A woman so fed up with the dating and being single has taken the bull by the horn by becoming the first person in Britain to marry herself.
Grace Gelder began from top of the ritual – the engagement. She ‘proposed’ to herself on a park bench and staged a full wedding ceremony with 50 guests.
Gelder, a photographer, said that after being single for six years she had built up a brilliant relationship with herself – and creating that bond with someone else seemed like too much hard work.
She said a lyric from a Björk song Isobel, ‘My name’s Isobel, married to myself’, struck a chord with her and it was then she decided to walk solo down the aisle.
The matrimony was approached like an ordinary wedding. She proposed to herself in November 2013 and said ‘I do’ in March 2014.
Grace bought a dress, a ring, rehearsed vows and eventually wed in a farmhouse in rural Devon watched by her sister and friends -sealing the deal by planting a kiss on a mirror.
Speaking to the Guardian, Gelder said: “A few did comment, in a light-hearted way, that it was a bit narcissitic. Obviously, if you have just announced you’re marrying yourself, it is plainly a statement of self-love, and I was under no illusion how self-indulgent that might appear.
“But I was completely comfortable with my motivations. I’d been on a journey of personal development using meditation, dance and performance to increase my self-awareness.
“Included in this was a Shakti Tantra programme focused on sexuality and how this was bound up with making agreements with yourself and other people.
“Sitting on that park bench, it dawned on me that a self-marriage ceremony witnessed by other people would potentially be this massively powerful means of making those agreements stick.”
She was wed by her friend Tiu, a celebrant, who backed her plans and said the deal would set her up for a new phase of life.
Gelder, like every other bride-to-be, suffered pre-wedding jitters only a month before the big day and had to be convinced she was doing the right thing.
The wedding is not recognised by law anyway but Gelder is glad she is no longer a ‘single’ lady.
She added: “It felt like a really big deal saying my vows, which were mostly about me promising to take more risks in matters of the heart. I really don’t see it as any kind of feminist statement, but creating a wedding of this kind on my own terms felt incredibly empowering.”