September 1, 2014

Single lady marries herself, and she isn’t the first one to do so

For Nadine Schweigert, a 36-year-old divorced mom, one is not the loneliest number. The mother of three sauntered down the aisle, dressed in a blue satin and clutching a bouquet of white roses, entered holy matrimony with herself before a gathering of 45 friends and family in North Dakota.

The symbolic wedding ceremony took place in March when the mother of three took vows to “enjoy inhabiting my own life and to relish a lifelong love affair with my beautiful self,” reports Fargo’s InForum newspaper .

The bride and her inner groom exchanged rings, blew kisses at guests and ate cake. While it might seem bizarre to the rest of the world, the single bride says the wedding for one was a way of showing the world she’s learned to love and accept her single self.

Schweigert loves her single self so much she capped off the ceremony with a solo honeymoon in New Orleans.

The newly wed says she was done waiting for someone to “come along and make me happy” and was inspired to wed her inner groom when a friend said, “Why do you need someone to marry you to be happy? Marry yourself”.

Her bold expression was not applauded by everyone, however, including her 11-year-old son who criticised the move. “He said, ‘I love you, but I’m embarrassed for you right now.’”

The stigma of the single lady

Schweigert is not the first woman to shake off the “single woman” stigma by marrying herself. In 2010, a Taiwanese woman, Chen Wei-Yi, said her I Dos to the love of her life. Herself!

Chen, whose English name is Only, says the ceremony was in response to the pressures on women in Taiwan society to get married, the BBC reported.

Surrounded by friends and family on her big day, Chen gleefully tried on wedding dresses and was set to enjoy the day. She told the BBC reporter that in today’s society women have more choices and should embrace loving themselves first and loving themselves more.

Last year in New York, another woman, Desiree, embraced single pride when she married herself after her engagement was broken off unexpectedly. The Frisky blog site wrote:

Desiree wasn’t sure until two weeks before the date whether she was going to go through with her solo ceremony. “I felt like I needed to claim the day for myself and do something positive with it, as opposed to sulking at home all day wondering why I wasn’t getting married,” she says. “I didn’t want to focus on what I had lost but rather what I still had and even what I had gained. At the end of a relationship, it is common to feel drained and out of sorts. I wanted to make spending time with myself and nurturing myself a priority rather than attempting to jump into another relationship right away as a way of self-medicating.”

Surrounded by her inner circle of close friends and loved ones at Central Park, Desiree made vows to herself.

“I will make my happiness a priority and forgive myself when I’m not perfect. I will trust myself and stand within the power of my own strength. I will love myself forever more, through good and bad, thick and thin, and for exactly who I am today. I promise I will never, ever, ever, settle for less than what my heart and soul desire.”

Question is, will this trend continue to rise? Are more women embracing the single life style, especially when society all but demands wife and motherhood of them. In Chen’s Taiwan, the government there noted that more women are delaying marriage in favour of pursuing higher levels of education and powerful careers.

So we put the question to you ladies… and gentlemen, is marriage no longer “that big a deal”?

About the author  ⁄ Pilot Africa

Pilot Africa News is run and edited by Chika Moses. A video journalist eager to find new, great and inspiring content in Nigeria and Africa. Got a story tip? Send a message!