1. Photographer Grace Gelder got married in March – to herself.
The filmmaker, based in London, got married in a farmhouse in Devon in front of around 50 of her friends and her sister.
Speaking to The Guardian, she revealed she was inspired to undertake the ceremony after listening to Björk’s “Isobel” when she was at university and hearing the line: “My name’s Isobel, married to myself”.
Gelder said she proposed to herself on a park bench on Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath, last November.
2. The 31-year-old said she had been on a “journey of personal development” that included meditation and dance.
“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 told The Guardian.
She told the paper she had been single for almost six years, and while worrying that a relationship with someone “seemed like too much work”, decided to recognise her period of self-discovery.
3. Gelder revealed the vintage dress she wore for her wedding was purchased from a local market only a couple of days before.
The ceremony was conducted by her friend Tiu, who had recently finished her training as a celebrant and was therefore able to conduct the wedding.
Saying the vows, which consisted of promises to herself, felt like a big deal, Gelder said.
“I remember really paying attention to the words as they left my mouth and it felt like they were hanging in the air,” she told the newspaper.
“Equally, the ring, a less spontaneous purchase than the dress, brought home to me this idea of commitment, sealing the deal if you like.”
4. Concluding her account of the ceremony, she declared:
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.
My self-married status – meaningless though it may remain in the eyes of the law – has also given me this great sense of clarity. I seem to sense much more clearly than before if something is worth pursuing or best left alone.
And just because I married myself, it doesn’t mean that I’m not open to the idea of sharing a wedding with someone else one day.