Feminist Wedding in France: Jeanne & Lawrence

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Not all Rock n Roll weddings need to be epic DIY extravaganzas, rainbow heavens or tattoo-fests. Sometimes it’s just the fact that two people, madly in love are saying “I do” in their own unique way. That’s exactly what Jeanne and Lawrence did in August this year.

The wedding was held in the family home, a watermill in Loze, Tarn et  Garonne, South West France. “We are both very political, and very much on the left”. wrote the bride. “We would also both identify as radical feminists so we really wanted to reclaim the concept of a wedding, out of its problematic patriarchal roots and into something that was meaningful to us. We only followed tradition when it made sense to us. For example, my godfather had really insisted to walk me to the altar (both my parents having passed away), but I had to vehemently refuse, as the symbolism of the bride being taken to her husband by a father­ figure is rather problematic to us. It was important to me to walk alone, yet surrounded by my chosen family: my bridesmaids and bridesmen.”

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“We did not have traditionally gendered wedding parties”, she continued. “There were both men and women in the groom’s and bride’s crew (and I refused to have a ‘hen do’ too. I had a ‘wombat do’! it was a karaoke party two nights before the wedding and everyone was invited!. Lawrence and I wrote our own vows and discussed them with each other in advance to make sure we were OK with what we were promising each other. We took our vows very seriously so we did not want to keep them a surprise from each other. It was, rather, a collaborative experience, about articulating what we were really committing to.”

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“Our officiant, Levi, was a close friend who has experience celebrating weddings in the US. The text she wrote for the ceremony truly reflected our values and was not at all standardised. After the ceremony, everyone walked up the hill to the nearby village to the beat of the marching band to do the legal ceremony at the town hall. The vision of everyone marching up the hill in the sun to the sound of a marching band was the first image I had of the wedding, and I feel like the rest of the day was constructed around it.”

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Their political and feminist beliefs were also represented during their reception. “We chose to name our tables after our political heroes and heroines”, Jeanne said. “For each table sign there was a brief bio and a quote from the table’s namesake. During the dinner, we made time in between courses for speeches and also for songs we had rehearsed in advance with important guests. Our loved ones all live on different continents and it was our one chance to have them all at the same place at the same time. We wanted to celebrate not only our love for each other but also all the people who have supported us.”

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Supporting Cast

15 comments

  1. Marielle

    This is simply the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen… And God knows I have seen A LOT !

  2. Morgan

    I love this wedding, i’m of a similar opinion to this bride. I’m getting married next July and i’m not having anyone “give me away”, i dont see myself as being anyones to give away! We are also thinking of doing a joint Hen & Stag do fr all our friends and calling it a Hag or Sten Party.
    I dont see why anyone should confirm to traditional wedding conventions! We are not having a white dress, cake cutting, offical speeches etc we are planning to make sure everyone has a good time!
    More of this! YAY!

  3. megan

    You didn’t have a “feminist wedding” nor did you need to. You had a unique wedding, doing away with problematic traditions while creating your own that worked for you. It’s this type of self-serving labelling that turns so many people away from the basic “feminist” definition: Gender equality and freedom. It’s not a goddamn wedding theme. 😐

  4. Fuchsia Groan

    She still wore a white dress though. I think it’s pretty important to think carefully about the meaning behind wedding traditions and consider why you still want to include them in your wedding.

    I also think it’s important to remember that a ‘feminist’ wedding can cover a huge spectrum of events and doesn’t need to be overtly political to reflect an equality in a relationship.

  5. Paula

    Gorgeous! I photographed a wonderful feminist wedding earlier this year, the bride had both her parents walk her down the aisle.

  6. Christina

    Gender equality is exactly what it’s all about but while women are so unequally represented in positions of power, sexual violence towards women is so terrifyingly prevalent, while women are paid significantly less and treated as they are in the media it is important to be loud about saying this is not OK. Gender equality is still an idea. Until we actually have equality worldwide I think we should be shouting about things being feminist and thinking about what we do and why we do it and not be ashamed of the f-word as much as is humanly possible. The fact that when you marry your property and your earnings remain yours and that if you divorce you can still see your children is because of women who campaigned at great risk to themselves. I want my vows to be said acknowledging that and will be as clear as possible throughout our wedding that I am making these decisions conscious that I have a freedom many others currently do not have. All a theme does for a wedding is focus some choices. I think saying your wedding has a feminist theme and using it as an opportunity to share those beliefs with people kicks ass compared to ‘shall we have butterflies or love hearts?”

  7. Gabi Ranna

    Without reading the text, the wedding was superb.
    But I really raise my eyebrows for everyone so political or religiously radical.
    But it’s rock n’ roll in the way they had the wedding they want.

    Although I really prefer the tatto-fest-colorblast-extreme-DIY ones.

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