Scores of Israeli couples held a mass civil-wedding ceremony in Larnaca, Cyprus on Friday in an attempt to set the world record for the largest matrimonial event in a single day.
According to the Israeli and Cypriot organizers, the record they were hoping to beat stands at 163.
It may still stand, however, as less than 170 mainly Russian-speaking couples attended the mass ceremony on the southern shores of the Mediterranean island.
"We were told by Guinness that the most couples who got married in a civil ceremony within 24 hours was 163. We were aiming for 170 but I think we might have fewer than that, " the event organizer, Natan Uretsky, noted.
He wasn't sure whether the record had been broken, but vowed to come back again if the attempt fell short of official recognition.
Newlywed brides sharing their special day (Photo: Reuters)
Uretsky has been bringing Israeli couples to nearby Cyprus for more than 20 years, noting the birth place of Aphrodite – the goddess of love – is the main destination for Israelis who want to get hitched without the fuss of a religious ceremony.
It is estimated that 1,000 civil marriages involving Israelis take place in Cyprus each year, with many couples coming to the island because they are unable to have a religious ceremony back home.
'I do' times 160-something (Photo: AP)
Among the rows of smiling, kissing couples enjoying a balmy evening while attempting to make history, the youngest bride was 17-and-a-half while the oldest groom was 84.
Newlywed couple Aviram and Hila said they came to Cyprus because they didn't want a religious ceremony with a rabbi.
"I did not want the spotlight just to fall on me, so we decided to take part in the mass ceremony," said 30-year-old Hila from Eilat. Her diving-instructor husband Aviram Avigal agreed it was 'great' to be part of something special.
Russian-born partners Vladimir Levchin, 30, and Natalie, 34, said they participated because they couldn't get married in Israel, as they are a mixed-faith couple.
But Natalie, a nurse, said she enjoyed "being part of something historic and unique."
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook