how can I have a feminist/socialist/anti-capitalistish wedding?

(79 Posts)
GreenGoth89 Thu 08-Sep-16 12:51:10

We're getting married in summer 2018, and at first I wasn't even too sure if I want to get married - but part of it is due to our archaic legal system which doesn't really allow me to have parental responsibility over my full time resident DSS (who rarely sees his BM). It's already caused issue, and considering I'm primary carer for him once my DP goes back to work (DSS has only just started school, and isn't full time yet), I really need it. But also I want to celebrate our relationship (which we've put a lot of work into) with our friends and it seems to make sense considering our legal system doesn't really see cohabitees in the same light as married couples.

But... I've started to go to wedding fairs (still thinking of going to the national one but I think it might just further sent my self esteem) and they seem to represent everything we hate - body shaming people into have liposuction, hair extensions and other cosmetic procedures, dresses (which I hate, but also as a disabled bride, I can't wear) which cost as much as a small used car, being told I need to pay for things that aren't just non essential but things I really don't want. What I really want is a wedding in a field, to do the catering ourselves, have friends that are DJs and musicians for entertainment, and sort out games and stuff ourselves. But it all seems very hard or more expensive to do it ourselves. We're writing our own vows so I can take out some of the misogynist crap in the normal ceremony, but how else can we make our wedding more feminist/socialist/and as anti capitalist as we can?

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 08-Sep-16 13:20:59

You don't have to do anything you don't want. The rules are different in Scotland as we have loads of venues which are licensed to carry out the formal legal part and humanist celebrants can officiate.

But for starters you don't need to wear a wedding dress. My dress was black velvet. Google Yvette Cooper's wedding dress. Spend that money on something fabulous you will wear again ( that was normal until the 20th century)

Or just go to a registry office and hold a separate party for whoever and wherever you like- does not even have to be the same day.

HermioneWeasley Thu 08-Sep-16 13:25:17

Do whatever you want. Most weddings are boringly template

GreenGoth89 Thu 08-Sep-16 13:25:34

Planning on registry office bit and separate paganish blessing but it's difficult to get all the bits together at a reasonable price

Was going to suggest Scotland. We just renewed our vows - yes I know folk on MN hates renewals - and we had a humanist ceremony where we wrote every word of our vows. I believe we'd only have needed to add in one line and sign a register for it to have been a full wedding. You can have them anywhere including in a field - we went for a little folly in a forest on top of a waterfall.

Wear something you'll love. I had a dress made by a local designer and although it wasn't cheap it cost about the same as a wedding dress from a shop but it was made by a local business rather than mass produced in a factory.

FrancesHaHa Thu 08-Sep-16 13:37:02

For a start, I would stop going to wedding fairs. They are there to sell things at an inflated price, and don't sound as though they represent what you want out of a wedding. Same with wedding magazines
You could whizz into a registry office and then have a party in a pub - I've been to plenty of these and they're always fun - friends band playing, friends making the food , full of people who really care about the couple, but without the frills.
You could see if a campsite would allow you to have a pagan blessing in the summer - have also seen this - a few tents in case it rains, lots of drinks, snacks etc.
You could ask lots of people to bring a dish/ drinks instead of a wedding present if that makes things easier.
Have an iPod disco to ensure you control the music
Some friends had a wedding in a field that belonged to family a couple of years ago - humanist ceremony, non traditional clothes, family made the food - exactly what they wanted.
Good luck!

EmzDisco Thu 08-Sep-16 13:46:29

I know of a campsite where people have wedding receptions - they do the legal bit elsewhere. They have a big marquee, hog roast or whatever, campfires etc. All the family can stay and the kids love it. There is Romany caravans that get decked out as the honeymoon suite! All very relaxed.

Maybe stop thinking of it as a wedding, instead think of it as an event/party. You really can do whatever you want!

I've seen people get really stressed doing what they think they should do for a wedding. It's madness!

