Thursday, October 30, 2008

File this news under 'HOLY CRAP'

As if my blogging hasn't gotten lax enough lately.... What with working 60 hours weeks, I've been light on A) Original posting or B) any posts at all

Well that's all about to get seriously compounded because on Tuesday, Sexy Boyfriend popped the question.


I know.

After 4 and a half years together, we're going to go all official style.

I'm thrilled but already letting my hyper German planning gene go into overdrive. A few things need to happen pretty quickly. Both of us have large extended families, so guest lists are being compiled and all sorts of questions need to be answered-- what type of ceremony are we comfortable with? We were both raised Christian (him Catholic, me Lutheran) and we both feel connected with a Christian theology although we are not practicing.

There's just a lot of things to think about. And a few surprises! In the past, I've found some wedding traditions horribly sexist but then I found myself on the phone with my dad and suddenly asking, "Will you give me away?" --- The minute I said it, I almost laughed out loud. That was a classic tradition that I never had any intention of participating in. But the minute I said it, I knew I meant it.

I want my father to play that role. He and I love each other but we have a challenging emotional bond that I trace back to --- I grew up, grew boobs and he became uncomfortable talking to me.

That's a moment I think we'd both like to share together. I value his guidance and support and I want him to be there to help me that day. I would gladly have my mom walk with us except I have a feeling she may be wanting a quiet pew to herself and some Kleenex.

Either way, there's all these thoughts rolling around --- how do I create a day with Tyler (sexy boyfriend needs a name now I think) that will reflect where we are at with our faith, each other, our principles and my feminism -- cause you know that's gonna factor in at some point! :)

All in all these are happy questions to be ponder but I'm just saying... I may be distracted for a bit.

If any other feminists out there have cool wedding ideas to share or you've seen something, heard of something-- please I'm all ears!

CALLING ALL FEMINISTS-- Please send your "How I managed a wedding" story!

And just in case you care.....


Tracey said...


I'm planning my wedding right now, and it's happening in March. I still haven't decided if I want to be "given away" yet, but I like the idea of having both of my parents do it, and also having both of his parents walk him down the aisle as well.

In lieu of favors, we're going to donate money to a GLBT rights organization in the hopes that one day all of our loved ones will be able to enjoy the privilege of marriage.

Have you decided what to do about your name? Are you going to do anything?

Tobes said...

Hey Tracey

It's so funny you say that because I want to do something just liket that for gay marriage in my wedding. Tyler and I are both nervous because we have some super political people who may use that against us on our wedding day. But maybe I can just ask them to leave then? :D ha

The name thing..... ugh no idea. I am pretty sure I'll keep my name or hypen or something. But I am realllllllly unsure.

Tobes said...

PS your blog rocks. I used to have you on my blog link list. I don't know what's wrong with blogger. It's like its eating some of my links. But 'Unapologetically Female' rocks my socks off

Tracey said...

Thanks, Tobes! I totally love your blog as well.

Here's my name-change dilemma. In principle, I believe in not changing your name, or combining names, or having the option to take the woman's name, or at least in hyphenating, etc.

But I've never liked my last name! It's one of those names that makes people crack jokes about when they hear it! And the fiance has an awesome last name that I can't wait to take. Is it wrong to take it on for "aesthetic" reasons? Ha.

I still get frustrated when I think about all of the implications of the name-change. Like having to go to all the work of legally changing it and feeling like I somehow have some of my past erased by taking on a new name.

(Not to mention that I'm currently in a Women's Studies program, and I worry about how I might be viewed by my fellow students and even faculty for my choice to change it. Is it ridiculous that I'm worried about that?)

I need to look back and find the awesome post Melissa McEwan wrote about her choice to take her husband's name. It rocked my socks off.

Anyway. No need to stress that much about a happy occasion, right? None of it matters that much when we're about to marry people we love, right?

If you want to read an interesting book, I recommend "I Do But I Don't" by Kamy Wicoff. I didn't relate to it from a class perspective (the girl's got bank), but she really goes into her own feminist response to all of the emotions throughout her engagement and wedding planning process.

ouyangdan said...


