Grace Gelder just got married … to herself [via The Guardian]. In what was probably the most confusing series of vows culminating in Gelder kissing a mirror, the bride (brides?) pledged that she would always be true to herself. Gelder, a professional photographer, tied her own knot in front of 50 of her friends and family as part of her journey of self-awareness.
Gelder says she didn’t necessarily plan on proposing to herself on a park bench, but she was always intrigued by the idea of self-marriage: “I … have a strong recollection of when I was 18 at university and studying performance art, hearing that line in a Björk song called ‘Isobel’: “My name’s Isobel, married to myself,” and thinking, crazy as that sounds, I totally get that. It’s about making this pact or promise to yourself and then somehow enacting that in how you live your life from that day on.” Gelder isn’t narcissistic, but she does believe in supporting and empowering herself. She looks at the ceremony as a testament to her self-discovery.
It was never intended to be a legally binding marriage (and Gelder is certainly open to actual marriage if the right person comes along). “Some female acquaintances have told me that I’m an example to women, but I say: ‘Why not an example to men too?’ 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.”