Big Wedding, Small Budget

Resisting the Stereotypes

on October 8, 2012

When people talk to me about the wedding planning, the same conversations seem to come up over and over again. Inevitable, some comment is made about how Steve’s job is to feign interest, agree to everything I want, and simply show up. I mean, the wedding is all about the bride, really, isn’t it?

I know what you’re probably thinking right now. Barbra is such a feminist; she really values equality in relationships and stands up to those silly kinds of traditions. Surely, she and Steve are equal partners in planning this wedding.

Well, I wish I could say you’re right. Since I do usually rail against gendered cultural expectations, there is no way I would be living the stereotype of the bride who is planning the wedding on her own. There’s no way I would be having the kind of wedding where my groom is not involved at all. Right?

Um, wrong. Actually, in this case, we totally fulfill the stereotype. The truth is, I’m the one doing the planning for this wedding. There have been a couple of time where I’ve gotten Steve’s input, but for the most part, I do the research, look at the options, and make a decision on my own. Sometimes he wants to see what I’ve chosen, but usually he doesn’t.

This is not because I’m a controlling bride (although I do have control freak tendencies, they’re not usually about having things my way). It’s not because I think it’s a bride’s job to plan everything. And it’s certainly not because I have a vision of my perfect wedding in my head and am not going to let Steve ruin it. After all, I think we’ve established that I am not a “typical” bride (whatever that is).

This way of planning works for us. I am a planner. I love organizing, I love doing research, and I love worrying about mundane details and tedious tasks. I’m good at it. I can work efficiently and make firm decisions. I’m definitely not wishy-washy and I don’t often second guess myself. I’ve really enjoyed wedding planning so far, and I hope to keep it that way.

Steven, on the other hand, is way more spontaneous. He doesn’t really like thinking things out before he does not. He doesn’t plan ahead for much, unless it involves plane tickets (and even then…). He would really not enjoy having to think about and decide things like the menu, or research about bulk alcohol prices. He is way less detail oriented (when it comes to non-work things) than I am.

We could choose to fight against gender stereotypes by forcing equality in the wedding planning. But why should we, when this works for us?

The problem is, I’m not quite pedantic enough to give this long explanation every time someone assumes that Steve is not involved. I can’t tell them they’re wrong, but I don’t want to admit they’re right either. So for now, I just smile and nod, and assume people know us well enough to figure it out. I need to remember that make the occasional non-feminist choice doesn’t mean I’m betraying the cause. There is still so much to fight for, this is just one particular fight that I’m sitting out.



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