And we can’t believe it.
Everyone loves a good wedding – handsome groomsmen, free champagne and a great excuse for a wedding style Zara splurge.
Most weddings follow a pretty similar theme, from the beautiful white dress and the disappointing best man speech to the tearful moment the bride’s father gives her away at the altar. And while we’ve come to think of these traditions as sweet seminal moments, a lot of these customs are actually pretty sexist.
First, there’s the proposal, an important responsibility strictly reserved for the man, with so much stigma attached to the ‘emasculating’ concept of a women getting down on one knee and taking control that we have been traditionally assigned ONE day every four years to propose. For the remaining 1,459 days (yes, we counted) we are expected to sit and wait for our partners to make up their minds and give us diamonds – not the most empowering. I mean, according to pop culture anyway.
In fact, there are a lot of outdated wedding traditions that need to go away when you really think about it, what with the engagement ring being a public statement that you’re ‘taken’ and ‘off the market’, the white dress symbolising your virginity and you surrendering to your husband, and don’t even get us started on being ‘given away’ at the altar. The moment that is cherished by fathers and daughters across the globe essentially stems from the fact that weddings used to be business transactions, a deal between the two men. Why can’t your mum be up there too? She’s the one who gave birth to you.
But if you thought that these revelations were bad, the real reason why couples shouldn’t see each other the night before their wedding day is even worse.
According to tradition, the groom is not allowed to see the bride before the wedding, something we put down to bad luck, with most couples today still sticking to the traditional rules. Unfortunately, it turns out that this ritual is yet another to put down to patriarchy.
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Stemming from arranged marriage, the tradition’s roots come from when couples wouldn’t meet until their wedding, with fathers tricking the grooms into thinking that the bride was more attractive than she was, forbidding them to see each other until her veil was removed. Seeing as this would usually be after the wedding ceremony, the groom would therefore be stuck in the arrangement.
If you’re getting married this weekend and we’ve just ruined your big day, we’re sorry. The good news is that you won’t have to worry about having a few too many glasses of champagne on the big day. According to tradition you won’t be doing any public speaking so you can drink as much as you like. The speeches at your wedding are traditionally reserved for your dad, your husband…and his best friend.
Yup, that makes perfect sense.
But don't let these misogynistic roots ruin your big moment. At the end of the day, your wedding day is yours and you can do it as you like. #weddinggoals
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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