Young lovers in Cyprus
Photo: AP

Israelis try to set new mass wedding record

Some 160 newlyweds attend mass civil marriage ceremony in Cyprus, try to break world record of largest matrimonial event. Organizer: We needed 163 couples, but I'm still not sure we made it

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.

צילום: רויטרס

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. 
צילום: AP

'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."



פרסום ראשון: 06.18.11, 15:04
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