In one of the most elaborate ceremonies she helped plan, a woman married herself on a beach in San Francisco, complete with a band, photographers, and a circle of family members.Sasha Cagen, a women’s empowerment coach who helped popularize self-marriage with her book , held her own ceremony three years ago, when she turned 40.Later she tossed the bouquet to friends and downed two shots of whiskey, one for herself and one for herself. To celebrate birthday #36 by wearing an engagement ring and saying: YES TO ME.She had planned the event for weeks, sending invitations, finding the perfect dress, writing her vows, buying rosé and fresh baguettes and fruit tarts from a French bakery. I even made a registry, because this is America.”Self-marriage is a small but growing movement, with consultants and self-wedding planners popping up across the world.“Personally, as someone who lived for many years single and then did get married, I know that the kind of affirmation I got for getting married was unlike anything I’d ever had in any other part of my life.” That, she adds, is “incredibly unjust.”Marriage (to another person) is on the decline. In 1960, 72 percent of adults age 18 and older were married, while today, just 51 percent are wed.People are waiting longer to marry as well: The median age at first marriage is at a new high for brides (26.5 years) and grooms (28.7 years). “It’s left over from centuries of one kind of marriage pattern and one path for women,” Traister says.At her wedding, held in a Japanese garden in Buenos Aires with two close friends present, “I vowed to trust myself, to see myself as beautiful, to accept my imperfections and the imperfections of others,” she says.
After meeting as seniors at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, they married a few years later and moved to Europe. She plans to keep dating, and she appreciates the “ceremony and symbolism” of traditional marriage.Earlier this year, she set a goal to write a book she'd always wanted to write. She wanted to keep it simple, for herself and for everyone attending.She put on her old engagement ring, a big blue topaz she had bought for herself: She wanted to commit to the book. She found her dress on Mod Cloth.com, and bought a pair of retro-style wedge sandals for a '60s vibe.When she graduated in 2011, Dominique went to the Burning Man festival in Nevada, where the theme was "rites of passage." She decided to help women at Burning Man marry themselves, saying their vows into a mirror.