Wedding as a political act: 8 ways to show your wedding is part of the resistance

Wedding as political act
These pussy-hatted bridesmaids are Photoshopped, but could totally be your wedding.

Look, we're just some silly wedding blog but the real talk is this: we are in an unprecedented time of political unrest in the US right now. It's overwhelming and terrifying and anxiety-producing — making the angst of wedding planning seem like a fluffy kitten trip to a marshmallow spa by comparison.

We've gotten emails from several readers saying things like, "My partner and I see our wedding as an ethical AND political act. It's also one of the biggest events we'll ever put on, with a corresponding budget. We want to make thoughtful decisions at every step, from hiring vendors who support our values to thinking through DIY/readings/honeymoon. I've followed your site for years, but my questions now are different than they were a few months ago…"

We've talked for years about folks who've used their weddings as political statements, most notably with marriage equality back before it became legal nationwide… but we're in a different era now, and I'd argue that things are way more overwhelming than they were back then.

First, some disclaimers: I'm certainly not saying that making a political statement with your wedding is a substitute for taking more direct action like voting (duh!), calling your senators, protesting, or donating. Also, while having a "Pay-it-forward" wedding (where you elope to the courthouse and donate your entire wedding budget to a non-profit) is an excellent option, it's not for everyone.

These things in mind, here are a few small ways to make your wedding part of the resistance:

Charitable favors

Wedding as political statement
ACLU Let People Vote sticker — 100 pack

This is a longtime favorite idea to steal that's here to take on new meaning. You could allow guests to choose between giving their favor token to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Marie Stopes International (like Planned Parenthood, but abroad), American Refugee Committee, The Trevor Project, Arab-American Family Support Center, and National Immigration Law Center.

Register for your chosen causes

Cash registries will often allow you to register for charitable organizations in lieu of gifts or honeymoon funds. It will also give your guests time to research which charities they'd like to support among some choices you can provide.

Make a statement with your vows

Wedding as political act
Wedding vow print from Geezees Custom Canvas

Mentioning marriage equality in self-written vows has long been a way to get your views out in the open and make a statement. Giving a shout-out to other challenges and harrowing times in which we're living gives some gravity to the current climate, some realism to your promises, and reinforces that you're a team through all circumstances. Maybe it's something as simple as, "I promise to support you during these challenging times in our nation and to support all those who want to pursue life, liberty, and love alongside us in the U.S."

Put your wedding party in pussy hats

This picture is another Photoshop, but we're extremely eager to swap it out for a real photo from one of your weddings. SERIOUSLY. *makes phone sign by head* CALL ME.

Pussy hats: not just for bridesmaids. Groomsmen of quality support women's equality! Here's a smaller lapel version, too.

You could also include charity suggestions in your program, if you're having one.

Give your bridesmaids political jewelry

Wedding as political act

Ok fine: so these FUCK TRUMP necklaces from Etsy seller Squirrel vs Coyote may not be your style. You could go more subtle. You could make a more positive statement. Or you could just say what you mean.

Wedding as political statement
Resist Necklace from Jewelry VV
Wedding as political statement
"Nevertheless she persisted" necklace from Debidean

Use a protest sign as a guest book

Wedding as political statement
Indivisible sign from Boots Tees

If you have a sign you'd like framed and hung on your wall containing the names of all your loved ones, a protest sign or political print could be a cool take-away as a guest book.

Donate your leftover food & flowers

Yep, you can donate leftover food and flowers if you do it the right way. Your money won't go straight into the garbage and you'll be supporting a few good causes at the same time.

Keep on fighting

Keep choosing to fight while you're planning your wedding and voting at midterm and local elections. Don't forget: weddings are a great way to celebrate life and feel free to be completely happy for a few moments.

Wedding as political statement
Feminist Button Resistance Pin

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  1. The big one that isn't mentioned here is making vendor decisions that support your values. Look for vendors that show pictures from diverse weddings and make specific mention of inclusiveness in their marketing materials. Choose caterers and florists who source from sustainable sources that protect the environment. Think about your own impact as you make decisions- do you need to print programs? can you set-up a carpool list for guests? Can you buy local made products and not get things shipped off of the internet? Make specific mention to guests with signage or what-not about the decisions you've made and why you've made them ("We've decided not to print paper programs, as an effort to reduce our wedding's environmental footprint. We encourage all our guests to join us in helping to prevent climate change."

    4 agree
    • YAASSSSSSSS

      The food truck we booked for our wedding coincidentally happens to be a Mexican-style brunch truck (breakfast burritos and chilaquiles!) owned by an Iranian lesbian. At the time we booked, it was a statement of deliciousness and not necessarily politics. But now I couldn't be more honored to support local communities who are threatened by Trump.

      2 agree
    • I was coming here to say this! My fiancé and I have decided to only use local vendors for our wedding because 1) our city is "up and coming" and needs the support and 2) we can know about the beliefs/ethics of the businesses and individuals we are supporting. Our budget and event are small, but it's something small we're doing that feels good.

      1 agrees
  2. I just want to thank you for this, Ariel! I know many view wedding planning as an opportunity to distract themselves from everything in the news, and I totally get that, but for me the incongruity borders on dysphoria. It can be difficult to muster the emotional energy to make decisions & follow up with vendors.

    Reminding myself that joy can be an act of resistance has been helpful, as has being really deliberate in our decisions & what I spend my time (and money) on. I'd love to hear how others are responding (and what actions or decisions have made you feel really good in the process). I'll start by saying that I was able to exhale a bit by choosing a photographer who gives 10% to the ACLU and is a member of Stand Up (for marriage equality) & the Green Wedding Alliance.

    On a more fun note, I'm currently talking with my besties about having a co-ed Nasty Women & Bad Hombres bachelor/ette party, and I'm beyond excited about the possibilities.

    2 agree
  3. Yas, thank you for this.I was actually talking to my partner last night about how we could involve donations to the ACLU at the wedding. My wedding is in 64 days and planning has been particularly difficult since 1/20. It's a nice distraction, but it's hard to shake that guilt that there are more important things that I should be putting my effort on.
    But, this def gave me some inspiration for my bridesmaid gifts, because my ladies are two of the most bad ass nasty women I know. AND now I'm thinking we could get a photo op of us in our wedding attire with our signs from the women's march. Keep on resisting!

    1 agrees

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