An Italian woman has married herself in a ceremony complete with white dress, three-layer wedding cake, bridesmaids and 70 guests.
“I firmly believe that each of us must first of all love ourselves,” said Laura Mesi, a 40-year-old fitness trainer. “You can have a fairytale even without the prince.”
The ceremony 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.
Reports of people marrying themselves go as far back as 1993. It has spawned a number of books and been a theme of episodes of Sex and the City and Glee.