This episode covers ways to modify wedding traditions that are either harmful or only reflect straight couples to be more inclusive to lgbtq+ couples. Everything from how to walk down the aisle, to what you wear and more! This is a super fun and informative episode so I hope it will give you ideas for your own wedding day!
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The intro and all instrumentals were written, sung and recorded by @JaynaDavisMusic
Hello everyone and welcome to this week's episode of CRE Lou. Beloved, it's your host, Anna ihi, her pronouns, and I'm the owner of Widely Connected Photography. I am super excited for this week's episode because I got to do a ton of really fun research, and I learned a lot about history and tradit. And like honestly so many things that I'm so surprised that more people don't talk about or know about and like things that I should have known. I feel being in the wedding industry for almost 10 years now. So I think it's gonna be really interesting and I hope you all learn something and also maybe get some ideas for your own wedding. So let's just jump right into it. Okay. Weddings have been around well since forever, pretty much. And so have queer people, but the problem is that queer weddings have only just become a thing, and there also definitely was a time where queer, quote unquote, weddings were happening, as in kind of like unions and secret ceremonies, but they weren't legal or official. I actually just learned that technically one of the first queer weddings was right here in Minnesota in 1970. But it's still a little bit of a gray area because there was a lot of back and forth and it wasn't, their filing wasn't denied, but it also like really wasn't accepted. So technically the first gay wedding was in 2004. That is not that long ago, like less than 20 years ago. So with that context in mind, How would there be any room at the table for those kinds of love stories to have a say in how wedding days should run? Oh, there wasn't. There was no seat at the table for those kinds of stories, which means that a lot of traditions we still see today are influenced by heteronormative and a very patriarchal world. And some of my number one questions from couples is how to do things differently, which does also apply to straight couples as well, who. Generally don't wanna uphold those kind of harmful traditions and practices, so yay for allies. But I think it's really important to keep having these conversations, to let people know that there are options and also ways to just modify things to make them feel more like they're kind of. I figured though we should start with the ones that we can just scrap all together. And I feel like you are all pretty aware of some of these, but I'm just, I'm just gonna start out right here by saying the garter toss. Like, do I need to say more? It has to go, I really don't need to say more, but in case you're wondering. These days, the garter toss has basically been boiled down to the male equivalent of a bouquet toss. Basically saying that whatever single bachelor catches the garter is gonna have good luck and will probably find love. However, that is definitely not where it came from. And I was so shocked reading more about this, but it has a lot of old ties to inspecting the bride of her virginity status. because oftentimes people would follow the couple to their wedding chamber to ensure that the wedding was being, the marriage was being consummated, and at the same time, Many people also thought that a bride's white dress had good luck attached to it. And so all day long people would just be clawing at the bride trying to get scraps of her wedding dress, which is, terrifying and anxiety inducing. So they would create like fabrics, like the garter so that they could toss'em at people and basically be like, yo, leave her alone. Needless to say, this tradition is not only extremely harmful and gross, but it's also very gendered. And I'm just not even gonna say there should be an alternative because just for the love of God, please do not do this. And the last thing I will say that we can just scrap all together, is the whole wife submit to your husband spiel, like religious or not. I think that. I think that there are ways to have religious beliefs while also not diminishing the status of another gender. I'm not even gonna get into Bible verses and all of that. There's plenty of stuff out there on that. But please just like, don't ask your wife to submit in front of a crowd of 300 people. It's just not a great look. So, oh, also, This one could kind of go on either list and maybe it shouldn't go on a list at all cuz I don't necessarily think that it's a tradition. It's more of just like a thing that's happened culturally. But I do hear a lot of talk on wedding days about feeling like members of the wedding party have to sleep together or end up together, or even, guests trying to be on the lookout for a single someone. I totally get it. I'm not saying you have to, you can't talk to anyone at a wedding. No. However, I have seen that this kind of thinking and people assuming that that's just what happens at weddings can lead to a lot of drama on a day that should be about someone else, and. That someone else may not want to be dealing with, like friend drama while they're just wanting to be happy. So anyhow, I'm just gonna say maybe scrap that mentality and just show up to have fun and go from there. So, okay, that was actually the last one from that list, now we are going to move on to some things that I feel we could just kind of modify, or change depending on, because I will say I don't wanna be that person that says all tradition has to go out the window, because I understand that, that there's some, you know, emotional ties to tradition and things that might feel really special. And if that's the case, then amazing. Great. Like please do those things. And at the same time, are there ways that we can make them potentially less harmful or more inclusive or just honestly better fitting to who you and your partner are? So I'm going to start with the, this first one. And it's the first one that I, I get questions about all the time since I primarily work within the LGBTQ community. And something that my couples ask a lot is like, how, how should we walk down the aisle? And this is also like a really common, low hanging fruit that people reference when talking about old wedding traditions. Because it, it is, it's, it's tied to a a father literally transferring his ownership of her to the groom. So I understand why it gets brought up a lot because yeah, it has some really harmful ties and. We, even for straight relationships, a lot of times couples don't really wanna uphold that and that. I hear that. That's great and obviously I think now people have kind of detached themselves from that in a lot of ways and don't view it that