On Sunday, Nov. 30, as Americans were winding down their Thanksgiving weekend, or getting ready to shop for the Christmas season, nearly 2,000 couples in Brazil were saying “I do” in Rio de Janeiro.
The state hosted the ceremony for couples that make less than $1,000 per month, giving them free marriage certificates at the end. This is the eighth year for the mass wedding, which is referred to as “Dia do Sim,” which translates to “The Day of I Do” or “The Day of Yes.”
The couples were married by volunteer civil judges, but a priest representing the Archdiocese and evangelical Christian pastors were also on hand to bless the couples.
Collective weddings are nothing new. The ceremonies are common throughout the world, both as part of religion and as an option for low-income couples.
Many of the couples waited for years to get married, and some even brought their children to the ceremony. Including relatives and friends joining the celebration at the Maracanazinho sports venue, the indoor stadium saw about 12,000 people for the ceremony.
The arena, which is next to the Maracana stadium, will host Olympic events in 2016.
In order to save on transportation costs, many couples took commuter trains instead of arriving in rented limousines. Brides were seen applying their makeup and fixing their hair on the way to the wedding.
This wasn’t the only “big” wedding during the weekend. Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi married her beau Jionni LaValle in a Great Gatsby-themed ceremony on Nov. 29.
The lavish ceremony and reception were followed by an after party, where the bride and her bridesmaids wore velour tracksuits emblazoned with the word “GATSBY” in gold letters.
Earlier this year, other celebrity couples, like George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin, and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, were also married in over-the-top ceremonies. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, however, kept their event low-key, with just their children and close family present.