What Is a Self-Marriage Ceremony and Should You Have One?

Yes, you can say "I do" to you.

bride holding bouquet


In the 2003 Sex and The City episode “A Woman’s Right to Shoes,” principal character Carrie Bradshaw announced to a friend that she intended to wed herself in defiance of the stigmatism faced by single, unmarried women. 14 years later, Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima tied the knot with herself in a symbolic ceremony in Monaco and today, more and more people are practicing sologamy—but what is it all about?

What Is Sologamy?

Sologomay, or self-marriage, is a symbolic ceremony where you commit to maintaining a meaningful, deep, and loving relationship with yourself.

Sologamy is a commitment to yourself and not necessarily to singledom or celibacy. You can have a solo wedding if you are happily unattached, looking for a partner, or already in a committed relationship with another person.

According to Monica Manzano, the manager at Rosewood Mayakoba's Sense, A Rosewood Spa, the growing popularity of sologamy in recent years is linked to losing ourselves in our fast-paced lives. She states that "many of us have lost sight of who we are and most people are not used to just sitting with themselves, therefore, looking in the mirror to acquire inner knowledge, rediscover what we are and what we want to reflect to others is crucial."

Meet the Expert

Monica Manzano is the spa manager at Sense, A Rosewood Spa, which offers a four-day Marry Oneself Journey with a third-generation Mexican shaman as part of its world-renowned wellness offerings.

Read on for a detailed expert guide to promising forever to yourself.

The Purpose of Sologamy

It is said that you can’t love others until you love yourself first. The importance of self-love is well documented as a cornerstone of winning relationships and fulfilling lives. In her book, Wild Love, clinical psychologist Gill Edwards noted that our lack of self-love "is the root of settling for a life of bread and cheese rather than inviting ourselves to the banquet." So why not throw a party to celebrate you and yourself?

Sologamy is a cathartic declaration of self-compassion and a promise to give to yourself what you often seek from other people. The idea is to hold your own heart and care for it as much as you would someone else’s; a lifelong commitment to loving yourself fully.

Some paint solo weddings with a self-indulgent brush and view them as being critical of traditional two-person marriages but they are inherently not egocentric or approval-seeking because self-care is not selfish. Self-marriage is not about eschewing outside love. Rather, it is about accepting our light and dark sides and prioritizing self-care in order to have better relationships moving forward—with ourselves and others.

Is Sologamy Legal?

A self-marriage ceremony is gestural and not legally binding. There are no tax breaks and you won’t have to change your marital status on any legal documents. There is no paperwork involved and since it has no merit in the eyes of the law, you won’t be committing bigamy if you have a wedding (with somebody else) in the future.

Where and How to Have a Self-Marriage Ceremony

Self-marriages are often similar to traditional two-person weddings but they needn’t include all the bells and whistles. Solo weddings can take many forms and there are no set rules.

You may be the only guest in attendance or invite friends and family, utter your vows out loud or say them in silence with words you’ve written yourself, or use a script. You can simply repeat affirmations in front of a mirror and seal the deal by planting a kiss on it or have someone officiate the ceremony, be it a relationship coach, counselor, or friend.

You can opt for a spiritual or cultural ceremony at home, on the beach, in a rented venue or wherever feels true to you. To celebrate the occassion, you can ask for gifts, buy yourself a ring, or purchase another commemorative emblem.

There isn’t a full-scale self-marriage industry though some services are popping up around the world offering solo wedding packages that even include photography, limousines, and flowers. One dedicated sologamy program of note takes place at Rosewood Mayakoba, a breathtaking all-suite resort in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The hotel’s Marry Oneself Journey is set over four days at Sense, A Rosewood Spa. The spa is located on its own island that’s a world of wellness incorporating luxurious traditional treatments and Mayan-inspired healing regimes with the resident shaman Fernanda Montiel.

Unlike other self-marriage offerings, Rosewood Mayakoba’s Marry Oneself Journey has a focus on healing. "The journey is four days of total introspection combining the four elements that we are: water, wind, earth, and fire, and Fernanda the healer is there with you the whole way," Manzano says.

This shaman-led ceremony stimulates self-acceptance and self-love and taps into curing resources that you can take home with you. During the multi-day experience, you align your chakras, learn to breathe, meditate, have a silent walk and a gratitude ceremony. There is also a symbolic burning of the things you wish to expel from your life in an igloo-shaped hot temazcal lodge and the shaman can even see your ancestral lines during a water movement session in the resort’s wellness pool.

The culmination is a graduation ceremony of sorts with the shaman acting as the officiant that takes place at the spa cenote. This is a natural limestone sinkhole that the Maya believed to be gateways to the underworld. Manzano remarks that many guests do wear fanciful white clothing for this fourth and final "wedding day."

How Sologamy Impacts Other Romantic Relationships

Marrying yourself is a bold statement that says you are enough and a celebration of your wholeness. You might be open to sharing your life with another person but you don’t "need" a better half. Building a strong sense of self-worth reduces the propensity to accept stultifying situations or relationships and helps maintain standards for what you expect in a relationship.

According to Manzano, "marrying yourself is a journey of wisdom, love, and accepting who you are and thus being able to transmit that self-love to others." She emphasizes that it’s not just romantic relationships that flourish either. "When you choose yourself and you’re happy, you help other people, too," she adds. "Knowing and loving yourself as an individual gives you an openness to respect and value another person on that same path of love and acceptance. This applies not just to romantic relationships but to family, friends, and the rest of the world as well." In sickness and in health, you are the one constant throughout your life, and building yourself up from within helps create space to love and be loved.

In a nutshell, a self-marriage ceremony is advantageous if you wish to engage in deep introspection, live in alignment with your values, honor yourself and commit to self-love in order to reap gains in your romantic life and beyond.

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