Our former Shiny Shiny deputy editor Alex Roumbas has taken the plunge into wedding planning but there’s just one thing bugging her… is getting married bad for men?
I got engaged just over a week ago and since then I’ve become a staunch feminist for men’s rights.
What I didn’t know is how badly the wedding industry treats grooms…
We’re getting married in December, which means we need to get our skates on. The wedding meal also needs to be entirely or at least half kosher, so we may have some issues finding suitable caterers. Whatever the reasons, we’ve plunged straight into the planning.
In other words, I’m stressed and busy enough without things that I’ve asked my fiance, Ashley, to deal with ending up back on my plate. So why is it that when he calls the hotel we’re interested in having the ceremony at that they register our interest “in the bride’s name”? When being shown around the rooms, the staff defer to me first, too. A case of ladies first, or the fear (borne of experience? Prejudice?) that I’ll go bridezilla if they don’t?
Then came the wedding list. Fed up and stressed out from quotes, dry hire prices, parking queries, Beth Din enquiries and more we thought we’d turn to the potential presents to cheer us up. We set up an account with a high street store online and I had my typical growl when it only gave a post-marriage surname option for the bride. Yes, I plan to change my name, but it shouldn’t be assumed, by this site or any of the other wedding sites I’ve signed up to. Still, at least in the contact section it gave the option to contact the groom, the bride or both. “Both”, I check, finally thinking it might lead to Ashley being able to act autonomously. He is 33, after all.
The store calls within half an hour to confirm the registration, and, without asking who the man answering the phone is, asks to speak to the bride.
Why? Are men really so disinterested in the ceremony marking their lifetime commitment that they’re not going to answer any questions? Are they incapable of having a preference or making a decision about proceedings? Already women I speak to are bypassing Ash and making straight for me to talk about the wedding, but he does have an opinion and it is important to him.
Maybe I’m just lucky and bucking tradition, but somehow I doubt it. If the wedding industry is so routinely used to ignoring those people with a penis, what on earth do they do when confronted by a male-male civil partnership?
Alexandra Roumbas is a writer and editor based in London.