News / South Africa / Local News

Christiaan Cloete
2 minute read
19 Nov 2019
8:50 am

Vanderbijlpark woman the first in her town to marry herself

Christiaan Cloete

Rita Woodall-Terblanche tied the knot with herself in a private ceremony that is not recognised by law.

Rita is so far the first person in Vanderbijlpark – and possibly the first South African – to marry herself. Photos: Christiaan Cloete

A widow from Vanderbijlpark decided at the age of 63 that she would marry again, only this time her soulmate was someone she knew best – herself.

Rita Woodall-Terblanche tied the knot with herself in a private ceremony last Saturday at the Riverside Sun Hotel conference centre.

Sologamy, defined as a marriage by a person to him or herself, is steadily gaining traction worldwide, but Rita is so far the first person in Vanderbijlpark – and possibly the first South African – to marry herself, reports Vaal Weekblad.

Seven guests attended the intimate ceremony.

Rita drove herself to her ceremony in her own car, complete with white and yellow balloons and ribbons.

Her bouquet consisted of four yellow sunflowers with a protea flower in the middle.

Minutes later, Rita’s personally designed wedding ring fit snug around her finger. The ring has yellow diamonds and is shaped like a horse hoof.

Rita’s designer ring.

Rita’s friend Leonie Gouws led the ceremony.

“We are here today for the marriage of Rita to herself. You will all agree that she looks beautiful today. She is the person with the warmest heart that I have ever met,” Gouws said.

Rita was then asked to make an oath and a promise to herself.

“I hereby promise that I, Rita Woodall-Terblanche, will love myself, take care of myself, care about myself, respect and, above all else, be true to myself, to the best of my ability. I promise this in the name of the Almighty and all present witnesses.”

Rita’s friend Leonie Gouws leading the ceremony.

After Rita’s vows, she put her wedding ring on her finger, prompting loud applause and well wishes from her guests.

Rita, who was until recently known by Vaal Triangle residents as Rita Woodall, added her maiden surname, Terblanche.

So, why did Rita marry herself?

“No one can love you as much as you love yourself. You can also never trust anyone like you trust yourself,” she explained.

According to her, when her last husband died three years ago, she never thought she would marry again. She has two children from her first marriage, and was married to her previous husband for more than 37 years before he died.

Rita also jokingly explained that the wedding ring would keep irritating men at bay.

There are apparently a few eligible bachelors in the area that are after Rita’s money, she says.

Rita’s brother Neels said that although he was sceptical about her sologamy, he only wanted the best for her.

Rita’s wedding to herself is not recognised legally, and is strictly ceremonial. It is thus not registered with the department of home affairs.

Rita says she is heading to Bela-Bela for her honeymoon, after which she will visit her son in Ballito.

This article was translated from Afrikaans by Nica Schreuder

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