AN Italian woman has challenged the traditional concept of marriage by marrying herself. 

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

Evening Times:

Photo credit: Laura Mesi via Facebook

Speaking to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the personal trainer said: "I firmly believe that each of us must first of all love ourselves. 

 "You can have a fairytale even without the prince."

Unfortunately, Laura's self-marriage is not legal in Italy - marriage is recognised as a contract between two (or more) parties - but the event, which was dubbed 'Sposa Single' ('single spouse') carried plenty of bittersweet significance for her.

Laura 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 would marry herself. 

Following the ceremony, the blushing bride said: "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."

Evening Times:

Photo credit: Laura Mesi via Facebook

The concept of self-marriage 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.

Many of the comments on Laura's Facebook page commemorating her self-marriage have been critical and a bit dubious of her motives, but surely in today's modern world we should be able to choose who we want or, more importantly, who we don't want to marry.