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Pairs well with:

Apothic red or white wine, whichever is your preference as these were our wedding table wines so you can pretend you were there while you read this.


I had a feminist engagement and wedding. I didn’t mean to, at least not initially. It wasn’t my intention to throw tradition out the window. I just realized as my husband and I planned our engagement and wedding that we wanted our declaration of love to reflect us, and we’re non-traditional people.

After my second date with my now-husband I told a group of my girlfriends in a group message that he was the person I was going to marry. I knew I sounded sort of ridiculous, but there was something that just clicked for me. I knew I wasn’t alone though when he told me about six months later that he would like nothing more than to spend his life with me. I was pleasantly surprised, and I was happy.

We’ll both be the first to admit the beginning of our relationship was fast paced. We went all in — we moved in together after about five months and took a two-week cross-country road trip together a couple months later. We figured If we could survive both of those things we could probably survive almost anything. As we learned more about each other and ourselves we discovered we balanced each other out. He was an introverted homebody who didn’t have many friends in Calgary and I was the party princess who was constantly on the go. I calmed down and no longer feel the need to constantly keep myself preoccupied and he opened up, made new lifelong friends and I no longer feel as if I’m dragging him to things all the time (although sometimes I still have to).

When we decided we wanted to get married it was a decision between the both of us, no surprises no huge gestures just a frank and honest open discussion. I definitely wanted a ring despite being well aware the whole engagement ring “scam” was started by Edward Bernays as a PR stunt for DeBeers. However, I also really wanted my partner to have a ring. We’re in this together, besides why does only the woman get to have the bling? I asked him if he would be open to that, and of course he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to. He was excited and super open to the idea. We decided to get matching rings and we picked them out together.

The next question was how to get engaged? We ended up going on vacation that month and spending time in the Okanagan. We went camping, but decided for our last night we would stay in a bed and breakfast in West Kelowna, have a fancy French dinner and ask each other on their private dock and share a bottle of ice wine we had purchased from Dirty Laundry. It was perfect for us — simple, private, romantic and shared between just the two of us.

Of course when I shared our photo of our rings I had mixed responses. Most were supportive, some people asked if we were already married and I’m sure (although no one said it my face directly) some people were a little put off. We were happy and that was all that mattered.

Mostly people were happy for us when we shared this photo of our matching ruby

engagement rings on social media, of course I did receive a couple confused phone calls.

We talked a lot about our names. It isn’t until you consider changing your name that you realize how attached to it you are. When I was a teenager I used to practice my signature with the last names of boys I had crushes on and various celebrities, I had always assumed I would take the last name of my husband unless it sounded really bad with April (I’m not sure what that name would be, but I’m sure there’s one out there). By all accounts Hunter is a great last name, I practiced my signature with it and I loved it, but when it came to thinking of actually losing my last name I was crushed. My name is part of my identity, it felt wrong to let it go, but I also really wanted to share my name with my husband. We discussed our options and he was perfectly happy to change his last name. Granted he has a fairly generic name, but he’s named after his father and grandfather and if he took my last name he would share his name with my grandfather, which might be a little odd. We decided instead to share our last names, while I would continue to use my maiden name professionally.

At first people thought we were joking. How silly, Lamb-Hunter, what do you hunt lambs? That’s not very difficult. We decided to make it part of our joint identity and started getting our friends used to it as soon as possible. Though I’ll never forget when I was at a friend’s birthday party and a woman I didn’t know started asking me about our wedding plans. When she found out we were both hyphenating she responded flatly, “Oh, so you don’t respect your husband.” I don’t know her, I shouldn’t care, but it was a response I wasn't prepared to hear. When you try to surround yourself with progressive, open-minded people you sometimes forget that some people are offended by things that are not “the norm.” I was hurt, but I knew it wasn’t worth engaging in defence. I walked away and never saw her again.

We decided we wanted an outdoor fall wedding so we chose the first weekend after the autumnal equinox. We knew we would have to find a suitable venue that was affordable, but also classy. As luck would have it I happened to start selling Stella and Dot at the same time and they held their monthly meetings at a place called Venue 1008 in Inglewood. The moment I walked in I knew it was my venue. I loved the size, the large feature wall, the ornate ceiling, everything was perfect. I asked for a tour and about pricing and the price was right. It was then the events coordinator mentioned the Venue was also a social enterprise and all of their proceeds went towards Servants Anonymous, a charity that supports women who are recovering from exploitation. It was perfect for us, we would have our dream wedding and also support a vulnerable community. I would have chosen the venue either way, but it was the cherry on top of a perfect venue.

Our wedding day was perfect, it was a whirlwind adventure, despite rain and a touch of hail in the morning the skies opened up for us and we enjoyed a perfectly clear day; both our venues looked perfect thanks to the hard work of friends, family and a boy scout troop my dad recruited and donated to (they even stuck around during the ceremony to act as security guards to prevent anyone from interrupting); our entire wedding party and we looked stunning; the food was delicious and our pictures turned out incredible. When people ask if there’s anything I would change about my wedding my only response is that no one lit the candles. FYI, no one even remembers the fact that there were candles on every table that I painstakingly had coated in glitter. On the plus side one of my bridesmaids, who I originally borrowed the candle holders from, uses them in her house for decoration now.

The skies opened up and the leaves were tinged perfectly yellow on our wedding day.

Photo by Michael Chan of Michael Chan Photography

Our engagement process and wedding was perfect for us. I’m fortunate to have a supportive partner who considers himself an egalitarian. When you’re planning your engagement and your wedding day you have to do what feels right for you. I sometimes feel people are a bit timid sharing their more traditional aspects of their engagements and weddings with me as if I’m judging them for not being “as feminist.” Stop that! Some people really enjoy and look forward to the traditional aspects of engagements, weddings and changing their last name — and that’s great! It doesn’t mean you’re not a feminist or you don’t share feminist values, you have to do what feels right for you. That’s what’s truly feminist – following your heart and not letting anyone hold you back.*

*Unless of course your heart is bigoted and full of hate, in which case try to curb that and work on yourself with some inner reflection, mindfulness and a healthy dose of therapy.

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