What is Self-Marriage? Italian Woman Weds Herself in Lavish Ceremony

One woman in Italy wasn’t about to let the lack of a partner to stop her from getting married.

Laura Mesi, a 40-year-old personal trainer, wed herself over the weekend in a lavish ceremony that included a cake, a dress, bridesmaids, bridal photos and over 70 guests.

“I firmly believe that each of us must first of all love ourselves,” she told Italian newspaper La Repubblica. “You can have a fairytale even without the prince.”

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Mesi’s self-marriage is not legally binding —marriage is, after all, a contract between two (or more) parties — but the event, which dubbed “Sposa Single” (“single spouse”) carried plenty of bittersweet significance for her.

Mesi said she first considered “sologamy” after a 12-year relationship ended when she was 38, telling friends that if she hadn’t found a partner by the time she turned 40, she’d marry herself. “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,” she said following the ceremony.

Self-marriage is a growing trend. The concept was introduced into popular culture in a 2003 Sex and the City episode, though Carrie Bradshaw’s marriage to herself mostly involved setting up a registry for herself, but several real-life self-marriages have taken place since, spawning an assortment of trend pieces.

Photographer Grace Gelder told The Guardian that her marriage to herself stemmed from a desire to formalize her “journey” of personal development.

“It dawned on me that a self-marriage ceremony witnessed by other people would potentially be this massively powerful means of making (it) stick,” she said.

Mesi noted that many of the comments on the Facebook page commemorating her self-marriage were critical, or at least confused, and Gelder, too, said some of her friends were dubious. “A few did comment, in a light-hearted way, that it was a bit narcissitic,” she…

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