Romantic relationships get a lot of priority in society. All media involves relationships of some kind, shows filled with dating drama plot lines and movies about marriages gone sour. Are the romantic relationships we have throughout our lives really the most important? Are there ways we can honor the other relationships we hold dear?
One innovative woman thought to combine the most time-honored romantic tradition of marriage while coupling it with the non-romantic relationship she considers the most crucial.
Getting married someday is a dream that most of the population has. It's seen as the end goal of romantic relationships, a way to assure that bond between two people, and a promise to one another to intertwine your lives forevermore.
Everyone's wedding style is unique, with some touting very unique marriage ideas, traditions, or practices that might not be everybody's cup of tea. Some host weddings so unique, those in attendance have never seen anything quite like it.
Her One And Only
A 77-year-old woman from Ohio recently got to marry the true love of her life, the person who had been there with her through all of life's ups and downs, herself.
Dorothy 'Dottie' Fideli decided that she was ready to show herself the ultimate act of commitment and love for a few reasons, with one of them being 'why not?'.
"I said, you know what, I've done everything else. Why not? I'm going to marry myself," Fideli told TODAY.
She had a full ceremony at her retirement home, O'Bannon Terrace Retirement Community in Goshen, with friends, family, and fellow residents all invited. She got into a full wedding getup, veil and all, and asked the home's property manager, Rob Geiger, to officiate for her.
"I came in here and I told Rob, I said, 'Rob, you're going to marry me,'" Fideli said. "He said, 'You're what?'"
Once she was explained herself, Geiger was fully on board, wanting to do what he could to help.
"She is a very incredible woman and she is full of life," Geiger said of Fideli. "She has always thought of others."
He wasn't the only one enthused by her idea, as Fideli's daughter, Donna Pennington, also thought it was wonderful.
As Fideli said of her daughter's reaction, "She goes, 'Oh, Mom, yeah, let's go do it. I'll go get your dress, I'll get you everything.'"
Pennington also did all the cooking and decorating, complete with an ornate balloon arch, a two-tiered wedding cake, and other decorative treats for all the guests to enjoy.
To Make Others Smile
"I was nervous, but then I was really happy," Fideli said of her big day.
She didn't think much of it when she originally thought up the idea, describing it as "just one of my things that I normally do" that lifts the spirits of other residents at the home.
"I do some crazy things around here just to make people laugh," she said. "When I see them all down in the dumps, I go get one of my outfits on and dress up and come down, and they smile."
A Moving Moment
What she wasn't expecting was for the wedding to be so moving, both for herself and those in attendance.
During one part of the ceremony, she was holding a white lily, and used that lily as a metaphor for self-love.
"I said, 'Everybody takes this outside lily. And they live their life and they think they're happy and everything's going to be hunky-dory, but they don't consider the inside, the little petals inside,'" she said.
Not Her First
"'The inside is what's important. That's where God's love flows. That's where He gives you wisdom and He gives you hope. And nobody ever takes time to think about that. So that's what I've done, and I'd appreciate it if all of you people would do it and think of it that way.'"
This isn't Fideli's first marriage, though. She got married in 1965, but there was no formal wedding, just an exchanging of cows at the justice of the peace. Fideli said that immediately after the ceremony, "he went to work and I went home."
The Greatest Gift
She also added, "I wore a black dress, so I was doomed before I got started."
Fideli had always dreamed of a big wedding, but was convinced it wasn't going to happen for her, thinking it was too late now to even think about it. Thankfully, those who love her came together to make her dream come true.
"I told my daughter, I said, 'This is the best thing that I've ever had, outside of having you kids. This is what I've always wanted and I'm so happy that you (gave) it to me.'"
She also told KCEN, "I never thought I'd look this pretty. It's emotional for me. Because this is something I've always wanted."
Finally Her Turn
This ceremony, as well as her newfound dedication to her self-worth, has really reminded her of her place in life at this age and what the future's all about.
"I'm at the point in my life where it's about me now," she explained. "My kids are all good, and my grandkids, one of them's going to have a baby [...] and I have a set of triplets that's all graduated from college. So, it's my turn to do what I want to do."
We're All Our Best Partner
Fideli's idea was something born out of selflessness, something she thought she could do as a fun event to put on for her friends, but it evolved into something so much more special than just a show. It became a touching, personal reminder that this is her life now to do what she wants with, so long as she's always putting herself first and loving herself throughout.
By Dottie marrying herself, she gave us all a beautiful and adorable reminder that we are truly the ones who are there for us most, and that's a relationship worth cherishing, treasuring, and fostering as we grow older.
Are you tired of letting your own limiting beliefs hold you back from truly loving yourself and achieving your goals? It's time to give yourself permission to invest in and lift yourself up out of the depths. Spend just 20 minutes of your day to unlock more happiness in your life with this free audio tool.