The Hilarious Quandaries of Planning a Feminist Wedding: Part II

The Hilarious Quandaries of Planning a Feminist Wedding: Part II

If you haven't read part 1, then do that first... Again, most of this quite light...nope, we aren't "worried" or "obsessed" over the wedding...I'm a writer so I I write things about the wedding planning. Wa-la. Plus, I have many other higher priorities that I'm procrastinating... Ceremony I’m not being “given away” because I was never property and I’ve been living out of my parent’s house for over 12 years. I love my parents and want to recognize them, but our relationship isn’t going to change when I get married. I love…continue reading →

The Hilarious Quandaries of Planning a Feminist Wedding: Part II

If you haven’t read part 1, then do that first…

Again, most of this quite light…nope, we aren’t “worried” or “obsessed” over the wedding…I’m a writer so I write…so I write things about the wedding planning. Wa-la. Plus, I have many other higher priorities that I’m procrastinating…


I’m not being “given away” because I was never property and I’ve been living out of my parent’s house for over 12 years. I love my parents and want to recognize them, but our relationship isn’t going to change when I get married. I love the idea of walking down with both parents…but I actually love the idea of walking down with Ryan more. We are already partners/a team/in love and that isn’t changing. Plus, Ryan does not want to stand all awkwardly waiting to “see” me since we are going to see each other before the wedding anyway…


Weddings for the socially awkward or shy or introverts is another topic but certainly related. How many times can I use the word awkward in a paragraph?

I love that our photographer (who also agreed to a more sensible and affordable 3 hours of photography opposed to a heavy 7 hours) suggested the “first look” photos prior to the wedding. The images that I’ve seen are the most beautiful/intimate/and honest out of the majority of wedding photos. Plus, we want to spend time together on our wedding day…and we both think this will make the ceremony less strained if we can be together before the fact.

In other ceremony doings…we are also not religious at all, so none of that. We wanted to use our own vows, but again, we didn’t want to say much…so we compromised and will have Joe read our vows to us and then we can answer “I do.” I think there are endless ways to do this…


Drunk best man not included.

Rings/Handfasting/and other Rituals

Again, this ring symbol is supposed to convey…what? I don’t know the real history behind rings and a simple Google search will provide lists (I mean LISTS) of reasons that seem anywhere from realistic to completely and utterly absurd. Some days the Internet is just a really bad idea.

Plus, the cost of rings is absolutely outrageous (I won’t even comment on engagement rings, although I totally agree that replacing the word lunchbox with engagement ring sums up this tradition). Again, I know some people really dig rings, but think about it if you are just doing it because “that is the thing to do.” If you really want rings and this is meaningful to you, by all means do rings…

Neither of us wear rings or find personal significance in the ring exchange, so we really didn’t see the point of this ritual for us…at all.

So, in looking for alternatives, we found the traditional Celtic ritual of handfasting and have done much research on this topic. There are numerous ways to do handfasting ceremonies or perform handfasting rituals during weddings. This is also the origin of “tying the knot” (again, according to the Internets).


Besides, this history and ritual resonates with us so much more than rings.

There are so many other alternatives to rings…but first, a great article to read is How to Plan a Wedding as a White Person Without Appropriating…why must all events be so appropriated and just as easily “excused” due to a “special” occasion?


The “things” registry makes sense for new, probably young couples who aren’t starting out with much (and they are the minority). But, we don’t really fall into that category anymore…The “usual” registry items are items that we already have or do not want or frankly don’t even apply to us. We already live in two different places due to our work/life setup.

We do not need more kitchen appliances (and I would argue half of the stuff some people list on their registries never get used and some of the list is frankly, bullshit).

We don’t like excess “stuff” lying around the house that we don’t use. We have moved often due to Ryan’s work and will likely move again. This is great inspiration to keep only items that are useful and needed (with some exceptions).


Of course we would always accept money with our current expenses, etc. but who wouldn’t? Quite a few of our friends are in their own financial binds and not really able to afford a financial donation to someone else. Plus, some of them are taking time off work, traveling, and paying lodging to come to our wedding. So, asking for more seems pretty unfair.

