Making Marriage Modern

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I've been thinking a lot about marriage lately. About what it means to be a wife or a bride in a world where marriage rates are dropping. About why husbands of women who chose to keep their last names are more likely to be perceived as feminine, and why half of US adults believe a woman should be required by law to take her husband's name after marriage. About where all these narratives about marriage have gotten us, and how we might move forward productively.

Lots of the weddings I've been to recently have a dating app to thank for bringing together the happy couple. A gal pal split the cost of her engagement ring—along with a few more gorgeous baubles to stack—with her groom. A high school buddy of mine was proposed to be his amazing girlfriend, and few months later, he returned the favor with an engagement ring that matches his. It may not surprise you that I've been celebrating so many nontraditional partnerings—after all, John and I were hitched for five years before we had a wedding. But there's still lots of judgement about these kinds of choices, which makes it tough for couples who want to write their own marriage rule book.

I love a beaming bride in a white dress and her handsome groom at the end of the aisle. But I also love midday ceremonies at City Hall, a bride in a killer pantsuit, grooms in matching getups, folks defining what marriage means to them—and staying single if that's what best for you. When we lose the judgement and simply support modern, empowering relationships in every form, our communities grow stronger and our world becomes a more beautiful place. That's why I'm sharing this guide from Blue Nile about blending old traditions with new ones, and making marriage modern.

Cheers to contributing to all your relationships in a meaningful way, and writing your own rule book for happiness.

Ring photo by Josh Gruetzmacher.



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