77yo Dorothy “Dottie” Fideli from Ohio fulfilled her dream of marrying the love of her life in a joyous wedding ceremony at her retirement home, surrounded by friends and family.
In a stunning white wedding gown and veil, she confidently walked down the aisle, defying those who doubted her dream wedding was possible due to her age.
“This is something I’ve always wanted,” she said for WLWT5. “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.”
Having married in a courthouse in 1965, Dorothy, a mother of three and grandmother, experienced a short-lived marriage that ended in divorce nine years later.
Inspired by her neighbors, who witnessed a similar self-marriage on television, the 77yo embraced the idea of marrying herself.
In an interview with Today, she recalled her first marriage: “I wore a black dress, so I was doomed before I got started.”
After a joyless courthouse wedding, Dorothy’s ex-husband immediately went to work while she returned home. Dissatisfied with their unhappy marriage, she has now chosen to marry herself, finally fulfilling her long-held dream of a perfect wedding.
She said: “I have been with myself for 40 years. Something just came over me one day in church that you ought to do something special for yourself. I said, you know what, I’ve done everything else. Why not? I’m going to marry myself.”
Dottie’s daughter, Donna Pennington, played a crucial role in fulfilling her mother’s dream. Upon learning about the wedding plan, Donna enthusiastically prepared the wedding meal and beautifully decorated the community room at O’Bannon Terrace Retirement Home in Ohio.
“This is something new for me. I’ve never gotten married like this before,” she said for NBC affiliate KCEN. “It’s emotional for me, because this is something I’ve always wanted.”
Dottie’s wedding ceremony commenced at 3 pm in her retirement home’s community hall, adorned in a wedding gown paired with new white sneakers. The property manager officiated the heartfelt event.
Today reports that the 77yo chose to hold a white lily, symbolizing her self-love during the ceremony.
“I said, ‘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,” she told Today.
“‘The inside is what’s important. That’s where God’s love flows,’” she added. “‘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.’”
Guests enjoyed heart-shaped cookies and finger sandwiches, while Dorothy cut a beautifully adorned two-tiered white cake with red rose petals.
“Love, love is the most important thing in this world, and if you love God and love yourself, this world will be a field of roses. If it’s not in the cards for them, then there’s something out there that will make them happy and find themselves in life and fulfill their soul,” she told NBC affiliate WLWT5.
What do you think of Dorothy’s unique wedding celebration and her choice to marry herself?