunt, a friend -- how about all of them standing up with you. And it's also important to remember that marriage is a legal contract and wedding's have few boundaries -- it's the celebration, so there are no rules. Even if you want a religious element, that isn't what makes it a marriage.

I hope that helps and perhaps just sharing notes with others about what they want/don't want will help you figure this out. Good luck and have fun -- Amy

P.S. Glad you liked Grassroots!

- Amy