LozzaChops Thu 08-Sep-16 13:52:17

My tutor at college was adopted and then basically disowned by adoptive family (I didn't get the whole story), met husband very young, wanted to get married, no money and no help from family. They had a bring your own picnic reception in a park! I've never wanted to get married, but I always thought that was the kind of wedding I'd want, if I had to wink

LozzaChops Thu 08-Sep-16 13:54:12

PS - I'm not sure they even told people it was a wedding celebration.

Honeybadger01 Thu 08-Sep-16 13:55:02

Get over to www.apracticalwedding.com it's an American feminist wedding website/ blog, loads of great ideas on there for how to have a feminist low cost non wedding industrial complex type wedding. I found lots of great ideas there for my wedding and keep going back for the interesting content.

NNChangeAgain Thu 08-Sep-16 13:58:43

part of it is due to our archaic legal system which doesn't really allow me to have parental responsibility over my full time resident DSS

If this is the main reason you're marrying you might want to get legal advice; marriage doesn't bestow PR, and the legal framework around other adults securing PR is not dependant on marriage. Courts may view a married stepparent more favourably - however, plenty of unmarried adults have been awarded PR.

NNChangeAgain Thu 08-Sep-16 14:00:10

...and if you want to celebrate your relationship, find a celebrant, they're excellent at planning events to suit smile

DinosaursRoar Thu 08-Sep-16 14:03:53

Avoid wedding fairs!

Get an outfit you like, which can be anything at all. Arrive together rather than be given away, or even you be the one waiting at the alter for him...

See if your council have a full list of places with wedding licences, some may surprise you. Don't assume you can do picnic type weddings, this is the uk, it could well piss it down. Have indoor options.

specialsubject Thu 08-Sep-16 14:06:27

book a cheap slot at the registry office, grab a couple of mates, job done in 15 mins. That's the wedding.

the party (which is what you seem to want) can be done anytime, just arrange it. The two are completely unrelated. Then if you want a ceremony, you can have anything you like as the legals are done.

specialsubject Thu 08-Sep-16 14:07:13

bTW anti-capitalist? Don't buy frilly silly clutter! Or indeed, don't buy anything.

NotCitrus Thu 08-Sep-16 14:15:24

Nip to local registry office.
Then organise nice ceremony, room in a pub, friend who can speak clearly reading stuff, write some vows, buffet food, job done.

This was our plan though did end up having ceremony with formal meal when my parents offered our dream venue and really wanted a big do for their only child. We then adjourned to the pub for the evening.
Generous buffet meal is easiest for people.

sunnydayinmay Thu 08-Sep-16 14:22:05

Campsite idea sounds fantastic. My friend did this for his 40th, and it was great. He just booked a separate field with a couple of portaloos.

And stop going to wedding fairs!

FrazzleM Thu 08-Sep-16 14:23:08

How many guests are you having?

My friend had a guest list of 30. Half a dozen went to a registry office ceremony (own vows), then the rest met up at a friend's house afterwards for a garden party. she bought her unweddingish dress from eBay, decorated the garden with t-lights and wild flowers in jam jars and put up a gazebo and bunting. Plenty of booze in ice buckets (cider, beer, wine) and a friend volunteered to provide food - BBQ/buffet style.

Job done! I think she said that the whole thing cost under £2K.

Myrobalanna Thu 08-Sep-16 14:23:50

Wear what you like (doesn't need to be a dress by any means).

If you have flowers, don't tell the florist it's for a wedding or they add a premium.

Register office, couple of witnesses, party on your own terms.

A wedding cake being cut by a knife symbolises the consummation of the marriage/taking the bride's virginity, so I would say 'avoid cake' grin

There is no need to discuss changing/not changing your name with anyone as the fact is nobody but you gets to choose what you do and there are no ramifications either way unless someone chooses to be a twunt about it (in which case they are a twunt, not a person with a valid point about what you call yourself) and this includes all institutions.

