Couples tie knot in mass wedding in stadium

Mon Jan 9, 2006 12:12 PM ET

LA
PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – Nearly 200 Bolivian couples aged from 18 to 77
got hitched in a mass wedding in a sports stadium, taking advantage of
the free ceremony, organizers said on Sunday.

Some of the couples
opted for white bridal gowns and tuxedos at Saturday’s civil ceremony
in the capital La Paz while others said “I do” wearing traditional
Indian dress.

Many of the 189 newlywed couples, who packed the
floor of the stadium as their guests clapped from the stands, had not
been able to afford to get married previously and wanted to formalize
their legal status.

Catalina Paz, who has lived with her partner
Florencio Gonzales for 37 years, told the daily La Razon they had
finally decided to get married because their children wanted them to.

“Our grandchildren will definitely be watching us from the stands,” she was quoted as saying.

The couples lined up to say their vows in front of a civil registry officer.

“It was a combination of love and legality,” said a spokesman for Canal 4, the television station that organized the event.

“But above all it was about romance, especially when they said ‘I do’ and kissed.”

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