We all have that one friend who’s suffered more than her share of heartbreak or career setbacks so she decides to take time to “find herself.” I’m all about becoming the best version of yourself but there’s definitely such a thing as taking things too far. I feel like my friend marrying herself qualifies as too far.
- Is she serious? It seems like she is, and what’s even crazier to me is that this seems to be a growing trend. Sologamy is the act of marrying oneself and it all kind of started when a woman named Linda Baker decided to say “I do” to herself back in 1993 to celebrate her 40th birthday, witnessed by 75 of her family and friends. She said she wanted to do something special to commemorate the birthday milestone and thought this was as good a way as any other. It also picked up steam on Sex and the City when Carrie decided to marry herself (though for less honorable reasons). It’s become more and more popular ever since.
- Is it even legal? Nope. Self-marriage is not a legally binding union—obviously. It’s not seen as anything more than an informal ceremony. That said, as women seek new ways to enrich their lives and the practice continues growing, some formal celebrants have taken on the challenge of offering to conduct the service. A celebrant from Central Coast Australia is the first to offer a self-union ceremony. So who knows, maybe in the future it could become legally acknowledged, which does raise some potentially tricky questions around the process of divorcing yourself…
- Is it really that popular? Indeed, and gaining more popular by the day as women (it’s pretty much only women taking part in the practice) seek to find new ways to feel fulfilled and positive about themselves. There’s even a Japanese travel agency, Cerca Travel, who offer to organize the entire event on your behalf including the gown, a limo, photo shoot, and hotel stay—for a fee of course. My friend took part in the ceremony as part of a yoga retreat along with a bunch of other single women who were in attendance. She tried to convince the rest of my single friends that they should do the same. An awkward silence ensued.
- Isn’t all a bit narcissistic? Advocates of the practice argue that it’s not and my friend is one of them. They argue that the ceremony is actually a very fulfilling experience, affirming one’s own value and place in their life and leading to greater overall happiness. Personally, it sounds a little too much like a proxy for other things in life that might not be falling into place for my friend, but she seems to have found the experience genuinely enriching.
- So what actually happens? Well, that all comes down to the individual. With it being a ceremony with the self, the self gets to decide exactly how they want it to go down. You can have witnesses, friends or family present, or a spiritual practitioner of your choosing to help seal the deal. You can choose to go for the big white princess dress or stick to jeans and sneakers. My friends didn’t provide us with too much detail, but she did say she got to write and say her own vows to herself. I was too embarrassed to ask if there was a mirror involved.
- Do you get a marriage certificate? Some people who perform the ceremony do have a written certificate written up to solidify their experience. Imagine having to explain that to Grandma when she came over and found it framed on the mantelpiece.
- What about the honeymoon? I think some things are best left behind closed doors. In all seriousness, it’s probably a good excuse to plan a solo trip to a city you’ve always wanted to visit, so I guess that’s a plus?
- Is it as bizarre as it sounds? In a way, I guess it is but is it any more bizarre than a guy marrying a goat? At the end of the day, I guess I have to concede that if it makes my friend—or anyone else wanting to take part—genuinely happy then who am I to judge?