MILAN: An Italian woman has made headlines across the world after marrying herself in a ceremony with a white wedding dress, a three tier cake, bridesmaids and 70 guests.
Laura Mesi, a fitness instructor and vlogger from the small town of Lissone near Milan, is believed to be the first woman in the country to marry herself following the ceremony last week.
The 40-year-old said the idea of a solo wedding – which has no legal significance – first came to her two years ago after the end of a 12-year relationship.
She told La Repubblica: “I told my relatives and friends that if I had not found my soul mate I would marry myself by my 40th birthday”.
She said she has not rejected the possibility that she may one day find love again but said she can “live a fairytale even without a Prince Charming”.
“If tomorrow I find a man to build a future with I will be happy, but my happiness will not depend on him,” she added.
She said she had spent just over 10,000 euros (£8,750) on the day but was able to cover the expenses of the reception through gifts from the 70 wedding guests.
Ms Mesi said her family had been supportive of her decision – including her brother was initially sceptical but served as a celebrant at the ceremony.
She is believed to be the first woman to celebrate a self-marriage in Italy, but earlier this year Nello Ruggiero was the first groom to marry himself in a ceremony in Naples.
Ms Mesi is one of an increasing number of people entering into a marriage with themselves without waiting for a partner.
In the US, a website called “I Married Me” sells self-wedding kits and a wedding planning agency in Vancouver, Canada, specifically caters for self-marriage.
British blogger Sophie Tanner became one of the first women in the UK to marry herself in 2015 in Brighton.
The 38-year-old, who later wrote a novel about self-marriage and is campaigning to give it legal recognition, told the BBC: “Sologamy,as it’s known, is a growing movement for men and women, with consultants and self-wedding planners popping up all over the world.
“My marriage isn’t legally recognised in the UK, but, for me, it was an important ceremony that demonstrates my commitment to self-compassion.
“I’ve never been that girly girl dreaming of my big day. But, as I started to find myself again following my break-up, I thought, what could be more romantic than to show myself, and everyone else, that I deserve this, the ultimate day? I don’t need to put up with bad men, or to be constantly chasing ‘The One’. Perhaps I am ‘My One’.”