32 years old Lulu Jemimah, an Oxford student, decided to marry herself after being pressurized by her family to settle down with a man. She married herself out of frustration and to make her parents stop harassing her to get married.
Jemimah said her wedding cost her just £2 for her taxi to the venue, and she got other things free of charge from friends.
‘I have a strong passion in life and I am committed to achieving my goals at becoming an academic.
‘But all my family wanted to ask me was when I planned to get married – which is very important back in Uganda – followed by when I would be having children and starting a family.
‘My father wrote my wedding speech when I turned 16. Every birthday my mother prayed for me and in recent years this has included a plea for a good husband.
‘But I just didn’t want to think about walking up the aisle. It’s not the thing which keeps me up at night.’
The new bride, through the help of some of her friends celebrated her birthday and her ‘self’ wedding at the same time.
‘One of my closest friends Karin reminded me that I had a lot to celebrate this year like getting into Oxford and I joked that I would show up in a wedding dress,’
‘We had been talking about this marriage pressure and she loved the idea so much that she offered to get me the wedding gown.
‘Then I decided, you know what weddings seem so important here – I will marry myself.’
A friend who works as a web designer made and printed her invites, and her friend paid to hire her dress, while her brother baked her cake.
‘It’s shocking the price of wedding gowns in Uganda but when I told them I was marrying myself they offered to find me their cheapest dress.
‘I then spent a few minutes talking to friends and awkwardly explaining that there was no groom – most of them knew by this point,’ she said.
‘I was extremely happy,’ she said. ‘So many friends showed up, as well as international and local journalists, film directors and feminist entrepreneurs.
‘Marriage is an expression of love and commitment, however for many people back home, it is still considered the only way to guarantee a woman’s financial security.’
Although, her parents were absent at her big day, as they were ‘a bit confused’ about her decision to get married to herself.
‘When we talked the next day she was a bit confused and slightly hurt, but explained that by even wearing a wedding dress it proved I was ready for marriage,’ she said.
‘My father still maintains that he doesn’t know what to say.’