Mass Weddings Are Going Green

mass weddings middle eastMost 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 Historical references suggest that in 324 BC, Alexander the Great married Barsine.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, coincided “with the sixth anniversary of Shaikh Mohammad’s accession.”

They report:

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.

A 1999 celebration in Israel for 11 couples was planned by, an Israeli company that specializes in weddings done on the quick (at the time of publication, their website is Hebrew only.)

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, 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.


Read More on Green Weddings:

Tips for a ‘Greener’ Muslim Wedding

Saudi Adding a Splash of Green to Royal Wedding

Tinamarie is the Green Love and Sex Columnist for Greenprophet. You can follow her on @ModernLoveMuse and facebook. She blogs at

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4 thoughts on “Mass Weddings Are Going Green”

  1. Tinamarie says:

    Thanks Anne – I think the traditions were perhaps always there, we just got sidetracked by bigger, better and more opulent.

  2. Interesting. The tradition is still there, which is very important, but because of the need to adapt to the changing environment and surroundings, even ceremonial events like this have made a way to be environmentally friendly. Very nice.

  3. I borrowed my wedding gown!

  4. My parents got married with another couple. It was a way for them to save money on renting a hall, catering, decorations, photographer etc. My mom even borrowed her dress. Back then saving money was green. It still is today too, and I’d love to see people letting go of their bourgeois fantasies and getting married together more often. Weddings are a terrible cost to the environment.

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