Erika La Tour Eiffel, 37, a former soldier who lives in San Francisco, has been in love with objects before. Her first infatuation was with Lance, a bow that helped her to become a world-class archer, she is fond of the Berlin Wall and she claims to have a physical relationship with a piece of fence she keeps in her bedroom. But it is the Eiffel Tower she has pledged to love, honour and obey in an intimate ceremony attended by a handful of friends. She has changed her name legally to reflect the bond.
The man who married himself
39-year-old Liu Ye from Zhuhai city, China, has married himself in front of more than 100 guests at a traditional courtyard. He, and the foam cut-out of himself in a red bridal dress, were attended by one bridesmaid and one groomsman. On the way out he bowed to the ancestors and to senior guests in return for blessings. Lui denies being gay but says he could be "a bit narcissistic" according to local media reports. "There are many reasons for marrying myself, but mainly to express my dissatisfaction with reality," Lui said. "This marriage makes me whole again. My definition of marriage is different from others."
The Swedish woman who has been married to the Berlin Wall for over 30 years
Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer, 54, whose surname means Berlin Wall in German, wed the concrete structure in 1979 after being diagnosed with a condition called Objectum-Sexuality. Mrs Berliner-Mauer, whose fetish is said to have its roots in childhood, claimed she fell in love with the structure when she first saw it on television when she was seven. She began collecting "his" pictures and saving up for visits. On her sixth trip in 1979 they tied the knot before a handful of guests. While she remains a virgin with humans, she insists she has a full, loving relationship with the wall. While the rest of mankind rejoiced when the Wall, erected by the Soviets in 1961 to halt an exodus from East to West Berlin, was largely torn down in 1989, its "wife" was horrified. She's never been back and now keeps models depicting "his" former glory.
The Japanese man who married a character from Nintendo DS video game
In November, a Japanese man known as Sal9000 married Nene Anegasaki from the Nintendo DS video game “Love Plus,” a virtual dating game. He actually had a real ceremony in Guam, where apparently it's legal to marry not only inanimate but imaginary objects. His wife currently lives in the Nintendo DSi LL/XL, which is a giant version of the DS, and visitors at the wedding watched a slide show and saw the happy groom kiss his wife. Eek, his poor wife is trapped in a video game and in a marriage she couldn't possibly be aware of.
The woman who is about to get married to a fairground ride
Amy Wolfe is a confident 32-year-old American who lives in New York State. She has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, and has been in relationships with models of spaceships, the Twin Towers, a church organ and a banister, though her main lover – since OS people believe in polygamy – is a fairground ride called 1001 Nacht, located at Knoebels, an amusement park in Pennsylvania (thanks, Adrienne and Dakota). She now plans to marry the magic carpet. This follows a "courtship" of 3,000 rides over ten years. She will change her surname to Weber after the manufacturer of the ride she travels 160 miles to visit 10 times per year. Wolfe even sleeps with a picture of the ride on her ceiling and carries its spare nuts and bolts around to feel closer to it. She claims to believe they share a fulfilling physical and spiritual relationship and does not get jealous when other people ride it.
The woman who married her dead ex boyfriend
Magali Jaskiewicz and Jonathan George had planned to wed at their local town hall in November 2008, but he was killed just two days before the ceremony in a motorcycle accident. Ms Jaskiewitz, 32, used a little-known section of the French civil code that allows posthumous marriages if all the formalities for the wedding were completed before one of the partners died, including the setting of a date. She proved to officials that she and Mr George had been living together since 2004 and that they shared a bank account. She also provided a photo of the wedding dress she had bought to wear to their wedding. According to French interior ministry officials, around ten posthumous marriages are carried out each year in France.
The man who married a pillow
True love can take many forms. In this case, it has taken the form of a Korean man falling in love with, and eventually marrying, a large pillow with a picture of a woman on it. Lee Jin-gyu fell for his ‘dakimakura' – a kind of large, huggable pillow from Japan, often with a picture of a popular anime character printed on the side. In Lee's case, his beloved pillow has an image of Fate Testarossa, from the ‘magical girl' anime series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Now the 28-year-old otaku (a Japanese term that roughly translates to somewhere between ‘obsessive' and ‘nerd') has wed the pillow in a special ceremony, after fitting it out with a wedding dress for the service in front of a local priest. Their nuptials were eagerly chronicled by the local media.”
The woman who married a snake
A woman, who claimed to have fallen in love with a snake got married to the reptile as per Hindu rituals at Atala village of Orissa's Khurda district. The unusual marriage took place in 2006 with over 2,000 people taking out a procession to celebrate the event. Attired in a silk saree, 30 year-old Bimbala Das was seen sitting for around one hour as priests chanted mantras to complete the ritual. The snake which lived in an ant hill near her home, however, was not around and a brass replica of a serpent was kept by the side of the woman instead. Bimbala said: "Though snakes cannot speak nor understand, we communicate in a peculiar way. Whenever I put milk near the ant hill where the Cobra lives, it (the snake) always comes out to drink." When Bimbala disclosed her idea of marrying a snake, villagers reportedly appreciated it saying the marriage will bring good fortune to the area. They also came forward to offer a grand feast for those who came to attend the marriage.
The man who is in a long term relationship with a Volkswagen Beetle
Edward Smith, who lives with his current "girlfriend" – a white Volkswagen Beetle named Vanilla, insisted that he was not "sick" and had no desire to change his ways. Mr Smith, 57, first had sex with a car at the age of 15, and claims he has never been attracted to women or men. But his wandering eye has spread beyond cars to other vehicles. He says that his most intense sexual experience was "making love" to the helicopter from 1980s TV hit Airwolf. As well as Vanilla, he regularly spends time with his other vehicles – a 1973 Opal GT, named Cinnamon, and 1993 Ford Ranger Splash, named Ginger. Before Vanilla, he had a five-year relationship with Victoria, a 1969 VW Beetle he bought from a family of Jehovah's Witnesses. But he confesses that many of the cars he has had sex with have belonged to strangers or car showrooms. His last relationship with a woman was 12 years ago - and he could not bring himself to consummate it, although he did have sex with girls in his younger days. Mr Smith, from Washington state in the US, kept quiet about his secret fetish for years, but agreed to be interviewed as part of a channel Five documentary into “mechaphilia”.
He admits having had sex with 1,000 cars.
The woman who is in a relationship with Jake, a hi-fi system
Emma (not her real name), 43, the only British member of OS (objectum sexual) community, suffers from Asperger syndrome – a condition which seems to be shared by around half of OS people. Asperger sufferers often have difficulties forming relationships with other people, and Emma's fixations are radios and hi-fis. When I met her, she was in love with a hi-fi system which she called Jake. Jake, she says, is "solid, reliable and beautiful". She repairs "him" when he goes wrong, and "makes love" to him on average twice a day. Aside from her electricals, Emma leads a solitary existence. "I would like to meet more people and to have friends," she says, "but I just think it is too difficult now. I am scared they will reject me."