Oxford University Student Marries Herself
Love 'em, hate 'em, whatever - you can always rely on your family for one thing or another. For many of us, they can be supportive, loving and always good for a chat.
Still, even the best of our families can also prove themselves to be a massive pain in the arse - and once you reach a certain age, at least one member is always guaranteed to ask you when you're getting married.
This may not be a priority for most people - it certainly wasn't for Lulu Jemimah, who's been busy studying hard for her master's degree at Oxford University. The 32-year-old student got so sick of this ever-recurring question that she came up with a perfectly sensible answer - she would get married to herself.
Yes, you read correctly, she married herself. Well I suppose they do say 'there's someone for everyone', and Lulu knew exactly where to find her perfect match.
She organised the whole mock wedding, sending out invites, hiring a dress, walking down the aisle and even giving a speech - albeit this was to explain the absence of a groom.
Going to such lengths may seem excessive - and I know what you're thinking: 'But weddings cost thousand. All that money to marry herself?!?' Well, guess what? She says the whole day only cost £2.
Thanks to help from her friends, she managed to get everything for her big day for free or as gifts. In the end her £2 expenses were only required for a taxi to the venue - which was a pub. Cheap fare, that, innit?
It seems absolutely baffling - especially to Lulu's parents back home in Uganda - but she explained that the wedding was about her making a commitment to herself and her studies.
She said: "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."
Lulu previously worked as a freelance journalist and a communication consultant for the International Organisation for Migration.
But in 2013 she received a BA Media (film) scholarship from Macquarie University in Australia.
After completing her studies in Australia, she started a masters degree at Oxford University, but despite her academic success, she said all her parents could think about was when she'd tie the knot.
Earlier this year she came back home to Uganda with plans for little more than a 'low key' celebration for her birthday - until friends convinced her otherwise.
She said it all stemmed from a joke - she'd laughingly claimed she would 'show up in a wedding dress' - but the idea stuck.
"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 said.
"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."
The ceremony itself was organised very last minute and was held in the Quepasa Bar in the Ugandan capital Kampala, in August.
Obviously she received many questions who the groom was once all the invites were sent, but Lulu kept this a surprise for the day.
The actual ceremony was officiated, with one of her friends playing the vicar, and unfortunately her parents didn't attend. But she did explain her choice to them.
"When we talked the next day she [her mum] was a bit confused and slightly hurt, but I explained that by even wearing a wedding dress it proved I was ready for marriage," Lulu said.
"My father still maintains that he doesn't know what to say."
Well, bang goes that speech then.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS