Why Are Weddings Getting Weirder?

Over the weekend, British budget airline easyJet announced that it hopes to soon hold in-flight wedding ceremonies. It’s not official yet, but the airline is looking into whether it can get its pilots authorized to officiate weddings in the air, a feat that may be easier said than done, as Heather Dsenisi, deputy registrar at the Southampton Registry Office, explains: “Officially, British marriages have to be conducted in a licensed building, which has to be a permanent structure that doesn’t move, and the ceremony has to be officiated by a minister of religion or by a registrar employed by a local council.” If easyJet does manage to get the go-ahead and couples start marrying mid-flight, their nuptials will join a growing trend of increasingly weird weddings. In the last year, we’ve seen a candy shop wedding, a Taco Bell wedding, Barbie weddings, and even a Hello Kitty wedding. Are these quirky ceremonies just good fun, or do they mock the sanctity of marriage? Have weddings been reduced to nothing more than an avenue to express creativity? It’s not only personality quirks and individual creativity that couples seem to want to express in their weddings these days. Jessica Valenti of Feministing.com is getting married soon and plans to have what she calls a “big, fat feminist wedding,” making a political statement out of a very personal occasion. If you’re wondering what a big, fat feminist wedding looks like, it seems to include the bride wearing a “not-quite white dress,” both parents walking both the bride and the groom down the aisle, and announcements that ask “anyone considering [getting the couple] a gift to instead donate to an organization fighting for same-sex marriage rights.” Of course, a feminist wedding can be whatever a feminist bride and groom says it is, whether that includes a not-quite white dress or no dress at all, but does labeling a wedding justify a couple’s choice to enter what some consider an archaic institution? And does it really matter what others think?