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Yark, what an anti-romantic, coercive gesture! The “surprise wedding”

Yark, what an anti-romantic, coercive gesture! The “surprise wedding” published on 3 Comments on Yark, what an anti-romantic, coercive gesture! The “surprise wedding”

Via Shakesville, I learned today about the “surprise wedding.” What is this wretched idea? Apparently, according to the Windsor Star, this man’s idea was to plan an entire wedding behind his fiancee’s back, with friends and family keeping her in the dark until the moment that he proposed, at which point he said that the wedding would occur within hours.

So let’s get this straight…

  • One partner willfully deprives the other of any input in planning a significant, life-changing event, assuming that he knows best for the both of them.
  • The depriving partner even brings the other partner’s whole social and familial circle into collusion, basically trapping them in a lie of omission.
  • Finally, as if this weren’t enough, the depriving partner sets up a highly public event at which the other partner may be embarrassed, shamed or coerced into submitting.

Such a series of events is not romantic and loving. By degrading and ignoring his partner’s agency and input, the depriving partner is saying, in so many words, that his plans matter more than hers, that he matters more than she does. No matter how many of her preferences he incorporates into the wedding, the mere fact that he set everything up without her consultation, basically leaving her only a slot in which to insert her “yes,” devalues his partner in general. It’s arguably abusive!


To be arguable, the story does point out that he took a year to gather the information as to what she wanted as a dream wedding, and interpreted it into the surprise ceremony, so it wasn’t willfully depriving her of any input. And they’d been together for 7 years, and talking about getting married for the previous year. She’d actually picked out the dress, months before, according to the article, as well as the music and cake. So while weird, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it abusive. Unless she hates surprises.

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