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Everyone, no matter how aloof and coolly independent they pretend to be, fantasises about their wedding day. By everyone I mean me, so last week when I found myself in a white lace wedding dress, holding a bouquet in one hand and my wife’s in the other, smiling for the camera in the botanic gardens, I couldn’t believe that my special day was finally here. The happiest day of my life. I was getting married. And to my one true love, no less. We had finally found each other and now we were being joined in holy matrimony. Well, not really. Well, not at all.
Now you’re wondering, did I hire out a bridal gown, a photographer, and someone to play my spouse to stage a fake wedding shoot to make an ex jealous? Had I reached peak insanity from a prolonged period of single-dom? Doomed to forever roam the gardens in an increasingly muddy wedding dress, moaning at couples on handheld strolls? Although fully plausible, in reality I was only playing bride to help a friend get more photography practice. But while I was fully aware that everything was pretend, that I had only met my bride that morning, and that in reality I couldn’t be any further from getting married, my special day still felt like my special day. I knew that this was not my beautiful wife, but that did not mean I could not still enjoy the festivities. It made me think, does a wedding really need to be real to be enjoyed? Because I was having a ball. My hair and makeup was attentively done by an expert, my closest friends were doing an excellent job of being fake bridesmaids, and I felt incredibly fancy in the four-figure-price wedding dress.
Leaving the house, every strangers’ eyes were on my bride and I, and we were showered in compliments, congratulations, and photo requests. I felt like Mulan at Disneyland. Lorde at Auckland Airport. A Flight of the Conchord at Prefab. “Thank you!” I told my fans, waving my bouquet at their adoring faces. It felt amazing that people I did not know believed that I had the capacity to trick another human being into vowing themselves to me for the rest of their lives, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. As it turns out you don’t need a fiancé to feel special—all you need is a wedding dress. I felt invincible. Wedding dresses are the real power suit. I never wanted to take mine off. The empowerment I felt stemmed directly from society’s obsession and worship of couple-dom, but since I was leeching off couple-privilege while being deadly single, the joke was really on them. I was winning a fight against the Man. The attention was for me and me alone. And that is how on my first wedding day, I learnt that there is nothing more self-indulgent, or more self-satisfying, than getting married alone.