I have seen other, more creative registries for “experiences” or “funds” for fixing up a house, etc. etc. which are other smart alternatives to “stuff” lists. Our good friends went to Ireland with the help of wedding funds! I love it.

We feel like the people who are able and wanting to give us money or some other gift will do so. And we will be incredibly grateful to them.

Again, I think this really depends on a variety of factors, where you are in life, socioeconomic level of friends and family, etc. and what really works best for you and the people you are inviting to your wedding.


Who cares? Anything under $50 which will probably include some small pumpkins and dollar store candles. Some people are into decorating shit, but we are not. If you are, that is totally cool too.

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What are your colors? This question just cracks me up. Hell if I know. I like burnt orange/brown and olive green together and so some of our stuff will match, but if I want some flaming purple flower or something then I will get them? Ryan likes orange, so he is wearing some orange? My colors are AWESOME. That is all.

The Dress & A Suit (ish)

$150 but it ain’t “cheap.” It is ivory, but only because the colorful ones that are longer are either really pattern-y and not my style or “I’m going to prom!” style. I wanted neither style and I picked something that won’t totally stress me out. I tried on 3 dresses on-line, sent two back (good refund policies), and will take the one for some minor alterations. Bam! Low stress. Low cost.

You do not need a boutique. You don’t need a custom gown. You don’t need to visit multiple stores and try on multiple dresses unless you want to and you can afford it. Don’t break your budget/bank on some fancy dress that you wear for ONE DAY. I seriously cannot imagine it is worth it…You are not required to cry.

Also, everyone has a goddamn opinion about your dress (to be fair, I did ask). I chose one friend who has good taste and she likes my dress too, so screw it if nobody else does. I am really not so concerned and again, one day, one dress, no worries if you are comfortable.

By the way, white wedding dresses are not really traditional if you are arguing for white wedding dresses “to keep tradition!” Meh. Queen Victoria wore one once and everyone went nuts. So, if you want color, pick a color. Who cares?

And for Ryan…a nice shirt (but not the orange one that looked like Kraft cheese), a nice vest (1/2 as much as my dress and on-sale), and hopefully some pants that actually fit (and are not $100 which seems outrageous). We do need to find a tie…

Hopefully even after alterations, our entire wardrobe (s) will cost less than $300…and most pieces will be able to be used again. This is a LOT of money for us to spend on clothing items, especially ones that aren’t made for trekking around outside.

But, overall, it isn’t an outrageous amount either especially considering that most wedding dresses alone are over $1,000. That said, you don’t have to compare prices to what other people are spending, because you will totally go broke just for a one-day event (or three-day depending on how crazy you want to get).

And that brings us to…

The Budget

We were legitimately appalled at the “average” cost of a wedding in the United States (in the range of $26,000 to $33,000 depending on the source), but those numbers are greatly misleading and median is really around $10,000…so, “average” cost is really bullshit and certainly not something to base your budget or expectations.

Our wedding budget aim is for less than $5,000 and this is with several family members who are able to cumulatively contribute a portion of that. This is still quite a chunk of money, with food cost being the most expensive and photography following next. We want to feed people (especially since the venue is rural and there aren’t other options) and we did want some professional photographs.


But the rest? Less expensive clothing, less focus on decorations or “extras”, no bridesmaids/groomsmen and none of those associated costs, cash bar (with some provided champagne or wine), 3 hour photography session opposed to 7 hours, no weird makeup/hair/flower arrangement (my friend Casey can work magic with my chlorine destroyed hair), emailed “save the dates”, very simple and homemade invites that cost a total of $26 with postage, 12 pies (3 flavors) for around $150 opposed to a more costly “wedding cake”, no rings, and a friend making a playlist (venue includes use of sound system) opposed to live music. Whew. Breathe! This also decreases logistics and planning…

But…the point being…setting a budget and sticking to it is sort of important.

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Here’s one idea.

Here comes the…

Finished with my musings for now. Looking forward to October! Let’s just hope we have better luck…and if we don’t, oh well. I’m sure it will be a lovely day no matter what.