way, obviously. So that's why this is kind of on the modification list because if you have that relationship with your father, Great. Please do that. Um, and if it feels healthy and safe, however, we also have to keep in mind that not every child father relationship is like that. and some people won't have parents at their weddings. Some people might not have a dad or a great relationship with their dad, or some people just don't wanna uphold a practice like that. And so what could you do to replace. You could, number one, walk down the aisle by yourself. Heck yeah. We love a power move. Number two, you could actually have just both parents accompany you. It feels a lot more, equal amongst parents and it's very wholesome. Number three, you can walk together with your partner. I, I love seeing when people do this because it's sort of, It's just symbolic of their, they've already started their life together, you know, and they're, they're starting this, this ceremony together and ending it together. And you can also, you could do it down one aisle, like hand in hand, or you could do it down two separate aisles. You know, depending on space and, and what your venue or space might allow. You could build two separate aisles and each walk down it. Um, or alternatively you could meet your partner at the, the ceremony space by coming from opposite direction. So like, one coming from left, one coming from right. And meeting at that middle spot. Or you could do something totally different and have a seating arrangement that isn't really like an aisle, like a circle or just, you know, something totally different that is just unique to you. So those are some ideas for kind of getting rid of that. And it could just be, you know, we're just doing something different and we're doing something that feels more like us. Number two is the idea that you have to get ready separately, or the idea that you have to sleep separately the night before. Okay. People, this one has, believe it or not, a lot of religious ties as well. You're not able to spend the night with a person for temptation of sleeping with them. So I'm just gonna say that's outdated and leave it there. But a lot of my couples will say something like, my partner is my best friend. why, why would I wanna be apart for them? And that makes a lot of sense to me because I feel the same way. Like you're marrying this person. I, I sure hope you like them a lot, so it makes sense that you would want to spend the night with them the night before when you might already be feeling like a little anxious or something. So I'm just here to say you might get some pushback, but it's, it's okay to be together the night before a wedding. I, I promise. Um, and also with the Guinea rain, It's, it's kind of all like to the extent you wanna do things, right? So if you feel that it would still be really fun and special for you to get ready separately so that you can have that really exciting first look moment, do it. Great. But I also have couples too, who are like, no, they're my best friend and I might be feeling anxious and I want to be by them. Do it. That's great. Do what you want. All right, number. Asking for the daughter's hand in marriage, you'll never guess people. Also rooted in the patriarchy. Who knew? So this is really interesting too, something I didn't know until looking into it more, but this actually comes from ancient Rome when the man who was interested in a father's daughter would present a certain kind of coin to the father, and basically the father dictated whether or not his daughter would marry that. So basically the father decided his daughter's fate and, and not her. So I know again, we've, that's something we've moved past. Obviously we're living in 2023, not ancient Rome, but I think that it can still come off that way in a lot of scenarios where it's having ownership over a woman and like what happens if there's no woman in the relat? What, what if there's two grooms or someone who doesn't identify as a woman, it's confusing. Who do they both have to do it? Who? Who asks, but I think, I think the modification here is that obviously number one, discussions should be between both partners and just kind of a mutual agreement on when they're ready and. As far as the actual modification piece, I will say I think it depends a lot on the relationship that you have with one another's parents. If you have a super healthy relationship with your partner's parents and you genuinely feel that their parents would just appreciate being in the know and appreciate the gesture for what it is, you can do it as a formality. I just think it's important to, maybe even in that conversation note that you are not doing it because you feel you have to ask for ownership, but just as a nice gesture. So that's what I'll say on that one. That's kind of up to you and, and your, each relationship with the others' parents. All right. Number five. Nope, that's number four. Number four, having to wear white. I think this is a pretty common understanding of usually the bride is supposed to wear white, but again, what if there is no bride present? And furthermore, It's a, it's tied to purity culture. If you weren't able to wear white because of a previous marriage or because of something in your past, like that's just bs. Your partner is choosing you for you, not because of your past, and it doesn't matter about your past. So do whatever you want. And I will say, how often do you get to wear like a super cool, fully white outfit all glammed up without people giving you major side eyes? So I get it. I get the appeal. And white is great and very elegant and also can be fun. So obviously that is totally fine. I. Want people to know that that one has ties to a lot of harmful practices as well. And if you would feel more comfortable wearing black or even something patterned, go for it. You are not shameful just because you aren't wearing white. All right, now, number five. Um, Having an aside side for the bride and one for the groom. I feel like some of you might have been seeing those signs now that say, pick a seat, not a aside. Either way, we're all here for the groom and bride or something to that extent. This one I'm not entirely sure about, like there were quite a few sources that said this information, but I just have a hard time believing it. So, Y'all might have to go do some further research on this one, but, uh, it appears that a lot of ties to the bride being on the left side and the groom being on the right side. Comes from a long time ago. Brides would sometimes be kidnapped from their families just to marry the. Gross. That should just be red flag number one. But I guess a lot of times what would happen is on the wedding day, the bride's family would try to come and take her back. And so the groom needed to have his, he needed to be standing on the right side so he could easily draw