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21st Century brides rejecting ‘anti-feminist’ wedding traditions

An increasing proportion of brides-to-be are rejecting old-fashioned wedding day traditions which they see as anti-feminist, a new survey claims.

Directory surveyed 200 brides to be. Nineteen per cent agreed with the claim that some wedding traditions could be seen as anti-feminist ‘to some extent’. More than a quarter (26 per cent) said they planned to keep their maiden names after marriage, while just under ten per cent said they would not be wearing white on their big day.

Other wedding traditions which now attract scepticism from some quarters are engagement rings, as these are supposed to mark women as ‘taken’; bridal veils, because these are seen as submissive to the husband; and the concept of being ‘given away’.

The site’s Elki Parmar said:

“Some of the brides we have spoken to are doing things they feel makes their wedding more ‘feminist’. One bride decided not to be given away by her father, the idea being that one of the connotations of this tradition is that the woman is property to be given away. Other brides are choosing not to wear white on their wedding day as a woman’s white wedding dress traditionally carries connotations of virginal innocence whereas what the groom wears on his wedding day is not perceived to be symbolic, creating somewhat of an imbalance from some feminist perspectives.”

She added:

“Many of the women we spoke to thought that changing their last name after marriage to their husbands’ conformed to a patriarchal ideology and didn’t want to feel they were giving up their own identity for their husbands. While some were planning to not change their names at all, others were going to incorporate their husbands’ name into their own. However many women also echoed the sentiment that a couple sharing the same last name is something that binds their family together.”


The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Luke says:

    Marriage by definition is not a feminist institution, if they are going to get rid of all these parts of it then why not dump it altogether – why on earth would a feminist get married ?

  2. JamesB says:

    I don’t believe in the oppression of women or engagement rings or white wedding dresses.

    Feminism, well, I think David Cameron is banning that on search engines.

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