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I said my vows into a full

May 29, 2023

An Australian woman has married herself after separating from her partner of 20 years with a ceremony in front of her loved ones complete with a white wedding dress, ring and bridesmaids as she performed her vows into a full-length mirror.

Robbie Fincham, 57, a marriage and funeral celebrant and mother of three to Roland, 24, and twins, Erica and Alice, 21, from Melbourne, Australia, had depression after her separation from her partner who she was never married to, in 2015, and having around four years of unsuccessful dates.

Through therapy, she began to "learn to love (herself)" she eventually started to feel "happy in (her) own company" and after another "very brief" unsuccessful relationship she joked to her sister that she should marry herself instead but, after some thought and her sister's encouragement, she decided to go ahead with it.

On her 55th birthday, on February 7 2021, she had the symbolic ceremony which was not legally binding, in front of her four close friends, her two daughters, who were bridesmaids, and her sister, who was the celebrant.

Robbie wore a wedding dress put a ring on her finger, and spoke her vows into a full-length mirror, which she found "quite profound" and after the big day she felt "so elated", thinking "maybe this is what brides feel like".

Robbie now has a business, Marrying Me, helping others become sologamists, people who are married to themselves, as she wants to help them "express a powerful statement of self-love and self-acceptance".

In the future, she is unsure if she will ever get married to anyone other than herself, but asserts they would have to be "very very special" as she is "very happy solo".

"I said my vows into a full-length mirror, and promised to always love myself, it was quite profound actually, I remember afterwards and I just felt so elated," Robbie said.

"Because I’ve actually never been married myself, I thought maybe this is what brides feel like.

"I don't know if I’ll ever get married to someone else in the future – I’m hesitant to say no but I’m not particularly interested in it, although human connection is important.

"I’m not actively dating, but if someone were to come along, they’d have to be very very special because I’m very happy solo."

In 2015, Robbie's 20 year relationship with her children's father broke down, and she began to think her perfect partner did not exist.

She said: "I was searching for someone special with whom I could form an emotional connection or have a relationship with – after a few unsuccessful, short-term relationships, I suddenly came to the realisation that I might never find that special someone, the one.

"This made me incredibly sad, and the sadness morphed into depression, so I took myself off to counselling and it probably took me a year to start feeling better again.

"My councillor described me as having anticipatory grief, the grief of not having something that you really desire, in my case, an intimate relationship."

After Robbie could process the grief of losing her partner, she began to realise the importance of self-love.

She said: "Through therapy and meditation, I realised what was missing in my life was the love for myself, before, I really thought that I was incomplete without a man in my life but what I really needed to do was to learn to love myself.

"So, I started honouring myself and my feelings, I started looking after myself, taking myself out on dates, doing things that I really love, and I became happy in my own company.

"That very strong desire to meet somebody, and have a relationship with that person just washed away."

In summer 2020, Robbie made the decision to make the ultimate commitment to herself and marry herself, she explained: "I had a very brief relationship in 2020 and it didn't work out – I was talking to my sister on the phone one day about it and it just slipped out of my mouth and I said ‘You know what, I should just marry myself’.

"She paused for a minute, and she said it was a great idea, and it just grew from that."

Robbie decided to have the ceremony on her 55th birthday, on February 7 2021, in her front garden in front of her four close friends, her two daughters, who were bridesmaids, and her sister, who was the celebrant.

"I wrote the ceremony and my vows, which I said into a mirror, which was very therapeutic, I had an entrance to a beautiful piece of music," she said.

"I put a ring on my finger, wore a white wedding dress that I got online, organised my own cake, bought flowers from a flower market close to me the day before, and made my own bouquet and two for my daughters."

Explaining how her loved ones felt on the day, Robbie said: "The support from my friends and my daughters was fantastic.

"There was one friend who was sort of a little bit taken aback, she didn't quite understand it but she did still come to the ceremony.

"My mother didn't come to the wedding ceremony, and neither did my son, but they both came to the reception afterwards.

"She thought it was all a bit weird and she's in her eighties, but she is my greatest fan now – we talk about it and she understands, she's very happy for me."

In Australia, self-marriage is not recognised officially by law, so Robbie's ceremony was purely symbolic and not legally binding.

She said: "I don't write my name as ‘married’ on forms or anything like that, because it's not my legal status, I don't know if it would really work to have it recognised by law because contracts usually work as an agreement between two people."

On the same day as her ceremony, Robbie launched a business called Marrying Me, to help others get married to themselves.

She said: "I had the idea when I was planning my own wedding ceremony because I’m a celebrant anyway, but it made me realise we live in a couple's world.

"There's no celebration for people who choose to live the solo life which I think can leave people thinking they’re the odd ones out.

"I think it would be particularly empowering to have a ceremony for someone who has come out of a traumatic relationship too."

So far, Robbie has done all of her ceremonies online via Zoom for people abroad, including a man in Sweden and a woman in Singapore.

Looking to the future, she hopes to perform more ceremonies, especially in person in Australia, she said: "It's extremely rewarding for me and so empowering for other people.

"It's had a great effect on my life, and I’m passionate about making that available to other people, and helping them express a powerful statement of self-love and self-acceptance"