If you do want to have a ceremony in front of people, you can be really clear that you don't want people to fork out for new outfits or to give gifts (but you will get gifts anyway, people are kind).

I love the picnic in the park idea!

GreenGoth89 Thu 08-Sep-16 19:28:35

We've got about 70 including a lot of kids (about 15 if not more, most of whom will be under 12). We have friends who are photographers who we are thinking of asking to take pics, we're both changing our name to a double-barrelled name as I took my mothers maiden name after wanting to have nothing more with my twunt of a (can't even bring myself to use the word) farter at 18.

I'm aware that marriage doesn't automatically give me PR but it does helps - it's easier to go about getting BM to agree to me having PR for reasons such as if I ever needed to take him to hospital than it is to get a residency order/child arrangements order which could cause more of a fuss.

I cannot not have cake - I like cake too much!! I'm certainly not having 3 tiers though - not a fan of fruitcake anyway!

Dress will have to be custom made - I'm disabled, I walk with a stick for short distances and any kind of train or underskirts makes that hard and if I have to use a chair on the day even harder, and as I have a pain condition and will be sitting down a lot a boned corset (and possibly lacing too?) is also out. I'm still looking for shapes that will work for me a suit me. I'd like a dress rather than a suit, I look silly in a suit! White is also out - I'm thinking of finding some silvery silk with massive watercolour splodges of blues/purples/pinks/greens and wearing a black feather cape. Might be difficult to achieve!

Walking down the aisle I have mixed feelings about - It means a lot to me to be able to physically walk it rather than use a wheelchair, and it will also mean a lot to have my DM give her blessing - she doesn't see my DP as good enough for me, so I feel in a way as she would be walking me down the aisle with DSS only if she does give her blessing (I've said I'm not sure if I even want her there if not), that it would be a physical expression of her blessing of our relationship. But at the same time I know all the connotations it has so I'm not sure!

I'm not having a veil as I'm not keen on its meaning,

No more wedding fairs, I'm just not sure how to find what we want. We may have a field, but I have a massive amount to sort it out and I'm still figuring out what we need and what we don't!

Ninasimoneinthemorning Thu 08-Sep-16 19:30:20

My friend went to a registry office then to the local pub after with the family.

Ninasimoneinthemorning Thu 08-Sep-16 19:32:45

After reading your posts you actually sound really conflicted. Your kind of making out this is just for your dss but you want the dress, isle, cake ect....

I think you need to chill out and be honest with yourself

JacquettaWoodville Thu 08-Sep-16 19:40:16

Plenty of places do a plain white iced cake you can stick flowers on (or whatever other cake decor you like) M&S for one but other retailers are available.

Walk down the aisle with your DP? Your DSS can walk behind (assume he is old enough) and your DM If you want - or dodge it by that just being you two or three

notagiraffe Thu 08-Sep-16 19:46:16

Don't go to wedding fairs. You don't need them. We hired a community centre, had a ceilidh and did the flowers and catering ourselves - just hired a couple of waiters to help serve. It was fine. A friend has a wedding where every guest brought a dish to share - that was lovely too, and the best wedding I ever went to was in a tiny church followed by a walk down to the village hall where some of the local families had roasted a couple of turkeys and made some salads. They then pulled back the tables and we danced round babies crawling on the floor. It was so happy. You could have a bonfire party on a beach or hire your favourite local. Low key weddings are so much more fun than dreary formal events.

notagiraffe Thu 08-Sep-16 19:49:58

No need for it to be a boring fruit cake with white icing either. Just have a giant version of your favourite cake. And a dress in a silk version of your favourite style.
Start with what you love and makes you feel happy and confident - your favourite flowers - even if they are sunflowers - that's the bouquet. Favourite cake is your cake, music live or streamed. You can sort out a dream playlist on Spotify and hook it up to good speakers.

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