This article first appeared on the Good Vibrations Magazine.
On October 25th, a Taiwanese woman, Chen Wei-yih, was reported by Reuters to be set to marry herself at a cost of T$50,000 (US$1,623).
Uninspired by the men she’s met but facing social pressure to get married, the 30-year-old Taipei office worker will hold the reception next month in honor of herself. She has posed for a set of photos in a flowing white dress, enlisted a wedding planner and rented a banquet hall for a marriage celebration with thirty friends (whether or not the friends were encouraged to bring dates was not reported).
Apparently, her mother had insisted on a groom at first but later jumped aboard the solo marriage plan. This marriage is not considered legal and will not be registered. Chen said she will wed again when she finds a man later.
I love that she said: “It’s not that I’m anti-marriage. I just hope that I can express a different idea within the bounds of a tradition.”
In one move, she has:
1) Recognized the societal pressure to be married, and acknowledged its hold on her and other women alike;
2) Celebrated her individualism and worth as a person, as well as affirmed her love for herself;
3) Risen above societal expectations to generating something positive of her situation – standing up for herself and inspiring other women to have hope.
This brings to mind a quote:
“The most important relationship you have in the world is the one you have with yourself; everything and everyone is a direct reflection of the quality of that relationship.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Women in Asia, not just Taiwan, are marrying later as their economic status advances, fueling concerns about a drop in the birth rate and its impact on economic development.
I applaud her strength and celebrate. I wish more women would think of such a commitment ceremony to themselves – honoring and celebrating their strengths and finding contentment with where they are.