Brazil Mass Wedding Draws 2,000 Couples

In one of the largest mass weddings ever seen in Brazil, almost 2,000 couples were married in a ceremony at an indoor sports venue this month. It was the largest mass wedding in Rio de Janeiro’s history. Though the event happens every year, and it attracts largely low-income couples, 2014’s record-setting Brazil mass wedding drew more couples than usual, reports The BBC.

The mass wedding is called “I Do Day.”

The couples were helped getting to the venue by special commuter trains arranged by authorities. In addition to the couples at the mass wedding, there were about 12,000 people at the ceremony.

There were civil judges to conduct the mass wedding as volunteers. A Roman Catholic bishop and a Christian evangelical pastor were also there. Many of the couples who got married had already been living together for years, and many got up at the crack of dawn to be at the ceremony.

The Union-Times of San Diego also reported that relatives joined in the ceremony. Many of the women finished getting ready for the ceremony when they got to the mass wedding ceremony, fixing their hair and makeup.

The city of Rio de Janeiro has been promoting the Brazil mass wedding for eight years. It is only for people who have a monthly family income of $1,000 or less, and includes a free wedding certificate.

It’s not the first time that Brazil has held a mass wedding in recent months. Earlier in November, there was a mass wedding for gay couples, also in Rio de Janeiro. The same-sex collective civil wedding ceremony was the largest of its kind. It included 160 homosexual and transgender couples, according to The Rio Times.

The simultaneous officiation of the weddings was considered an attention-grabbing stunt for the rights of those getting married as well as a practical legal step for civil unions.

“It is an affirmative action to call attention to all of the achievements and challenges in the area of civil and human rights of the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] community,” Cláudio Nascimento, coordinator of Rio Sem Homofobia (Rio Without Homophobia) told Agência Brasil. “Marriage ensures the possibility of a future together. First, having a home, then the possibility to expand the family with the security of being within the laws.”

In same-sex civil mass wedding ceremonies alone, about five hundred couples have been married. The growing trend of taking part in a Brazil mass wedding extends to people from all walks of life.

[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]