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Five Feminist Wishes for Fabulous Indian Brides

If you expect your marriage to be a partnership between equals, why not start with shedding old-fashioned norms?

The concept of marriage continues to evolve around the world and in India but wedding ceremonies, stuck in rigid tradition and empty symbolism, still lag behind. So how should a modern bride (and her groom) cope with some of these old-fashioned norms?

Five Feminist Wishes for Fabulous Indian BridesPhoto Courtesy : Mili Ghosh

The good news is, just removing some of the more outdated practices from the ceremony takes nothing away from either the sanctity or the emotional richness of the nuptials. Whether you’re deciding to shed the color red for your bridal ensemble or discarding rituals that feel obsolete, here are five things we wish for women all over India to celebrate entering true marital bliss on an equal footing.

1. Feminist Husbands
Feminism – at its core, equal rights across genders – is good for men and women! Some men shy away from the label but that’s only because they’ve been fed an incorrect definition. Feminist men make the world go round, they raise braver daughters, more just sons and create an equitable, peaceful, productive society. We truly believe that the most confident manliness is to support women’s rights and not be ashamed of it. Imagine a world where girls are strong, where boys can cry, and where husbands are the ultimate feminists!

2. No More Sexist Rituals
Couples can feel the absolute liberation of knowing they can tailor their wedding rituals to something unique and meaningful to them and the special dynamic of their relationship. No need to get bogged down by traditions they may not even truly understand. Most of those traditions can be alarmingly sexist in origin or they perpetuate a patriarchal society. So we propose we just ignore these sexist wedding traditions until they go away. Let’s start our own new traditions instead.

3. Shed The Red
It’s your big day and you want to epitomize elegance, grace and beauty. It’s tempting to go with the flow and let red rule your head – but what does your heart say? Would you like to buck the trend and stand out from the same-old same-old? Ditch the boring red lehenga and opt for an unconventional color that truly defines your personality. Shed the red and choose patterns, hues and tones that spell oomph and individuality this year for your bridal trousseau. (Psst. looking for some inspiration, check these non-red lehengas!)

4. Split the expenses
Very often, the bride’s family takes on the financial burden of the wedding or at least a very large portion of it. In some ways, it deprives the bride’s family of the equal status they ought to be able to take for granted. It makes much more sense for both sets of families to contribute as much as they can afford. But paying for it yourselves (if you can) might be even better because it gives you complete control over your big day.

5. Not Being Given Away
Kanyadaan – A tradition in Indian weddings (and some western cultures) without which the wedding is incomplete. Kanyadaan is made up of 2 words: Kanya and Daan. Taken literally, it means ‘giving the daughter away’ – from a male elder of her family to her husband. While it might have made sense in ancient times, today, the treatment of women as property is abhorrent in every way. Some traditions are better left buried with time and the tradition of Kanyadaan is one such. There’s a bitter edge to the emotional moment of ‘giving away’ the bride that can be unsettling. Shake up these archaic practices and introduce your own versions of the original to bring joy and cheer to the special day.

What do you wish for women getting married across India this New Year? Write to us and let us know your thoughts on editor@weddingsutra.com.

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