Last week I spent my sole lunch break shopping for dresses.
This is one of the many peculiarities of our impending ulta-modern, decidedly-feminist nuptials.
For those keeping score: Elise is the modern one; I’m the feminist.
At our engagement party I found myself standing in our kitchen next to my father’s wife, chatting about our (then vague) plans about the wedding. She asked me who my best man would be, and I snagged Gina out of the roiling crowd.
I mean, hello, who else would be my best man but Gina? I’ve known her for half of my life. I’m in a band with her. We’ve only been in one fight, ever, which was neither of our faults. We are adept at psychic communication.
These are all traits one seeks in a best man. She really is the best man for the job.
(In this next bit I am maybe engaging in a slight blog-reality edit, but this is how I remember it. Or at least it’s how the story is best told.)
Dad’s wife laughed. Yes, yes, Gina is my best friend. But, does she have a “counterpart”? Another “good friend” of mine fitting the “best man” moniker?
Additional “scare quotes” trailed after her sentence, hanging expectantly in the air.
I replied that I had a great friend that I talk to every single day, who coddled me through my engagement cold feet, helped me design my ring, and even came early to help us set up for the party.
Her name is Lindsay.
The laugh this time was more pointed.
“Don’t you have any male friends?”
I do have male friends, and I love them dearly, but if anyone took an objective look at my life it would be clear to them that my best friends are all women, and since I’m marrying one of them it stands to reason that the next few on the list ought to be the ones at my side on the big day.
Thus, Gina and Lindsay are my “co-best ladies.” CBLs, for short. With the addition of Erika, the girls outnumber the boys in my party three to two.
As we get farther into the wedding planning – and as we attend more weddings – I’m starting to appreciate how weddings can be both completely vicarious and intensely personal.
Except, a lot of people don’t leave room for the personal. And, I suppose kowtowing to tradition, or family, or current trends can be deeply personal for a lot of people, but for us none of the three really matches our personality.
Which means I have CBLs. And we’re not having flowers, because we don’t care and they aren’t budgetarily or environmentally responsible. And we’re making our own print collateral – not to save money, but because we both work in communications and we want to have control over the look and feel of our wedding.
Through the process of discovering these personal touches, I am gaining a new appreciation for weddings. In 2006 we attended a barbecue wedding with pies instead of cake. Last month we went to a wedding where the father/daughter dance was the Action News theme song.
Those are personal touches, perfect for their respective couples. Anyone who would turn their noses up at them would be insane.
Maybe most men don’t want to spend their lunch breaks looking at dresses – for them it would be less of a personal touch, and more of a personal hell. I can appreciate that. But to me everything from our CBLs to our DIY invites are the defining facets of our modern, feminist wedding. As the feminist half of that equation, for me it’s not just about axing antiquated “Adam’s rib” readings and sexist, sexual bachelor parties.
Feminism isn’t just about the female – it’s about equality in words and actions.
That means that I can and should have an opinion on dresses, and décor, and everything else about my wedding. A wedding marks the joining of our anima and animus, neither of us giving away or sacrificing anything of ourselves in the process. How can that joining be equal if the groom does nothing but say yes and write checks?
And, besides, my CBLs are going to look stunning.