There was a three-tier layered cake. There was a sweetheart-neckline ivory dress. And there were 70 guests in attendance – but no groom.
And that’s exactly how Laura Mesi had envisioned her own wedding.
The Italian fitness instructor walked down the aisle solo and made the marital commitment to herself.
“I firmly believe that each of us must first of all love ourselves,” Mesi told the BBC.
“You can have a fairytale even without the prince.”
Mesi decided to go ahead with the idea two years ago after her 12-year relationship came to an end.
“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.”
However, the ceremony is not of legal binding.
She then went off on a honeymoon to Egypt.
Many social media users were quick to congratulate Mesi on her decision on Facebook:
“Well done, Laura!,” one user posted.
“I want to marry myself!,” another commented.
“National heroine!,” another posted.
However, others were less inclined to do so:
“Who are you trying to fool? You’re not as happy as you say you are,” another wrote.
“That’s ridiculous… absolute madness,” another commented.
“The saddest thing in the world,” another wrote.
But in recent years solo ceremonies have been on the rise, with both men and women opting to marry themselves. In a similar ceremony this year, an Italian man also opted to do the same thing. Nello Ruggiero, declared his commitment to himself in a ceremony in Naples in May, according to La Repubblica newspaper.
“Self-marriage addresses the notion that being single and thoroughly enjoying it is a viable lifestyle choice; whether this is for a short period of time, during several stages in your life or for most of your adult years. I am a firm believer in the fact that it is possible to live a fulfilled life on your own terms, without a partner to 'complete you'.”
After celebrating her second anniversary this year she still regards it as “one of the best days of my life”.
But it’s not for everyone, and Mesi is well aware of that.
“You need a certain amount of money, the support of those around you, and - above all - a pinch of madness,” Mesi said, according to the BBC.
Marriage should be open to everyone and anyone, regardless of your relationship status – don’t you think?
Images: Micaela Martini / Instagram