More and more people around the world are choosing to ‘marry’ in ceremony symbolic, and businesses catering to the trend. But, what motivates someone to say “yes” to themselves?
In the summer of 2000, with New York-based performance artist Gabrielle Penabaz decided to throw a wedding party for her while nursing a broken heart.
She carefully chose a location, flowers, a ring of quartz, a wedding-dress of sweetheart neckline and wrote thoughtful votes.
She still wore “something borrowed, something blue” into your day, despite the fact that the event was purely symbolic, and lacked a crucial component: a boyfriend.
However, his family and his friends attended, and Ms Penabaz says that she had the “best wedding ever”. Since then, she has been “officiating” to the people of other self-marriage ceremonies as a form of art – a service for which the charges.
Their clients are typically single women, although people of all genders and marital status have taken part.
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She says she has been “married” more than 1,500 people, usually in ceremonies like yours, with a mock chapels, costumes, candy, and more importantly, the votes.
“The ceremonies are often very cathartic and above all the love of self,” Ms Penabaz says.
“80% of the people who had married themselves to shed a tear from the reading of their vows. They say things like: “I forgive myself’ and ‘now I’m not going to say that I’m ugly’.”
Welcome to the world of self-marriage or “sologamy”, which has attracted increasing attention in recent years.
While it is not legal to marry yourself anywhere in the world, reports of people holding a mock ceremonies go by several decades and can be found in all parts of Japan, Italy, Australia and the united kingdom.
The act has also been the subject of episodes of popular US TV shows such as Glee and Sex and the City, and there are now business – such as Ms Penabaz – dedicated to helping people plan their solo events.
Dominique Youkhehpaz officiated his first solo exhibition of the wedding in 2011 at the arts festival Burning Man, and since then has established the consultancy Self-Marriage Ceremonies.
She offers a 10-week online course to prepare for the brides or grooms sologamy, at a cost of $200 (Â£149), as well as private counselling sessions. Ms Youkhehpaz says that she has worked with over 250 clients to date and the business is booming.
“A self-marriage ceremony can be anything, from a simple ritual in the room more luxurious celebration,” she explains.
She also thought that it may be very therapeutic for those who take part. “I have witnessed people leave abusive relationships, step more fully into their life’s work or to reunite with his beloved after to marry themselves.”
Proponents say sologamy is about love, acceptance, and social vindication of the claim usually reserved for couples who marry.
Although there are no official figures about those who choose to marry themselves, the interest comes at a time when the number of unmarried people is at record highs in many advanced economies, according to the OECD.
Not surprisingly, companies have been catering to this new market. In 2014, the Japanese travel agency Near of Trip reports that are offered in a two-day package for only brides for more than 2,500 pounds. It included the adaptation to the dress, the makeup and hair styling and a photo session.
Dan Moran, a Los Angeles-based jewellery designer, says he started to receive calls from clients who want to sologamy rings 18 months ago and the wedding planners and photographers he knows who is receiving similar requests.
The majority of their new customers are “urban, rich and educated” women, and interestingly many are already married.
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“In the next few years, the people who work in the wedding industry will certainly have to keep sologamists into account and adapt your service,” he says.
Certainly, people are willing to splash in sologamy. The Italian Laura Mesi Wednesday itself in a “fairy tale” event this month of September, with a white dress, three layers of the wedding cake, bridesmaids and 70 people.
The 40-year-old, who made the move after 12 years of relationship has ended, spent $ 8,700 on the day.
In the uk, Sophie Tanner, married her in the year 2015. “For me, it was an important ceremony that demonstrates my commitment to self-compassion,” he told the BBC.
“The wedding was the best day of my life, complete with vintage dress, wanting to cry dad to give me away, and the dance of maids of honor.”
But not everyone welcomes the sologamy trend. Some call it narcissistic and others criticize as a sense of submission to an institution patriarchal.
Karen Nimmo, a clinical psychologist in New Zealand, says: “the Self-aversion that is at the root of many psychological problems, so that where to get married with oneself is the healing of past trauma or relationship issues that may be useful.
“But it is important to make sure that your other relationships are healthy. If you rely too much on themselves and constantly put their own needs above all else can fall into narcissistic territory – and that is an unhealthy and lonely place to be.”
Alexandra Gill, co-founder of the consultancy of Marry Yourself Vancouver, agrees to marry yourself “kind of is” narcissistic, but adds: “not all Are traditional white weddings also narcissistic?”
She also says that marrying you does not have to be taken deadly seriously.
Since 2011, their firm has helped only brides plan their big days, but is now expanding to offer a “ladies’ night”, a concept that celebrates the “self-love and sisterhood”.
“Let’s face it, all women grow up with the fairy-tale wedding fairy tales and princess culture, will not disappear anywhere,” she says.
“But the self-marriage ceremonies that allow us to re-write this story in that we don’t need a boyfriend.”
“Weddings have always been a woman-centered celebration, anyway,” she says.
“Many more women would love to marry themselves, but they are only self-conscious about it.”
Sex in the City-heroic protagonist Carrie Bradshaw, who married herself in 2003, in an episode of the series, would surely agree.