“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.”
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.”
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.
But not everyone welcomes the trend, with some calling it narcissistic, and others criticising 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 BBC 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”.
– BBC News
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