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:
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
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
You could also include charity suggestions in your program, if you're having one.
Give your bridesmaids political jewelry
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.
Use a protest sign as a guest book
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
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.