A woman was dubbed ‘lonely’ and ‘pathetic’ by her workmates after she spent £4,000 getting married to herself – but she has no regrets.
Andria Johnson, 39, who is divorced, travelled to Tulum, Mexico for her ceremony. She wore a white dress, read vows, and placed a ring on her own finger in front of a local officiant.
She even had a reception, where she ate cake and drank champagne, and had a photoshoot in one of Mexico’s famous cenotes – a natural waterfilled sinkhole.
While colleagues had a surprisingly angry reaction to her nuptials – even reporting her to HR – she is thrilled with her decision, and refers to herself as ‘Mrs’.
‘Being married to myself has taught me many things,’ says Andria, from Maryland, USA. ‘I’ve learned that I cannot bring anything to a relationship if I cannot love myself.
‘I put my relationship with myself above everything and work on it constantly.’
Andria and her now ex-husband, then 45, got married in Las Vegas in 2015.
Andria dreamt of a long and healthy relationship – her own parents have been married for 42 years. But after three years, Andria and her ex called it quits.
She says their 14-year age gap, mixed with socioeconomic differences, ultimately led to their downfall.
Andria blamed herself for not being the ‘perfect wife’ and placing the idea of marriage over the health of her relationship.
The road to healing was long, and she sought the help of a therapist.
During one of her therapy sessions, she told her therapist, ‘I love myself, and I would love to be the person married to me.’ It was then that she questioned whether she could make marrying herself a reality, and came across celebrities, such as Selena Gomez, who had done just that.
‘I wanted to celebrate my new relationship with myself by doing what I should have done years ago,’ she said.
‘In my first marriage, I made the mistake of dedicating myself to loving someone else unconditionally without giving myself that same love first.’
Shortly after proposing to herself on Valentine’s Day, she started planning her wedding.
She booked her flight to Tulum, and announced her news on social media in March 2023.
While friends and family were supportive, she received harsh backlash from colleagues at work.
‘There were a lot of comments made to me and behind my back about me being pathetic, crazy, lonely, starved for attention, and a whole slew of other things,’ she said
‘Some employees anonymously reported me to the HR department and initiated an investigation at work around my mental stability. It was really a tough time.’
But the haters did not deter her from the path she had chosen for herself, and she held a private ceremony, much like her first marriage, minus the groom and guests, in May this year – on her 39th birthday.
‘Because I spent the majority of my life trying to satisfy other people, I decided to do this for myself. I wanted the ceremony to reflect me and not conform to society’s standard of a wedding, but I still wanted to be a bride,’ she said.
‘I used elements of a typical Christian wedding (like a dress, hair, makeup and ring) and some of my own, like baptism, spiritual vows and an acknowledgement of my love for myself alone in nature.
‘I went to a cenote for a photoshoot symbolising the rebirth of myself and emerging into the new version of myself.’
‘When I emerged from the water, I put on my wedding dress, walked to the cenote, said my vows and put the ring on my own finger,’ she said.
The ring, in the shape of a lotus flower, cost her a little over £30.
When asked whether she had any second thoughts before getting married, Andria said: ‘Up until a few days before, I was completely confident in my decision. Although, the day before, I actually got nervous. I have no idea why! I started asking myself if I was really going to go through with it. “Am I crazy?”‘
But Andria says the day was perfect. ‘It was an amazing experience! The ceremony lasted the entire day.
‘When I saw myself in my wedding dress, it was amazing. I felt beautiful.
‘The cake and champagne were the added bonus at the end of the evening, and I didn’t have to share with anyone else. I did everything for me.
‘When I am able to, I refer to myself as Mrs. instead of Miss.’
Even after the wedding, the backlash from her colleagues did not subside – with one writing a statement outlining why they felt she was ‘mentally unstable.’ Andria eventually quit her job.
‘I saw a three-paragraph comment outlining my mental instability for marrying myself.
‘[Someone] attacked my social media page, called me insulting names, and told me to stay in Mexico and leave my craziness there,’ she said.
‘They said no one would call me Mrs. because it was not legally binding. I was used to getting comments like that from strangers, but it really hit hard because it came from someone who knew me personally.
‘So now I do not care what other people think of me. Because I know people are going to think what they want to think about you, so you might as well do what you want.’
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