Notes from the Editor, Weddings

The 10 Most-Read The Tempest Stories of 2017: Weddings Edition

Weddings are so much more than just venues, decor, flowers, and dresses.

2017 is coming to an end, and here at The Tempest we can’t help but look back on all the things that have happened this year. From 45’s reign of terror to Serena Williams having her beautiful, bouncing baby, 2017 has been a conglomeration of terrible and amazing events.

The weddings section, in particular, has grown by leaps and bounds. At The Tempest, we’re always aiming to deliver stories from real women and non-binary folk that challenge the narrative of traditional media. So this year, for this beloved section, I want to showcase how our writers brought the wedding industry to a standstill with their honest portrayals of what getting married is really about.

From challenging patriarchal marriage norms to plus-sized representation, here are our Top 10 articles from this year.

1. “20 things we totally need to stop doing at South Asian weddings,” by Syjil Ashraf

There are so many ways that South Asian weddings can be an absolute nightmare for both wedding guests and the bride and groom. Piling up your plate at the buffet, standing for hours of pointless photographs, and judging the bride for every move she makes are just a few of the nonsensical, rude things we choose to participate in at these weddings.  Your Aunty may not appreciate it, but everyone else will.  Read More.

2. “Meet the founder disrupting the wedding industry for the greater good – and she’s not going anywhere,” by Dyuthi Prakash

Danielle Calhoun takes the concept of a “You Do You” bride to the next level. Being tired of Pinterest-perfect weddings that felt decadent in the face of a world ravaged by various atrocities, Black Sheep Brides goes a step further in wedding planning. Instead of focusing on creating perfect, expensive and largely forgettable wedding details, BSB offers a comprehensive guide and directory of vendors to help your wedding be more sustainable and charitable. From her experiences with social responsibility, Calhoun is showing all of us how simple it is to use your wedding as an opportunity to give back. Read More.

3. “My best friend is getting married – and I’m going to be the only black girl there,” by Shanicka Anderson

In a world that is hellbent on making people of color feel othered, it’s important to understand the kinds of anxieties we might face when prepared for something as auspicious as a friend’s wedding day. Shanicka Anderson bravely opened up about her insecurities being the only black, plus-sized bridesmaid in her best friend’s bridal party, and I’m sure so many of us can relate to how this feels. From worrying about how the dress will fit, to feeling nervous about if the hairstyle will damage her natural hair, having to deal with these kinds of anxieties makes something as dreamy as a wedding turn into a living nightmare. This kind of article is so important to soon-to-be-brides so that they know how to be empathetic and accommodating to their different bridesmaids. Read More.

4. “I can’t get married yet – I don’t want to sacrifice myself to be a wife,” by Shajia Abidi

In many cultures, the pressure to get married grows as soon as you reach a specific age. For some, it’s the moment you become an “adult,” while for others it’s the moment you finish your education. Unfortunately for our families who are ready to marry us off at the first opportunity, many of us are still waiting to be emotionally ready to have that kind of commitment to someone. Instead of focusing on “running out of time” or “running out of suitors,” just focus on the things you want to achieve and let marriage come later. Read More.

5. “I’m probably going to get major aunty side-eye at my wedding. I’m totally okay with that,” by Syjil Ashraf

So many of us in heterosexual relationships have felt the sharp sting of seeing our male partners treated better than us – they are given a myriad of freedoms while we are expected to sit and watch quietly. When it comes to weddings, this phenomenon gets amplified by family and friends hellbent on upholding archaic traditions that see women as silent and obedient during their wedding rather than joyous and ready to party. So to all those Desi brides out there; you do you, boo. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Read More.

6. “I don’t care if I’m not supposed to get a divorce in my Muslim community – if I need to, I’ll do it,” by Shajia Abidi

It’s great to get caught up in the whimsy of weddings and marriage, but the truth isn’t always pretty. Many people find themselves in marriages wrought with physical and/or emotional abuse, unable to get out because of the stigma around divorce. In some cases, people might not feel in love anymore, and even then they deserve to opt out of a marriage. By ending the stigma around divorce, we can help people who do not want to feel tied to someone who endangers their wellbeing, or that they no longer have feelings for. Read More.

7. “This is the ultimate single girl’s survival guide to Desi weddings,” by Shehnaz Khan

If you’re a single Desi girl, you know exactly what it feels like to be stuck at a wedding with Aunties hounding you about when it’s “your turn.” Instead of letting the fear of that impending hell eat your soul, why not take a few tips from Shehnaz Khan on how to avoid Aunties or beat them at their own game. It may seem daunting, but trust me, these are life-saving. Read More.

8. “Everything went wrong on my wedding day. This is how I survived,” by Ariana Munsamy

Take it from me, being sold the idea that your wedding day has to be perfect is really, really difficult to endure. We’re expected to throw a ton of money into losing weight, buying expensive products, going for facials and waxing, all in an effort to be someone else’s version of “perfect.” Of course, nothing ever goes the way we want it to, and getting to hear about this “gone wrong” experience is both hilarious and refreshing. From one veteran bride to any soon-to-be-brides; just breathe. Read More.

9. “15 plus-sized brides giving us life with their drop-dead gorgeous looks,” by Shanicka Anderson

2017 was definitely a year of learning how important representation is, not just in the movies we watch, but also in the kind of media we consume. Being a bride can be difficult, considering the amount of pressure we are put under to match different beauty ideals. The Tempest is all about crashing through toxic societal norms and showcasing women and non-binary people for who they are. This roundup of beautiful, plus-sized brides is a perfect example of how important it is to represent ourselves in every facet of life. Even weddings. Read More.

10. “I thought we would have a fairytale marriage after the wedding. I was wrong,” by Reema Patel

So many of us are sold the idea that a wedding marks a huge transition in our lives. Of course, we might have different surnames, live in a different home, or even live with a new family. But our relationships, the very thing that got us to the wedding in the first place, don’t have to change. Turns out we don’t need to change dramatically to make a wedding feel worth it, we just have to appreciate each other for why we fell in love in the first place. Read More.