So here’s the word on the street: Black ladies don’t get married. Beside the obvious paradox of me writing that statement, it’s one of the myths/urban legends that’s out there. Folks can say that they’re sick of hearing about it or whatever, but for single ladies (all the single ladies!) it’s demoralizing to think that the deck is stacked against you…I wrote about it over here.
(I found this by Googling “happy Black couple…not bad, huh?)
The first of many pieces of advice I got about the wedding was that I must (must!) invite everyone as a pair…that it would be tacky not to let everyone bring a guest. Now I’m all about etiquette (my mom had me writing thank you notes for gifts before I could spell my own name correctly) and think that’s it’s fabulous to have a set of behaviors that is generally agreed upon as “good”.
That being said, I was trying to figure out how on Earth I could invite everyone with a guest to a reception that will max out at 150 people. Know what I decided? Eff it. I can’t give everyone a guest, sorry. I’m sure some folks will say (behind my back of course) that I’m being uber rude, but I can’t sweat it. I’ll take some snide comments rather than not inviting someone (who’s not in a relationship, but will scramble to find someone…anyone!…to fill that “and guest” role so that they’re not there without a date) who is very important to me, but not dating anyone seriously.
I suppose you can guess that since I like etiquette, that I love Martha Stewart. Girrrl, she’ll make a twenty course meal and look at the camera and say that it was easy…and be serious! Anyhoo, I was on the Martha wedding site and they say that I’m right! Woo hoo!! Go on over here and check it out, but here’s a snippet:
I sort of like the “you can only bring a date if you’re married (duh!) engaged, or living together” rule. Any less specific, and you’ve opened the floodgates: “But he told me he loved me! or “I slept over and he remembered my name!”
What are you and your sweetie doing about this?
Shhh, don’t tell anyone…but even the “anti-wedding industry” websites are overwhelmingly (and joy-crushingly) White. I remember being so excited to find that there were other bride-to-be’s out there who understood that the wedding isn’t about stuff, but about people. It’s not even just about the one day (which in my opinion is hugely important), but about a beginning…the wedding shouldn’t be the end all be all, right?
My internal struggle has been that even on those cool sites, with ladies that get it…they’re still pretty homogenous. Cool? Yes! Rational and reasonable? Of course! Not taking crap from the wedding “man”? For real! But still…pretty White. So while idealistically I can relate, there is still that expanse…the gap.
It almost seems that all brides, cool or not, are White. It’s still fun to read what real ladies have to say about their weddings, what real people (not all posed up, thank you) look like at their weddings. But until today, I hadn’t read a woman of color give her thoughts on one of the mainstream blogs, the idea that there’s a total and complete imbalance in the representation of “the bride” on her wedding day. Go check out this article on A Practical Wedding to read about an interracial couple who got married in a beautiful ceremony and a bride who’s not afraid to tell it like it is!
It’s a great read (I truly love this site) and reminds us that, like my post about women of color in wedding mags, the inability to “see ourselves” in the blogs and magazines is tough. It gets to be hard to remind myself that I’ll be a pretty bride even if there aren’t folks that look like me out there. That my hair’s gonna be cute on my wedding day, even if it’s hard to find ideas out there. That I can find a superfly photographer who knows how to take pics of Black folks. Sites like Chocolate Brides are great for finding community…but I guess I’m confused about why, in 2010, we still have to have a separate site for Black ladies to see positive images of themselves as brides and wives and mothers.
*Stepping off of soapbox*