How to Be a Bride and Still Smash the Patriarchy (Part 5)

“This is supposed to be fun.” The florist might as well have said, “What is wrong with you?” and handed me a wearable sandwich board reading “DEFECTIVE BRIDE/WOMAN/HUMAN.” I was sitting across the table from her, my mom on my left, talking about flowers for my wedding—and I was in tears. I was ashamed of …

How to Be a Bride and Still Smash the Patriarchy (Part 4)

Y’all, I love weddings. I always have. I laugh, I cry, I become girlier than I thought possible for a (kind of) recovering tomboy. I have loved going to dress fittings with girlfriends, and I love seeing what choices brides make about what they wear, what flowers they choose, and so on—not because I’m eager …

Do it with me, not for me. (Part 3)

A year ago, a group from my church was preparing to welcome a refugee family to the United States. They hadn’t even arrived yet, and already it had been eventful, from the first family we were assigned suddenly being unable to come, to the family we ended up connecting with having their flight from New …

How to Be a Bride and Still Smash the Patriarchy (Part 3)

One time, I was with a group of people that included a young, engaged couple and an older, married couple. The older woman, an old-school feminist, was talking to the younger woman about getting married. Suddenly she got animated: “You aren’t going to take his name, are you?!” The younger woman started, then replied, “Actually, …

How to Be a Bride and Still Smash the Patriarchy (Part 2)

“You should never take the spotlight off the bride.” This statement, more than any of the other quips from this hilarious and somewhat terrifying video of two southern ladies discussing wedding etiquette, struck fear in my already anxious heart. This fear gnawed at me for a day or two before I texted my mom about …

How to Be a Bride and Still Smash the Patriarchy (Part 1)

When I was a kid, I attended a wedding in a church whose theology was more conservative than what I was used to. I doubt I paid much attention to the service—until, in the vows, the bride pledged her obedience to the groom. I leaned over to my mom and asked whether I had to …

Do it with me, not for me. (Part 2)

This morning, I stopped by a local coffee shop on my way to work. As I walked up to the door, a mom with two toddlers—fraternal twins, a boy and a girl—went in ahead of me. The kids were—as kids are prone to be—very, very slow. The little girl held her mom’s hand and wobbled …