“I married myself - and this is what I wore”

By Lamin Frank

Photo: Kevin Mariadasan

“The relationship I have with all parts of myself today is worth celebrating.” Norwegian wellness coach Lamin Frank provides an intimate account of his wedding to himself, including his show-stopping, meaningfully-curated outfit for the big day

"If I’m ever getting married, it’s to someone that I know I won’t ever separate from," I thought to myself after experiencing the most beautiful wedding celebration last summer. In my mind, marriage is a once in a lifetime thing – I’m not getting divorced. And the only person in the world that I know I won’t separate from is me.


I’ve heard wedding vows so beautiful that they've given me goosebumps. Words are a passion of mine so when I say that I’ve been wanting to say a lot of those things that I’ve heard in other’s vows, it's beyond a regular want. Did I imagine that I would say these kind of words to myself? No, I had no clue.

Photo: Kevin Mariadasan

So, this year, my birthday was coming up and I wanted to celebrate another leap around the sun. The idea was to create a new experience for the lovely people in my life, and to make the celebration greater than my own age. In my job as a wellness coach, I spend a lot of time talking and advising around self-love. Self-love is a challenge every day, but I’ve never been more at home in myself.

The relationship I have with all parts of myself today is worth celebrating, especially when I think about what my yesterdays have been like. Hence, my vision for the wedding was to invite my loved ones to a homecoming.

self-love isn’t selfish. At all.

Lamin Frank

The outfit was created to represent both my feminine and masculine sides. It was a tricky task, because I wanted to avoid a hybrid bride-groom Halloween feeling. Together with Laila, a designer who has helped me with everything from ripped pants to costumes, we researched the history of traditional outfits for him and her, and the symbolic representations behind different aspects, and used this as my point of reference.

This led us to take pieces like the bridal veil, which is so symbolic for a bride. But at first, worn on its own, it gave off the feeling of a drag costume in my eyes. The look wasn't balanced. Laila then managed to combine the veil – which I was convinced should be black – with a floss hat. The mix of the hyper feminine veil with the macho and masculine floss hat looked magnificent.

Photo: Kevin Mariadasan

Photo: Kevin Mariadasan

The same consideration applied to the outfit. It was important for me that our approach was to represent both the masculine and feminine energy, rather than just mashing together a bride and groom. The skirt was inspired by a mermaid wedding dress, with pleated cumberbund details. Then a traditional smoking shirt, and a smoking jacket that was cropped to ensure it didn't hide too much of the dress underneath. The fit was a great challenge because we wanted to keep a feminine waist yet wide masculine shoulders. But the final look did exactly that.

For the ring, I’m a silver man so I had to go with silver. But I didn’t want a regular ring – I wanted a green stone. The meaning of that is secret and safe within the marriage. And for the foundation of the outfit, Christian Louboutin Greggo Oxford shoes. I mean, who wouldn't want to get married in red bottoms, right?

Following the ceremony, and after seeing what the press and tabloids chose to focus on, a good friend said to me, "no one is focusing on what masterpiece your wedding outfit was – it's being completely overshadowed." So, I rented a room, and with photographer Kevin Mariadasan, we decided to do the outfit justice. Mariadassan has such a great eye for details and a sense of creativity that is out of this world, so I knew the shoot would be great.

Photo: Kevin Mariadasan

I loved every second of my wedding. I would get married again just for that experience. (I’m joking, I don’t have the finances it takes to make it as beautiful again).

In the country that I live in, it’s not possible to register a marriage with yourself. But the promises I make to myself don’t have anything to do with the state really, do they? It's still symbolic to me and all the 130 people who it was meant for. You know, standing in front of so many people and being that vulnerable did something to me. The lovely and beautiful Triana Iglesias who wedded me as celebrant did such a wonderful job with the ceremony. I was so emotional I couldn’t get my words out. She explained the depth of love and giving it to oneself, how hard it can be and how committed I was to keep nurturing it. On top of that, Iglesias asked the assembly if they would assist me in keeping these promises to myself, to which they all shouted “yes”. It makes me emotional just talking about it.

Many people do, but I wish more would see that self-love isn’t selfish. At all. The relationship that you have with yourself really determines all your other relationships. I believe that.

Lamin Frank's Wedding

Video by Matthew Thompson