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Brazil’s unique way for low-income couples to wed


BBC News | Twitter | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/29/22

The Public Defender's Office's thoughtful initiative is a big plus for marriage.

Marriage is firmly on the agenda in Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Public Defender’s Office has recognized that couples on a low income are finding it hard to wed due to exorbitant notary fees. As a result, they’re being offered an opportunity to marry as a community in a mass wedding.

One bride, Maria Bernadetti, explained to the BBC in the video below that lots of couples are finding it tough since the pandemic. The option of getting married with 49 other couples at the same time meant that she was finally able to say “I do.”

There have been five of these community weddings in Belo Horizonte. While the group weddings are not taking place in a church, the initiative is allowing couples to exchange vows and live together legally as husband and wife. (It’s unclear if there is a priest present to give a blessing or not, but some of these couples may go on to have a church wedding afterwards.)

It’s heartening to see that couples are so happy just to be wed, without all the usual trappings of a big wedding. And seeing the newlyweds come together in unison to sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was an extra special touch.

This joint style of wedding may not have been every bride’s dream, but looking at the couples’ happy faces, it’s certainly a wonderful solution for those intent on marriage who were unable to make it happen.

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