So recently I’ve been having some thoughts about marriage. Well, I say marriage… mainly about weddings and what the hell is going on these days with them.
It’s the television’s fault mainly… I encountered Bridezillas for the first time and, of course, watched all of the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding programmes with a slack jaw and occasional outbursts of STOP THAT OH GOD STOPPIT.
In the last couple of years I’ve been exposed to two of my brothers getting married too… both very different affairs and very personal to them and their partners but experiences that have really highlighted just how very not interested in the whole thing I am.
Table gems, photographers, transport, confetti, marquees, dresses, hats, special perfume, flowers, toastmasters, magicians, catering, cakes, entertainment, fucking table gems… this alone brings me out in hives.
I just don’t get it. I feel like I’m failing as a woman but I really, really don’t get it. It’s like a form of personal torture that everyone gets to watch and you have to pay through the nose for.
Now, maybe I’m being a bit naive but I thought that the point of marriage was to legally and publicly commit yourself fully to the person you love. That’s something I can get behind. The idea of one day signing my name with the surname of the man I love makes me feel somehow protected and proud and as if I would be showing that public ownership that 1950s housewife me loves so much. But a wedding ? Hmmm…. not sure I’m going to be able to play along with that one.
The strange thing is that even in this supposedly post-feminist world, the pressures for marriage and tradition are still there and seem to be getting even more excessively skewed towards the bride as a princess and the paragon of all feminine beauty. The majority of the imagry still seems to be the classical blushing bride. Eyes averted, small and dainty, all in white, long hair… I look at these and I can almost hear the photographer in my head ‘expose that delicate swanlike neck sweetheart, no love… don’t look straight at me, well okay but I’d better tower above you a bit. Now if you can darlin’, just squeeze those shoulders together a bit… think Disney and whatever you do, don’t breathe’ It’s probably just my prejudices but the mainstream bridal pattern is very much stuck.
Thank Zeus then for sites like offbeat bride and tumblrs like this that reassure me that there are people out there doing it in their own way and having fun with it, which is what it’s meant to be. FUN. Something that I think the whole of the Wedding industry seems to have forgotten about.
I still think that I’ll be happy to get married someday but never be wed. The draw to have a legal and recognised connection to my other half is a strong one and I feel strongly enough about equal rights for everyone in love that marriage is something I support for all, not civil partnerships, not common-law recognition… Marriage and all of the promises and responsibilities that come with it. How could I then not want the same for me? Privileged Caucasian heterosexual middle-class female that I am.
Okay, so maybe I’m wrong about the whole thing… this looks pretty freaking awesome. Let’s all get wedded.