his sword to be able to fight off. Anyone tried to take her? Oh boy. Like crazy. But some. It's hard to believe, but, and yet I still really believe it. I mean, some people do also say that a lot of times in, in historic churches, the congregation was segregated and that men would sit in one side when Moon would sit on the other. so there's just thought a lot of weird ties. So this one in general too. And I would also say This feels a little divisive. Even when I've been at a guest at a wedding, if I know both people and someone asks me like, oh, who are you here to support? It's like, well, both of them. Why, why do I have to pick a side? It feels, it feels like someone's trying to start something, you know? It's also very gendered too, right? Because again, what if there's no bride? What if there's no groom? What if there's two grooms then everyone just gets confused and they panic and they, they don't know what to do. So basically, I'm saying, I think these days it's, it's a great idea to just kind of have a free for all, let people sit where they wanna sit. Maybe they'll be less likely to choose the very back last row and leave like three open rows in the middle. Um, or you could also say, if you really think that your family would be more comfortable sitting all together, that's fine. You can just make a sign that says, you know, X person will be on this side and X will be on the other. But, you know, sit where you wanna sit, basically. All right, the next one, is wearing veils. Now I know this one is something that honestly, I think has just naturally gone down in popularity. And I think a lot of that just kind of has to do with both, fashion and also practicality, but super interesting. Wearing veils is tied to yet again, a symbol of purity and innocence. So if you didn't have those things, you didn't get to wear one. And, it was also a way to try to keep evil spirits away from the ride on her wedding day. I just think, do what you will with that one. I think also they can just kind of generally be annoying. They can easily fall in and out of your hair, um, or mess up your hair. But I will say they do make for really nice bug nets on your wedding day, especially in the summer. So pros and cons. People, pros and cons. but really no, it's just, obviously there's interesting ties there. So maybe you make a veil but you don't wear it over your face. Maybe you have no veil, maybe you only wear it for the ceremony. There's lots of different modifications here. Um, just do what feels right for you. All right. The swan, very interesting as are all of them I think. But, only having the bride's family pay for the wedding. What if there is no bride? What happens then? Dun, dun, dun And you will never guess this has ties to harmful practices to women. Wow. It's just crazy how much of the wedding world is just. Not great. So the brides family pang for the wedding goes hand in hand with the old tradition of dowry, and I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with that, but dowry are basically like a father would say, if you marry my daughter, you get three of my best sheep. How about that? And then the other family would say, we need at least five or, sounds great. Let's get married tomorrow. So, in addition to that, basically women were seen as a liability. Like single women were seen as tempting. They were seen as a liability for getting pregnant, all of that jazz. And so it basically because. Quote unquote risk their families had to pay for the wedding to basically make them more attractive to Mary. So that's great. I think nowadays, I think just, if parents are going to be contributing, they can have a sit down conversation and discuss that. They won't both wanna do, and that's tricky. I think sometimes, parents really. Outdo themselves for their, their own child's wedding and wanna pay for for more. And that's something that your parents have to figure out, I would just say encourage your parents to do things equally, if at all possible. Cuz that just feels like a lot of pressure to put on a bride's family or, if there's no bride. Also great opportunity to just do things equally or as one family can do. all right. Last one. I think we're on number eight here. This is one I think that has kind of also naturally sort of just happened on its own as we've sort of progressed in the world. But I just, I'm gonna say having religion involved or needing like a religious officiate two to your wedding. And so again, I think we've really seen a downfall in church weddings. Thank goodness. Can we also just ditch the church ceremonies where the lighting is always like orange and bad? really, I think. If you are religious, that is great. I think that there are ways to incorporate the pieces of it that feel actually relevant to you and special to you without it having to be inside the walls of a religious place. whether it's like a short prayer or a little ceremony of sorts. And that way, you kind of get to have more say in what happens versus having to go through. Like a 45 minute kind of religious ceremony that might take place if you were to get married into a church, or in a church. So I have seen a lot of couples figure out ways to incorporate that. But also this is just for the folks out there who, might still feel like they have to because their parents did and think it's special You don't have to, A lot of people are not doing it. So you can just blame it, blame it on your friends. and also this, shouldn't be said without also acknowledging that sometimes religious spaces won't be open to, you and your partner for having your wedding. And so sometimes that just happens naturally, unfortunately. But I thought it should be pointed out because. You know who needs it. You could have your best friend or your brother or your dog do it. Okay. Maybe not your dog, but we can all dream, right? All right. And that's what I have for you all today, just as a starting point. Um, I know there are so many more out there, and honestly there are probably lots out there that are different from what I've experienced. You know, my perspective comes largely from. Straight white, sometimes Christian weddings. And I know that doesn't always reflect the practices of other cultures, that may or may not also need some updating. So there's definitely more out there. I hope you all learn some crazy new things like I did, and also feel inspired and empowered to change the traditions in your own wedding that you want to. If you like this episode, please let me know and I will make a part two with all the other traditions that are out there. and also if, if you are listening and, wanna share this to your stories and maybe share some ideas that you might have for changing your own wedding traditions, please let me know and tag me. I'd love to see it. And that's all I got for you clearly, beloved. Have a great day. I'll see you here next.