Sologamy is a growing trend that’s defined by people who choose to tie the knot with themselves instead of a partner. Yes, that’s right, many midlife women are today renting out venues, purchasing wedding attire and planning ceremonies in which they stand before friends and family members to dedicate their life to themselves.
A commitment to themselves but not necessarily to singledom or celibacy.
By vowing to love themselves until death does them part, they simply want to affirm their strength while recognizing the women they’ve become. An opportunity to officially recognise a feeling of personal growth.
We’re not talking about a binding, legal affair here, but an expression of self-love, a way to enhance self-compassion and appreciate ourselves in the best way possible.
Basically, a self-marriage ceremony is advantageous if you wish to engage in deep introspection, live in alignment with your values, honour yourself and commit to self-love in order to reap gains in your romantic life and beyond.
For, ultimately, we are our own best companions. Aren’t we?
“In recent years Sologamy, the act of marrying oneself, has become a bit of a global trend, with solo brides popping up in the US, Asia and Europe“, explains Sophie Tanner author of the book ‘Reader, I married me‘, who actually married herself in 2015 having a cultural ceremony in Brighton, complete with bridesmaids and a friend dressed up as the pope.
“Though some might dismiss it as ridiculous, it has certainly sparked many conversations and I’ve done lots of interviews on the subject“, she writes on her blog. “The challenging questions I’ve been asked have only served to strengthen my conviction that the world needs more self-love. It is not a dirty word“.
According to her, self-marriage addresses the notion that being single is a viable lifestyle option, whether this is for a short period of time, during several stages in your life, or for most of your adult years.
How did Sologamy start?
Marrying without a partner is not legally recognised, but it’s also not new. The first publicised solo marriage was an American woman named Linda Baker in 1993. Her one-person wedding had seven bridesmaids, 75 guests, and no groom – as Barker said at the time, “it’s about doing things for yourself and not waiting around for someone else to make it happen”.
Since then, a number of other women have staged their own weddings.
Meanwhile, the term ‘self-partnered’ officially entered the cultural lexicon just recently when actor Emma Watson described her relationship status in an interview with British Vogue.
However, it’s thanks to the 90s shows like Sex in the City, whose lead character Carrie Bradshaw married herself, that women have started to feel more at ease with the single life by embracing it and celebrating it in a ceremonious way.
Women can decide to marry themselves for a lot of reasons.
Sasha Cagen, a life coach and author of “Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics“, a landmark book putting a new twist on being a discerning single that got attention everywhere from the New York Times to CNN, decided to get married to herself as a commitment to self-love.
“I got married to myself a month before I turned 40. I wanted to do something symbolic and big for myself on such an important birthday. Since I was single and hadn’t been married to a man, I felt marrying myself is something fun, deep, and meaningful that I can do to recognize my arrival to adulthood“, she said.
In 2015, Yasmin Eleby married herself at the Houston Museum of African American Culture just two days after bringing in the new year. She was a 40-year-old who made a vow to throw herself a wedding if she was not hitched by that age. “I decided I didn’t want it to be a joke. I wanted to have a celebration of myself. My wedding was going to be about me making a commitment to love myself“, she explained to ABC news.
On the same page, Laura Mesi, from Italy, who married herself at the age of 40 putting on a white dress and veil to walk down the aisle. She only met the officiant at the end of it. With her 70 guests as her witnesses, Mesi was there to marry herself. There was a three-tiered cake, and dancing, and a subsequent solo honeymoon in Egypt. “You can have a fairy tale even without the prince,” she said.
How to have a self-marriage ceremony
Solo weddings can take many forms and there are no set rules. The ceremony can be performed anywhere, and the person officiating needs no credentials. You may be the only guest in attendance or invite friends and family, utter your vows out loud or say them in silence with words you’ve written yourself. You can also opt for a spiritual or cultural ceremony at home, on the beach, in a rented venue or wherever feels true to you.
To support this growing trend, companies like I Married Me offer self-marriage ceremony kits on their website, complete with vows, a custom-made ring, and affirmation cards.
“A self-marriage ceremony is symbolic,” explains Bonnie Powers, I Married Me, cofounder. “It’s not an indulgence nor is it a replacement for a relationship or marriage between two people. It’s a necessary conscious reflection and ritual. Everyone needs this.”
Some people might say we can celebrate self-love in a host of other ways, like with a lavish birthday party or vacation to a dream destination, but actually, these ceremonies have been turned into very cathartic ones and are all about self-love.
The additional upside? You don’t have to divorce yourself in case you find someone in the future.