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Explained: What is sologamy or ‘self-marriage’?


JUNE 2, 2022

A 24-year-old Vadodara woman, Kshama Bindu, on Thursday (June 2) announced that she would marry herself later this month, in what she described as an “act of self-love”. The wedding, being seen as one of the first instances of self-marriage or “sologamy” in the country, is slated for June 11.

What is sologamy?

Sologamy is the act of marrying oneself in a public ceremony, also referred to as self-marriage or autogamy. While such a marriage has no legal sanction or status, the symbolic ceremony is used by many as an act to emphasize their self-love and independence.

When did the trend begin?

It can be traced back to Linda Baker, a dental hygienist from the US, who married herself in 1993. It is widely considered the first publicized act of self-marriage which was attended by around 75 of Baker’s friends, where the bride said “I do” to honour herself in sickness and in health until the day she’s not there.

A sologamy divorce was also reported last year when a Brazilian model, Cris Galera (33), announced she was ending her solo-marriage after just 90 days as she had fallen in love with someone else.

What kind of ceremonies does self-marriage involve?

There are no rules or social norms. They can be similar to traditional two-people weddings, or not. Since the trend picked up, service providers too have come up in different corners of the world to help their self-marrying clients.

“Marry Yourself” in Canada offers consulting and wedding photography, while in San Francisco offers sologamy ceremony kits, including wedding band and vows. In Kyoto, Cerca Travel offers a two-day self-wedding package.

Announcing her plans to marry herself, Bindu said that she will have a wedding complete with all rituals like pheras and applying sindoor.

Why is the trend finding resonance across the globe?

Alexandra Gill, the founder of Marry Yourself Vancouver, told CBC News, “Today, for the first time in history, women can afford to live on their own, build their careers, buy their homes, create their own lives, have children if they choose. Our mothers and grandmothers didn’t have this option….The idea of sologamy could involve the practice of self-marriage, but it’s also turning the stigma of the sad, lonely spinster on its head. Women are tired of being told they’re failures if they haven’t married by a certain expiry date.”

In her book ‘Quirkyalone’, author and life coach Sasha Cagen writes: “The common theme in most of the stories (about self-marriage) that I hear is a commitment to take care of oneself as one hopes or imagines that a lover would. Women also frame self-matrimony as a unique solution to the problem of women sacrificing their own needs in a relationship. Marry yourself first, they say, before marrying anyone else.”

How is sologamy seen in popular culture?

Self-marriages have featured on popular TV shows like Sex and the City, Glee and Doctor Who. In a 2003 episode of Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw was shown wedding herself, with a USA Today report later saying that to some this fictional character is the “godmother of sologamy”.

Courtesy/Source: Indian Express