Most recently, it was 50 couples tying the knot is a mass wedding in Dubai; last year, 163 Israeli couples reportedly married in a ceremony held in Cyprus in an attempt to break the record for the most couples to say “I do.”
More than a media gimmick, mass weddings in the Middle East are going green, with the ceremony inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, an example of the popularity.
Mass Weddings have a long and venerated history in the region. Historical references suggest that in 324 BC, Alexander the Great married Barsine. His bride was the daughter of Darius, the king of Persia. Centuries later, the tradition continues, even in the midst of turmoil. And the result is green.
The Dubai event was organized by the Marriage Fund and according to the GulfNews.com, coincided “with the sixth anniversary of Shaikh Mohammad’s accession.”
Shaikh Mohammad congratulated the Emirati couples, and wished them a happy and stable life. He also received a memento from Maitha Al Shamsi, Minister of State and Chairwoman of the fund, on the occasion of his accession, and took commemorative pictures with the beneficiaries.
In her opening speech, Al Shamsi extended her thanks for the financial and counsel provided to the fund by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shaikh Mohammad, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, Crown Princes, and other governmental departments.
Economic benefits underscore the green value in collective ceremonies. Sharing the expense of an officiant, the venue, decorations and even the post-celebration are often cited by those who opt for them. Less resources used = lower impact on the planet from a billion dollar industry that according to one popular green wedding site leaves a massive carbon footprint on the planet. In a segment on the value of going green on your wedding day, GreenBrideGuide.com states:
Each one of the 2.5 million weddings this year [in the United States] will produce an average of 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs of garbage. That’s a lot of waste!…If every engaged couple made just one small green choice, that would be 2.5 million greener choices a year, and that is an amazing impact.
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