I’ve been thinking a lot about weddings recently, mainly because my lovely chap and I have started to plan our own.
As a feminist, getting married can be a tricky decision. There’s all the history stuff to think about – should I sign up to a convention which has resulted in the suppression of women for centuries? Does this mean I’m no longer expected to be financially independent? Is it right to get married when my gay and lesbian friends and family don’t have the same option? What about the notion of being ’given away’?
Having thought all of this through, I’m still getting married. I’m doing this because I love my partner, and because I’m from a nuclear family and have seen the strength a marriage can provide, and because it feels right to make a lifelong and concrete commitment.
But the wedding itself raises questions too. I’m a sucker for tradition but it’s also very important to us both that our wedding feels authentic to both of us and reflects the way we live our lives. So we sat down together and talked about what matters to us. We both wear engagement rings and we’ll both wear wedding rings. We’re going to write our own vows. I hope to walk down the aisle with both of my parents to reflect the role both have played in my life. There won’t be bridesmaids but there will be a best man and a best woman. We’ll both take my last name as a middle name and my partner’s as a surname. And, when it comes to speeches, I’ll be speaking for myself.
They are only small adjustments but they matter – both for what they mean as individual choices, and for how they represent our commitment to honouring and respecting what matters to us both.