Till Death Do Us Part: Woman Says Yes To Herself
Grace Gelder was so sick and tired of dating and conventional relationships that she decided to marry the most important person in her life – herself!
After proposing to herself on a park bench, Grace even staged a full wedding ceremony with 50 guests.
“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 inspired by the Björk song Isobel, which includes the line, ‘My name’s Isobel, married to myself’. Grace said that after being single for six years she had made up her mind to walk solo down the aisle and say yes to herself.
Grace did everything by the book – she bought a wedding dress, a ring, rehearsed vows and then got married in a farmhouse in Devon. Fifty guests attended the ceremony that was over when Grace kissed her reflection in a mirror.
“A few did comment, in a light-hearted way, that it was a bit narcissistic. 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.”
Even though the wedding holds no legal ground, Grace is happy to have committed to herself in such a unique way.
“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.”