Uninspired by men, woman to marry self

Friday 22 October 2010 11.24
Marriage - Taiwanese women are marrying later and less often
Marriage - Taiwanese women are marrying later and less often

Uninspired by the men she has met but facing social pressure to get married, a 30-year-old Taiwanese office worker will marry herself.

Chen Wei-yih has posed for a set of photos in a flowing white dress, enlisted a wedding planner and rented a banquet hall for a marriage celebration with 30 friends but no groom.

‘Age 30 is a prime period for me. My work and experience are in good shape, but I haven't found a partner, so what can I do?’ Ms Chen said.

‘It's not that I'm anti-marriage. I just hope that I can express a different idea within the bounds of a tradition.’

Her €4,082 wedding comes after online publicity that has netted 1,800 largely sympathetic comments.

Taiwanese women are marrying later and less often as their economic status advances, fuelling government concerns about a drop in the birth rate and its impact on productivity.

Only 40% of women surveyed earlier this year by the education ministry said they imagined married people could live better than singles, local media said.

'I was just hoping that more people would love themselves,’ said Ms Chen, who will go on a solo honeymoon to Australia.

Ms Chen said her mother had insisted on a groom at first but later jumped aboard the solo marriage plan.

But as Ms Chen cannot officially register a marriage to herself, if she finds a man later she will wed again.

‘If I had a steady boyfriend, I wouldn't do this,’ she said. ‘It would be offensive to him, anyway.’