All I offer is this:

It's your wedding...both of you. Nothing "has to be" any sort of way. It's not for your parents, it's not for your friends. You do it as you see fit. No one should tell the two of you how to plan your own damned wedding.


Email me anytime w/ any questions. I'm here for ya!

The Red Queen said...

OMG! Tobes is gettin' hitched!

Congrats you crazy kids.

Sarah said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Even though I just sent you a text, I feel the need to tell you everywhere; here, Facebook, etc, haha, I'm so happy for you!

Tobes said...

Thank you guys! Tracey I don't think it's bad to take a new name because you don't like your old one! More power to you. I just wrestle cause I like my last name and while there's nothing wrong with keeping my name now it would be hard if I had a child and its surname was different from mine or my husband's name... on a lot of logical levels it makes sense to change... still not sure.

If you find Melissa's post about it, send me the link :) and I'm totally checking out that book :)

Adrienne said...

ha, now you can call him sexy FIANCE. :)

Here is how we are handling the name change. Up until a few weeks ago, I was planning on keeping my name. My thoughts on this changed when I signed a card from both of us with both of our names. It looked so tacky, and I realized that it would always be like that-- rather than just being 'the petersens' or 'the jeppersens' it would be 'mrs. petersen and mr. jeppersen and the petersen-jeppersen clan' ick.

So I broached the subject again and said that I never wanted to be SEPARATE, per se, what I wanted was some kind of an indication that we were joining a partnership while still keeping our individuality. He hates hyphenating (plus our names sound weird in either combination), so we ended up compromising like this. He is going to legally change his name to: "Mitchell Bruce (My last name) (His last name)" And I will do like wise. So my maiden name will actually be like a second middle name for both of us, and the kids will also use it as a second middle name.

It's kinda wordy, but I really like it.

Anonymous said...


I haven't been married, so the only advice I have is based on watching other people plan their weddings: don't stress out too much, because it should be fun!

Sunburned Counsel said...

Congratulations! I came by way of Shakesville with my advice:
In my experience, the best way to have a feminist wedding is the same as the best way to have any wedding:
1)Remember that it is a party to celebrate the two of you at its core,
2)pick three things you really, really care about as a couple. Could be the outfits, the location, the rings, the officiant, the flowers, music: whatever will be the things that make it feel like YOUR wedding. Spend all your energy on those three or four things, and the money (if you have it) to make them the way that you want. (We picked location- a summer camp, the rings-handmade by a family friend, cake-made by an amazing pastry chef, and our wedding certificate-because we're Quaker) Then either let all the other stuff go (if you don't care about favours, just don't do them) or let the person in your life who does care deal with them (In-laws, parents, the grandma who is going to freak out if there aren't roses, friends from college who are into doing the music or your cousin who really likes designing invitations) In the end, you'll have the stuff you want, a lot less random "it's what one does for a wedding" shit and the pull between you two, as a feminist couple, and maybe large and less-feminist families gets diffused. If they care, they can make it happen. This was our recipe for the most amazing, and relaxed day between two wildly, wildly different families with wildly different expectations.
3)If you are not changing your name (which I did not) make up "at home" cards. They are super-traditional Emily Post style cards (which you can easily make on your computer) which traditionally tell people when the newlyweds are "at home" after their honey-moon, and what their new address is (obviously relying on the assumption that they were not living together before). The genius is, they are very traditional, but can be used to explicitely state that (for instance):
Ms.Tobes and
Mr. Sexy Fiance
are at home March 25, 2009

They welcome guests to their home at........

Grandma's, Great-aunts, family friends love the traditional formality, and you are telling them, in their own language, that you did not change your name.

It won't stop the passive-aggressive assholes who will continue to refer to you as Mr. and Mrs. HisFirst HisLast against your wishes forever to punish you for being a feminist, but it will provide certainty of how you wish to be referred.

Apparently, I have a lot to say about all this. Ha. Sorry for the novel.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you both!

