Laura Mesi, the 40-year old Italian woman that married herself in a ceremony reveals that ‘you can have a fairy-tale wedding without the prince’.
“I firmly believe that each of us must first of all love ourselves,” said Laura Mesi, a fitness trainer. “You can have a fairy-tale even without the prince.”
The ceremony was complete with white dress, three-layer wedding cake, bridesmaids and 70 guests and carries no legal weight.
But Ms Mesi is part of a growing trend for self-marriage – dubbed “sologamy” – in countries around the world.
Proponents of such ceremonies say it is about self-love and acceptance, and claiming the social affirmation normally reserved for couples who wed.
Laura says the idea of a solo wedding came to her two years ago, after a 12-year relationship ended.
“I told friends and family that if I had not found my soul-mate by my 40th birthday I would marry myself,” she told La Repubblica newspaper.
“If one day I find a man with whom I can plan a future I’ll be happy, but my happiness does not depend on him.”
Ms Mesi says she is the first Italian woman to hold a solo ceremony. In May, a man, Nello Ruggiero, said “yes” to himself in a ceremony in Naples.
In Japan, a travel agency began offering bridal ceremonies for single women in 2014.
But not everyone welcomes the trend, with some calling it narcissistic, and others criticizing it as a pointless submission to a patriarchal institution.
Among the congratulatory comments left on Ms Mesi’s wedding photos are others: “So sad”, “you’re out of your mind” and “there’s something wrong with your brain”.
Last month, British self-wedder Sophie Tanner told newsmen that Three some people called her “a sad feminist”.
Ms Mesi has brushed off the catty comments, saying “nothing and no-one can turn off my smile”.
But in media interviews she acknowledges that solo weddings might not be for everyone. To marry yourself, she says, you need a certain amount of money, the support of those around you, and – above all – “a pinch of madness”.