for DON'T PANIC magazine's feminism issue.
Tradition be damned, here are some tips to help the truly modern feminist navigate the shark-infested waters of a Feminist Wedding. All (equal) rights reserved.
1. The Dress Conundrum. No feminist would be seen dead hobbling down the aisle in a cripplingly impractical floor-length white dress. While the groom gets to play 009 for the day in a top hat ‘n’ tux, poor old Muggins in the knock-off Wang meringue might as well be wearing a sign that says: FOR SOME REASON, I AM PRETENDING THAT I HAVE NEVER SEEN A PENIS. And don’t get me started on the garters. Why not take a leaf out of Tracey Emin’s book and appliqué your wedding dress with names of former conquests? This will test your husband-to-be’s feminist sympathies (study his face when Everyone I Have Ever Slept With (insert dates) comes tripping down the aisle) and serve as a handy reminder of just how far your needlework skills have come since the pre-lib days when your ancestors spent 95 hours a week in front of a loom.
2. ‘Giving away the bride?’ No feminist worth their salt is going to fall for that old chestnut. Instead of allowing your father to walk you up the aisle towards your husband – an age-old transaction which, as all good feminists know, pre-dates Ebay and doubles as a jolly good way for Pops to settle his outstanding debts - the bride and groom should walk towards each other at a pre-determined pace, meeting at the halfway point. If, however, you have bought your husband over the internet or are a mail-order bride, different rules apply. Under these circumstances the seller should hand over the goods, enjoy the reception and post appropriate feedback next morning.
3. The Surname. I see no reason why the liberated woman should be expected to take her husband’s surname, particularly if it’s something like Snot or Rimmer. Experiment with the hyphen, or come up with an entirely new surname that both of you will approve of. Something like ‘Pankhurst’, perhaps.
4. ‘If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.’ Thus spake Beyonce: staunch supporter of the Single Lady and, erm, recently married. Forgo the Wedding March in place of a rendition of feminist anthem ‘Independent Woman,’ which includes lyrics guaranteed to put a lift in the modern man’s step: ‘Only ring your cell-y when I'm feelin lonely / When it's all over please get up and leave’. To avoid confusion, members of the choir may wish to skip the opening couplet - ‘Lucy Liu...with my girl, Drew... Cameron D. and Destiny... Charlie's Angels, come on, uh uh uh’.
4. Pre/post-ceremony celebrations. Hen parties are notorious for two things: naff headgear and a stonking hangover in the morning – but don’t complain if your bridesmaids strip you naked and tie you to a lamppost in Prague. And don’t neglect those biceps, because the only truly feminist way to kick off the wedding night is to carry the groom over the threshold. Equal rights work both ways, y’know.