How to have a feminist wedding

What to watch out for if you want to swerve the patriarchal traditions of getting married

Your wedding day is personal. It doesn’t mean you don’t support the sisterhood if you take his surname and let your dad walk you down the aisle – it all comes down to choice, after all, and the patriarchal meanings have eroded over time. But if some traditions don’t sit comfortably with you and you want to do things your way, here’s what you need to think through…


Asking for permission to marry you

Guess who’s not going to be part of your marriage? Your parents!

Expecting him to propose

If you feel like making things official, pop the question yourself. We bet he’ll be happy to have the pressure taken off him.

Automatically taking his surname

Sharing a surname with your other half makes you feel like a family – but there’s no reason why you should take his as a rule. Why can’t he take yours, or you both go double barrel? Unless you’re desperate to get rid of your own dodgy surname, that is!

Your dad walking you down the aisle

Being physically handed from one man to another in a symbolic act ownership is a strange concept, but the old meaning has faded and most brides do it for the company on the way to their ceremony. Just remember that anyone who means something to you can walk you down the aisle – even your groom!

Wearing a white dress

We don’t see many grooms showing their purity by wearing a white suit! Although the virginal connotations of wearing white have subsided, feel free to stick it to tradition on this one. Take inspiration from trendsetter Queen Victoria, who had orange floral details sewn onto her wedding dress.

Wearing a diamond ring

Sparkly things are nice! But there’s no reason why you should be the only one who’s visibly betrothed during your engagement – so if you don’t feel the need to wear an expensive ring, remember that no one needs to max out a credit card to prove their love for someone.


Does he love you any less now because you’re not in ‘the best shape of your life’? Nope. So he’ll think you look bloomin’ perfect on your wedding day whether you lose weight or not.

The bride planning everything

You want married life to be an equal partnership, so planning the day itself should be a two man job.

Saying the vows

If the ‘obey’ word doesn’t sit right with you, personalise your vows to bring them into the 21st century.

Throwing the bouquet


Do you see the men battling each other for the chance to be the next one to be married off? Nah, they’re at the bar. That’s exactly where you’ll find us until the screaming and shoving is over.