Nadine Schweigert Marries Herself.

Yoga instructor, Nadine Schweigert, from North Dakota spent a beautiful day in March walking down the aisle to meet her lovely groom – also named Nadine Schweigert.

40 of her dearest friends attended the ceremony, watching as she exchanged vows and rings with her “inner groom” and then spent their honeymoon in New Orleans.

Yes, the 36-year-old married herself.

After a painful divorce, her two children decided to live with their father.

“Six years ago, I would’ve handled a problem by going out and drinking,” she said. “I smoked, I was 50 pounds overweight … this is just celebrating how far I’ve come in my life.”

And so, the young divorcee took the time to re-evaluate her life to find what truly makes her happy and came to the conclusion that she will no longer wait for “someone to complete [her]”. With this, she purchases gifts and treats and takes herself out on a dates, swearing to “enjoy inhabiting my own life and to relish a lifelong love affair with my beautiful self”. Recently she spoke to US TV host Anderson Cooper, saying the self-marriage was “about really committing to changing my life.”

Unfortunately, not everyone in Mrs. Schweigert’s life agreed to this union, especially her 11-year-old son, “[who] said, ‘I love you, but I’m embarrassed for you right now.'”


One thought on “Nadine Schweigert Marries Herself.

  1. I’ve been closely following the story of Fargo, ND local Nadine Schweigert, who “married herself” in a commitment ceremony last March. Last week, Schweigert appeared on Anderson Cooper’s day time talk show to talk about her ceremony. During the introduction, Anderson bluntly asked, “Is it empowering or is it creepy?”

    Presenting the question in such a way is, one supposes, good for ratings. These days, it would seem, a story is hardly news worthy without some inherent controversy. Brad Wilcox, for instance, Director of the National Marriage Project, accuses Nadine of being “a bit confused.” His concern, apparently, is that marriage is not a “solo act.” Marriage, according to Wilcox, is about “bringing two different people together.”

    Well, yes. But as someone who performed a similar commitment ceremony in 2001, I can assure Mr. Wilcox that those of us who “marry ourselves” are not confusing an important symbolic gesture with the institution of marriage.

    Nadine is not alone. I collect stories of women who have performed similar ceremonies – some of the private, some of them well attended by friends and loved ones. My own ceremony, performed nearly a decade ago, was a private affair. (I wrote about it in my book, A Dress, A Ring, promises to Self: an unconventional wedding planner for one. Whatever form such ceremonies take, the thing they have in common is the they are singularly empowering.

    Nadine’s is a story whose time has come. This is not to imply that the idea of making a commitment to love, honor and care for oneself, so that one might better love, honor and care for another is a new one; it isn’t. But ritualizing the commitment – setting the intention and concretizing it – is somewhat new to most folks and, I think, valuable.

    Three cheers for Nadine, who seems to have recognized that we can care for our loved one effectively only when we’ve learned to care for ourselves at least as well.

    Sara Sharpe

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