A woman from the Gold Coast in Australia has married herself in an intimate beach ceremony in front of three close friends.
Linda Doktar is a life coach who champions self-love and decided to go through with the ceremony after a painful breakup.
The 34-year-old wore a tie-dye blue and purple gown on the day, and looked into a handheld mirror while she recited her vows.
“I just got married!! To MYSELF,” Doktar wrote in an Instagram post shortly after the ceremony, which took place on Valentine’s Day in 2017.
“Yesterday I experienced the most powerful self-love & self-marriage ritual known to humankind - to promise to love, honour and respect my soul today, tomorrow and always,” she continued.
“Yesterday I made a choice to become my own soulmate & best friend.
“I AM WHOLE. It's your turn to choose you”.
In a subsequent post, Doktar can be seen standing opposite one of her friends during the wedding holding a colourful bouquet.
In the caption, she describes loving yourself as “the greatest revolution”.
The act of marrying oneself, sometimes known as 'solygamy', is not legally recognised in Australia but is viewed as a symbolic occasion.
Doktar was inspired to marry herself after her close friend Emmajane Love did the same thing in Bali.
Love, a former sex worker-turned-relationships counsellor, made headlines in 2017 for her own bohemian-style ceremony, which she decided to pursue after experiencing a series of abusive relationships.
The 33-year-old bought her own engagement ring, writing in a Facebook post at the time that the ceremony was an expression of the unconditional love she has for herself.
She now helps others to marry themselves in symbolic ceremonies and has performed more than 100 self-marriages for men and women, including Doktar.
Writing about Doktar’s experience on Facebook, Love explained that self-marriage is by no means an expression of shutting oneself off to romantic partners in the future.
“Please know that this ceremony is not done instead of being with someone, or because the person doesn’t want to be with someone in the future,” she wrote.
“It’s done to honour the healing journey once they have come to a deep place of self-love and they commit to that self-love forever through this ceremony.
“Many of the women I work with have been in toxic and codependent relationships and even experienced abuse.
“What I teach them is how to stop looking outside of themselves for love and how to then attract relationships from a healthy place, not from a place of lack but from a place of fullness.”
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