A divorced woman was called ‘lonely’ and ‘crazy’ by her workmates after she spent nearly $5,000 getting remarried to herself at a no-guest wedding in Mexico.
Andria Johnson, 39, proposed to herself on Valentine’s Day and went on to enjoy several months of being her own fiancée.
She then traveled from her home in Hanover, Maryland, to Tulum, Mexico, where she married herself in a solo ceremony that included reading vows to herself and placing a $37 ring on her finger, in front of a local officiate.
The wedding was markedly different to Andria’s first nuptials – which took place in 2015 when she was 31, and wed a her then-45-year-old husband in Las Vegas.
Growing up with parents who had been married for 42 years, Andria dreams of a long and healthy relationship with her husband, but, by 2018, she found herself divorced.
Andria Johnson, 39, proposed to herself on Valentine’s Day and went on to enjoy several months of being her own fiancée before tying the knot with herself in Tulum, Mexico
Three years after her divorce, she realized in therapy: ‘I love myself, and I would love to be the person married to me’
Andria says the 14-year age gap between the pair, mixed with socioeconomic differences, put a strain on the relationship and ultimately led to the downfall of her first marriage.
However, she couldn’t help but put herself under the microscope and blame herself for not being the perfect wife, not knowing more about life, and placing the idea of marriage above the health of their relationship.
For Andria, the road to forgiveness and healing was long and arduous.
She started working with a therapist, and – through tears, studies and long hours of meditation – she finally reached a breakthrough three years later: when she decided to wed herself.
During one of her therapy sessions, in a moment of clarity, she told her therapist, ‘I love myself, and I would love to be the person married to me.’
It was then that she examined whether she could make marrying herself a reality and looked to celebrities like Selena Gomez, 31, who’d married herself on her 30th birthday, and singer Mya, 40, who said ‘I do’ to herself in the Seychelles off the coast of East Africa.
‘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.’
Andria loved this declaration of self-love and wanted her own unique experience. Shortly after proposing to herself on Valentine’s Day, she started planning her wedding.
When Andria shared her desire to marry herself with her family, friends and colleagues, she got mixed reactions from everyone.
While her family and friends supported her decision, her colleagues saw it as an unusual move and struggled to accept it.
She bought a ring for herself that cost just under $40
Andria made the conscious decision to go through with her wedding sans any guests
‘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.’
After booking a flight and hotel in Tulum, Mexico, where her wedding ceremony was to take place, Andria announced her decision to marry herself in March 2023 to her more than 1,000 followers.
The general reaction to her public announcement was generally positive and filled with praise – though most were simply curious.
But judgmental comments from friends and acquaintances did not stop, with Andria continuing to face a series of hurtful remarks and questions.
‘Have you switched your medication?’ one commented
‘I guess we can never date because I don’t date married women’, another snarked.
‘Wow, you are always doing something that no one else would do,’ remarked a third.
But hearing the haters did not deter her from the path she had chosen for herself, and she held a private ceremony – much like with her first marriage, but minus the groom – in Tulum, Mexico.
She chose to tie the knot with herself on the day she turned 39th, May 1, 2023.
Andria did not wish to have any guests at her wedding and decided to do it all alone.
‘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 (dress, hair, makeup, ring) and some of my own, like baptism, spiritual vows and an acknowledgment of my love for myself alone in nature.
‘This ceremony was deeply personal to me, so I wanted to say my vows out loud to myself, but I didn’t need the “official” pomp and circumstance of the traditional wedding.
While she got a lot of hate for the decision, she made peace with the negativity by choosing to not care what others think of her
‘I know people are going to think what they want to think about you, so you might as well do what you want,’ she reflected
‘Being married to myself has taught me many things. I’ve learned that I cannot bring anything to a relationship if I cannot love myself,’ said Andria
‘I went to a cenote for a photoshoot symbolizing the rebirth of myself and emerging into the new version of myself.’
A cenote is a deep freshwater spring or well made from a sinkhole filled with water. They are known for purification and detoxifying effects and also hold a spiritual meaning in Mayan culture.
‘When I emerged from the water (almost like a baptism), I put on my wedding dress, walked to the cenote, said my vows and put the ring on my own finger,’ she said.
Speaking about the ring, she said since she couldn’t find a designer ring that spoke about her personal journey, she found a beautiful lotus promise ring from a shop called Story Jewelery and fell in love with it at first sight.
Her ring cost a little under $40 – but reflected everything she felt.
When asked whether she had any second thoughts before getting married or experiencing cold feet, she 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?
‘I felt quite similar to what I experienced when I married my ex-husband. Once I released myself to my higher power to give and receive love for myself, I was ready to do it.
‘It was an amazing experience! The ceremony lasted the entire day.
‘My vows were deeply personal and were written throughout the week that I was there. Saying them to myself with eyes closed in nature was the ultimate bondage.
‘I was alone, but never alone as long as I had myself. Then, when I saw myself in my wedding dress, it was amazing. I felt beautiful. I picked the dress for me that I wanted.
‘I was alone, but never alone as long as I had myself. Then, when I saw myself in my wedding dress, it was amazing,’ Andria said of the ceremony
‘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, and it was empowering to know that I didn’t need another human being to feel this amazing.’
Just after the wedding, the backlash from her colleagues did not subside, and she eventually had to quit her job.
Johnson had created an anonymous survey to get feedback on what the people in her office thought, and she received some unsavory replies.
‘I saw a three-paragraph comment outlining my mental instability for marrying myself. This person 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 don’t 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.
‘Being married to myself has taught me many things. I’ve learned that I cannot bring anything to a relationship if I cannot love myself.
‘I’ve also learned that self-love isn’t just bubble baths and massages and now, I put my relationship with myself above everything and work on it constantly.’