Oxford student marries herself to get parents off her back about getting hitched

Oxford student Lulu Jemimah decides to marry herself after getting fed up of being asked when she would be tying the knot

                            Oxford student marries herself to get parents off her back about getting hitched

Fed up with her parents' continuing harangue to tie the knot, a Ugandan sudent at Oxford decided to finally get married — to herself.

Thirty two-year-old Lulu Jemimah who is studying for her masters in creative writing from Oxford shared that marriage was the last thing on her mind. But in an attempt to get her parents to stop questioning her on marriage, she decided to stage a mock wedding and also sent out formal invitations to her loved ones. Lulu also hired a wedding gown and even gave a speech to her guests as to why there was no groom present. 


Jemimah admitted that the whole concept did baffle her Ugandan parents, but said she felt it was the perfect commitment to herself and to her studies. Lulu spent only around £2 for the entire wedding. Her wedding dress was rented by her friend, and guests took care of their own tabs. 

As reported by DailyMail, Lulu shared, "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," she continued. Lulu was previously a freelance journalist and also a communications consultant for the International Organisation for Migration. In 2013, she received a BA Media (Film) scholarship and once she completed her undergraduate degree, she applied to Oxford University for her masters which started in 2017. 

"I could not believe that they had chosen me. I still can't believe it," she shared. However, Lulu claims that this success was not enough for her parents who just wanted her to get a boyfriend and get married. When Lulu returned home to Uganda for her birthday, she was planning a "low key" celebration when her friends convinced her to do something bigger. 

She joked that she would show up in a wedding dress and that the idea stayed with her. "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," she shared. "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," she continued. 


The ceremony that Lulu arranged was all last minute and took place at the Quepasa Bar in Kampala on her 32nd birthday. She shared that one of her web designer friend made and printed her invites, another paid to hire a wedding dress for her, and her brother baked her a cake. "[As soon as] I sent these out I immediately received phone calls asking who the groom was. I told people it was a surprise," she revealed. 

"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 did feel a bit crazy trying on the dress and explaining that I was marrying myself. There was a kind of dismissive tolerance from the girls in the bridal shop. I had to leave an ID card behind and when they saw my Oxford university card they screamed and were so impressed. I tried a few on and I almost cried," she added. 

"It really is a special moment and I understood more than I had the excitement around weddings," she continued. She shared that one of her friends did her makeup in the restroom of the venue after which she walked out to the venue. "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 shared. Another one of her friends was the vicar as Lulu exchanged vows with herself. 

"I was extremely happy. 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. I had worried about coming off as stupid but to have such a strong intellectual group of friends behind the idea, that was all the validation I needed for the choices I have made," she continued. 


Lulu's parents did not attend the big day but Lulu said that she visited her mother to explain her decision. "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. My father still maintains that he doesn't know what to say," she revealed.

The wedding is not legally binding as you cannot legally marry yourself. 

Lulu took the occasion to announce that she is crowdfunding as a means of paying for her tuition. "I constantly tried to look for scholarships, grants and [have] even contacted embassies and government bodies. I considered taking out a loan but was told, as an international student, I was not eligible. From the generosity of 279 people (many friends, most strangers), I managed to secure the first year's tuition. I am now crowdfunding to pay for my full second-year tuition," she shared. She also has a GoFundMe page for the same purpose.