Have you been to any wedding fairs/fayres? I went to one – at a small hotel in Oxford. It was okay. We learnt that we were expected to order chair covers, that no one in the wedding industry had ever thought that a cage might be odd symbolism for table centrepieces at a wedding, and had a fun ride in a rickshaw.
It was free entry. I didn’t know at that time that some fairs charge, some fairs let the bride in for free and charge her friends, and others, like the Edinburgh Corn Exchange Wedding Fair offer the bride free entry and a glass of champagne – but not the groom.
Because approaching her wedding, the bride is special, blushing, beautiful, and must be congratulated and respected and plied into buying lots of junk. The groom has to pay full whack for this kind of privilege, because everyone knows a man wouldn’t really be involved in his own wedding, don’t they?
This further raises the issues of how to treat gay couples attending the fair – do gay women both go free and men both pay, or do they designate one a “bride”? Apparently, the Edinburgh Wedding Fair refused to clarify their policy on free entry for gay couples, probably because they haven’t thought about it. It’s not so easy to tell whether somebody is hetero- or homosexual just by looking at them as it is to see male/female.
Perhaps there might be a legitimate claim to this kind of discrimination if we were discussing a female-oriented event, like a maternity class, a lingerie market, or a breast cancer fundraiser. Is a wedding a female-oriented event? It seems like the wedding industry think so…
What about a marriage?
A wedding is about a marriage, and a marriage is about two people promising to spend their lives as a couple, working together, building a partnership and treating each other fairly and equally.
However, elements of the wedding industry undermine the principles upheld by marriage and marginalise the groom – as raised in my post The Black Arts of the Wedding Industry. But in this example, the door policy discrimination may well be illegal under the new Equality Act.
One justification for discriminatory practice is that it happens all the time. What about discrimination for entry into clubs, especially the Ladies’ Night door policy? It is a poor attitude to be complacent about an issue because it isn’t novel. And in any case, this is far from a justification, as this article addresses: perhaps clubs who run this policy need to reconsider their own door tax policies as a repercussion of the Equality Act.