An American woman, Dorothy “Dottie” Fideli, 77, of Ohio, married herself in an unusual wedding ceremony held at her senior living home to accomplish her lifelong dream of having a happily ever after.
“This is something I’ve always wanted,” Fideli told WLWT about the event that happened on May 13.
“I wanted to get married and have a happy life but things didn’t work out that way and now I have a second chance in doing something that’ll make me happy.”
The mother of three says she heard about a woman marrying herself on a talk show and thought it was a good idea.
She said it would uplift other residents of the O’Bannon Terrace Retirement Home in Goshen, Ohio.
“I do some crazy things around here just to make people laugh,” Fideli 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.”
After deciding to go through with the marriage, she had to plan for her special day.
She planned for decorations, catering, and an officiant, who turned out to be the retirement home property manager, Rob Geiger.
“I came in here and I told Rob, I said, ‘Rob, you’re going to marry me,’” Fideli told TODAY. “He said, ‘You’re what?’”
Geiger wasn’t the only one in support of the wedding as Fideli’s daughter helped her mother plan the big day by buying the dress, getting flowers, and cooking for the attendees.
“She goes, ‘Oh, Mom, yeah, let’s go do it. I’ll go get your dress, I’ll get you everything,’” Fideli said of her daughter Donna Pennington.
The bride wore a white dress with sheer long sleeves decorated with floral detailing, a silver belt, and an embellished headband veil while holding white lilies.
“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 is what’s important,” Fideli recalled to TODAY about her speech during the ceremony.
“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.”
“I was nervous, but then I was really happy,” she said.
Fideli’s marriage on Saturday wasn’t her first.
She was married in a courthouse wedding in 1965, but was divorced nine years later.