Being obsessed with research and history, the first thing I did was march down to the library and got some books on where wedding traditions come from. My insurance company sent me a planning book (weird I know) that had all sorts of "traditions" and their meanings in them that completely freaked me out. Like the veil representing "purity" and is only peeled away by the groom after his commitment...gahhh...I was not interested in walking down the aisle with a gauzy hymen on my head. Well, thanks to my research I found that the veil really only represents the 19th century fascination with draping and the ancient greeks. I could go on, and on, and on. The main point is that the "traditional" wedding is fairly modern and most of the traditions don't symbolize what you think they symbolize. I found this completely freeing and we used the knowledge to pick what symbols represented us and discarded the rest. Not doing a bunch of activities that had no meaning to us allowed the ones that were meaningful to really shine. Plus, less to plan out and pull off = less stress.

One way to make the traditions particularly meaningful is to choose your words carefully. We checked books out of the library and chose words that had meaning to us and encompassed the promises we wanted to make to each other. We had a friend do our ceremony so we had full rein. You could choose with your dad wording for being given away that signifies that you're not property, or being cast out of your family, but that your family's love and support has gotten you this far and they support this move for you. Only, you know, said prettier.

In terms of resources, if you're wanting wedding ideas there's a ton of blogs. The ones I remember best are the Offbeat Bride (in one section she posts pictures of weddings people send in) and Portovert, which focuses on environmental friendliness. The Kvetch boards at IndieBride can be helpful too.

If you're using vendors a local message board, such as the ones at the knot can be useful. Don't expect it to be a feminist space, but they can tell you who the good photographers, caterers, etc are. And that's really only the local board.

Hope that all helps.

Burning Prairie said...

Congratulations! I refused to include "obey" in my vows unless my southern baptist preacher would also make Hubby promise to obey me! So, that whole obey-thingy got left out entirely. And we had friends and family do as much as possible, so we didn't support the wedding industry, which I find very sexist.

Oh, and on a strictly wedding note, 2:00 pm is a great time to marry. Nobody expects lunch or dinner.

amandaw said...

Honestly, the best thing we did was set a date that gave us plenty of time. Everyone always talks about how rushed and stressed they feel, and I didn't want to go through that. And I didn't. We got married two years to the day he proposed (it conveniently fell on a Saturday). It was small (30 or so people). It was fairly casual (I would have been totally ok with jeans, tho' no one showed up in them, to my complete surprise given my family...)

We had a traditional Christian ceremony. But the ceremony was also devoid of any sort of prescribed roles. It was a partnership of equals. I think it was beautiful.

Give yourself time to think, to make careful decisions, and to have the time to chew on them before everything is set in stone. There are going to be things you want to do (like, for you, being given away -- or for me, taking his name) and things you'll never do (I didn't do a garter toss... yech). Where, when, how to decorate, who to invite, what to eat, whatever -- there are a lot of little details that go into planning a wedding. And most of them aren't going to fit easily into simple "feminist" or "antifeminist" boxes. Like I said: give yourself time to chew. That allows you to make decisions YOU are going to be comfortable with for the rest of your lives.

I loved our wedding and I'll always remember it fondly -- even though it did not resemble the mainstream magazine images at *all.* But we made it ours. And that's what matters. Ultimately, your wedding is a public expression of you two joining as one. It follows, then, that the event should be a good reflection of the values and preferences you two hold. Stay true to yourself.

Adrienne said...

burning prairie: we took 'obey' out of ours, too. I also said that I would not be announced/introduced as "man and wife" but rather, "husband and wife"

amandaw said...

our vows were pleasantly devoid of "obey" despite being traditional protestant vows... the only thing we really changed is to take out references to the state of calif. because we weren't filing for official marriage, just having our commitment ceremony.

Bianca Reagan said...


Remember that a wedding and a marriage is supposed to be a happy time. So do what you want to do, and tell anyone who complains that they can have their own wedding.

Tobes said...

Oh my gosh thank you everyone! This is the best EVAH!!!!

So, my new thought-- I need to start a feminist/fat friendly bridal magazine... or does such a creature already exist?