Women Are Marrying…Themselves?

"Sologamy" is on the rise post-pandemic, and self-wed brides are pulling out all the stops to marry themselves in lavish wedding ceremonies

A bride faces away from the camera looking out a window
Women are saying "I do" ... to themselves
Johner Images

In a 2003 episode of Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw announces she is marrying herself. While the stunt is primarily an attempt to reclaim a pair of designer heels that went missing at the home of a friend with a no-shoes policy (Carrie only registers at Manolo Blahnik), the episode also questions why people who chose to forgo conventional milestones like marriage and children don’t deserve to have their own life choices celebrated and rewarded. But what was once a tongue-in-cheek plotline in an HBO comedy is now becoming a reality for many women choosing to marry themselves, and not just for a pair of Manolos.

According to Insider, “sologamy,” AKA marrying oneself, is on the rise among women looking to solidify their commitment to themselves by putting a ring on it. Reframing traditional notions of single womanhood to reflect a commitment to the self rather than the lack of a partner is nothing terribly new. Back in 2019, Emma Watson famously declared herself “self-partnered,” while Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima has said she wears a diamond ring as symbol of her commitment “to myself and my own happiness.” But this growing trend of self-marriage is taking sologamy to the next level, with women proposing to themselves and throwing elaborate weddings with all the trimmings.

While these self-marriages aren’t legally binding, and women who marry themselves remain free to marry others without first divorcing, many women who choose to do it pull out all the stops, throwing themselves their dream weddings complete with a white gown, cake, photographer and guests. “If someone has achieved something so important as self-love and self-compassion, then it’s definitely worth celebrating,” one self-wed woman told Insider. “Why should couples have all the fun?”

Some experts have suggested that the pandemic may be partly responsible for more interest in self-partnership. “With increased time spent at home alone, individuals have opted for new methods to appreciate themselves and enhance self-compassion,” Ieva Kubiliute, a psychologist in Los Angeles, told Insider. For some of us, that means unwinding with a little self-care bath and a glass of wine, while for others, apparently, it means professing their eternal commitment to themselves in a lavish ceremony. To each their own, I guess?

While I’m not here to make fun of anyone else’s life choices, I think it’s fair to say that throwing a wedding for yourself is kind of nuts. I’m all for self love, independence and forgoing tradition, but solidifying those supposedly nonconformist values in a ceremony rooted in the very patriarchal, heteronormative structures it seeks to subvert seems kind of counterproductive to me. (And also just very silly, sorry.)

Still, this self-marriage trend does seem to reflect a less silly rise in non-traditional relationship styles that prioritize independence over partnership. Solo-polyamory, specifically, is a once-niche form of consensual non-monogamy that’s become more mainstream in recent years and refers to a lifestyle in which an individual has multiple sexual and romantic partners, but maintains their lifestyle as an independent, uncoupled individual (i.e., they don’t typically move in with romantic partners, meet their families or otherwise combine their lives).

While not all sologamists practice solo-polyamory (and I don’t know that many solo-polyamorists are out here marrying themselves) both practices seem to reflect similar values of independence, both within and outside of relationships, which ultimately seems like a good thing. After all, the longest relationship of your life is, as they say, the one you have with yourself, so if you want to make it official with a ring and a wedding cake, I guess I can’t really see the harm.

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