Why I Don’t Use the Words Bride or Groom: Gender, Equality, and the WIC Part 2
Category: From the Cat Perch | Published on: August 26, 2015
Since the creation of the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC for short), wedding vendors have focused on selling the bride. Bridal shows. Bridal portraits. BRIDES magazine. Articles about men's wedding participation tend to be titled, "How to Dress Your Groom" and "Fun Ways to Include Your Groom's Style in the Wedding."
How come I've never heard of a Groom's Shower? Why is a "groom's" cake called a Groom's Cake but a "bride's" cake called a Wedding Cake? Why is there "bridal" fashion but not "groomesque" fashion?
Gender Roles and Assumptions
I've never been a huge fan of gender-assigned roles. Yes, I'm artsy and crafty, I like to cook, and I do most of the cleaning in my household. But I really hate when someone assumes I do those things because I am the woman in a cisgender heterosexual relationship. And when I was planning my wedding, I hated that vendors assumed I was doing most of the work because I am the woman in a cisgender heterosexual relationship. And I hated, that by asking about "my groom," they were assuming that my husband was taking the "traditional" role because he was the man in a cisgender heterosexual relationship.
Things get even worse when you're a couple of two brides or of two grooms (or of two people who just don't fit squarely into either category). Too many vendors want to "speak to the bride." Their contracts have a line for one bride and another for one groom. Their marketing is defined by appealing to brides, and it does a disservice to gender equality everywhere.
Why I Don't Use the Words Bride or Groom
I work with couples and spouses-to-be. I am a wedding vendor, and my job is to help make your wedding the perfect reflection of the two people you are.
Other vendors may find it an easy shortcut to define their clients based on stereotypical definitions of bride and groom. But I prefer a more fulfilling approach—actually taking the time to get to know my clients and their priorities. Not every client is going to have the same vision for their wedding. Some of them may not even have a vision. And that's okay. I'm not here to convince my clients that they have to act a certain way or want a certain thing. I'm here to work with them to create the invitations they want, whether they're a bride, a groom, or whatever they want to be.
Have you had a wedding vendor treat you rudely because you didn't fit their preconception of a bride or a groom? Share below!
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