When Alexandra Gill was a little girl, she dreamed up her perfect wedding. But 10 years ago, when she said "I do," she stood at the altar alone — without a groom — and married herself.
Alexandra, a journalist who created Marry Yourself Vancouver with friend Tallulah, is an advocate for women foregoing finding Prince Charming and tying the knot with themselves.
"It's definitely not for everyone," Alexandra told InStyle. "It's very niche. It's a little out there. It's for any single woman who is just happy being who she is. Being single, being free, and being independent."
Alexandra notes that societal pressures puts on women to conform to a "conventional lifestyle" of getting married, having kids, and getting the white-picket fence in the suburbs. This, she proposes, is a way for those who want to take a different path in life to celebrate themselves.
"Ten years made a lot of difference in my life," she said, reflecting on her non-legal commitment to herself a decade ago and the recent celebration of that occasion.
Alexandra still dates and foresees "many relationships" in her future but her hopes and dreams are no longer rooted in social norms.
"I'm 46 years old and I have no desire to get married," she explained. "I'm really happy on my own. I have a very fulfilled life and I'm celebrating the fact that I followed my passions and I did the things I wanted to do in life."
Alexandra acknowledges that the act of marrying oneself has become more accepted and widespread since she did so and she thinks it fills a void of ritual in our lives these days.
"Weddings are a marker in life and if you don't have that, what do you have?" she asked. "Somehow, just by making it a wedding to yourself, there's a moment to sit back, take measure and stock in your life so far, and make promises to yourself in the future."
This moment hit Alexandra during her own nuptials.
"Sitting down to write my vows and speaking them in front of a group of people, that was the most important part to me," she said. "I really felt that I was honoring myself. It was very profound."
So the next time you're sitting around mourning your Tinder experience and swiping left on a Friday night, remember there's always another option.