Sologomy, the trend that makes the wedding all about you, literally
"...It’s also turning the stigma of the sad, lonely spinster on his head."
Sologamy, the act of marrying oneself to oneself, is not all that new. Remember when Carrie Bradshaw remarked that "Hallmark doesn't make a 'congratulations you didn't marry the wrong guy card'" and proceeded to set up her own registry? Or, how about the 2011 manifesto from author Sasha Cagen, which also touches on the ceremonial self-marriage idea? The trend continues to grow, globally, as women marry without a partner in hand.
There's even a place where you can purchase your sologamy package. At IMarriedme.com you can buy a 'Married Me Self-Wedding In-A-Box' kit, which, for close to $100, includes a sterling silver ring, vows, instructions on your soon-to-be wedding orchestrated through the company and over two dozen 'affirmation' cards. If you want to upgrade your experience there's a package for over $200 that comes with a 14-karat gold ring.
Even famous names like Adriana Lima are dodging tradition and adopting this new custom. This past June, the Victoria's Secret model posted a note on her Instagram alongside a photo of her wearing diamond ring on her wedding finger. "What's up with the ring? It's symbolic, I am committed to myself and my own happiness, I am married with me," the caption read. "Ladies love yourself and yes I am single."
Here in Canada, you can connect with Alexandra Gill, founder of Marry Yourself Vancouver, which provides services ranging from accommodations to personal styling, all set in place to assist with a self-marriage ceremony. She had her own self-marriage ceremony alongside six other women 11 years ago.
After writing about the experience in the Globe and Mail, Gill received a lot of attention from women all over the world who wrote her saying "they were moved and inspired to do the same thing." This prompted Gill, alongside Vancouver-based photographer, Tallulah, to start the business because they wanted to "play a bigger part in the movement and inspire other women."
"It wasn't about making money and becoming wedding planners although that's beginning to change," Gill tells CBC Life. "In the last few months, we've been approached by several reality television producers in the U.S. that would like to document the fascinating lives of women who choose to marry themselves."
According to a recent report from Statistics Canada, of the 14.1 million households in Canada in 2016, single-person households comprised 28.2 per cent, which is the highest ever recorded and a first for the country.
"Single is the new normal," Gill echos. "I'm sure for some people, living alone is a lonely existence. But, for others it's a luxury that can be attributed to greater individualism and changing gender roles." Last summer, Gill and the six other women celebrated their 10th anniversaries, and renewed their vows together.
"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—or at least they couldn't live independently easily," she adds. "The idea of sologamy could involve the practice of self-marriage, but it's also turning the stigma of the sad, lonely spinster on his head," says Gill. "Women are tired of being told they're failures if they haven't married by a certain expiry date."
Kathryn Kyte is an arts, lifestyle and culture writer based in Toronto. She has previously contributed stories to the Huffington Post, ET Canada and Yahoo.