When Nadine Schweigert decided to walk down the aisle again, six years after a painful divorce, she chose a partner who knows her intimately, who makes her happy, who makes her feel empowered. She chose herself.
In what has become something of a mini-trend in the world of singledom, self-marriage is becoming an actual thing. Schweigert's self-wedding ceremony, which was held in front of friends and family, is just one in a string of self-marriages making the news, lately.
In 2003, Dutch woman Jennifer Hoes married herself in a ceremony in the Netherlands, reports HLNtv.com. In 2010, Taiwanese woman Chen Wei-yih — who goes by the name Only — was resplendent in white and red tulle, complete with a veil, as she exchanged rings with herself during her self-wedding ceremony. And last year, author Dianne Sylvan blogged about walking herself down the aisle to "Nothing Else Matters" by Apocalyptica.
"It was me standing up for myself and owning that I'm responsible for my happiness," Schweigert says in an interview with Anderson Cooper.
"I feel very empowered, very happy, very joyous, I wanted to share that with people."
Watch the video below for the full interview:
And this seems to be the general feeling among those who self-marry — they are marking a commitment to themselves and are standing up in front of friends and family to say they don't need someone else to make them happy.
"I think it's taking it to the extreme a little bit," says Montreal-based clinical psychologist Michaela Georgescu. "I understand the concept behind it. Everyone has to realize that we are our own best friend and the only person who really know what's best for us … is ourselves. Anyone else, including your partner, has to watch out for their own best interests."
But Georgescu commends people who self-marry for the reasoning behind the ceremony.
"I think a lot of people who get divorced or who have gone through numerous relationships, at one point come to realize that no one can really make them happy," she says.
And in the context of post-relationship ceremonies or rituals, self-marriage can be a healthier and more productive way of marking the process of moving on than, say, throwing an ex's stuff out a window or burning their photos, says Georgescu.
"If you're throwing your ex's stuff out the window and burning his pictures and all this, hoping it'll affect him, and you do that in a fit of anger, you're not really achieving anything positive," she says. "If you do it to get rid of the negativity in your life and mark the beginning of a new chapter, then yes, it definitely can be. "
So what happens if and when those who self-marry decide to marry someone else? Just ask Only. She married her boyfriend in Brisbane earlier this month.
"But I'm not divorcing myself!" she tells HLNtv.com.