Interlude: Mass Wedding in Taipei

One of the reasons why I stopped in Taiwan, was to attend the wedding of one of my (countless) cousins. I had expected a traditional Chinese wedding (lots of ceremony, lots of relatives, lots of drinking), but it turned out to be a mass wedding! Mass wedding, meaning that 85 couples got married in one giant ceremony. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Wedding - mass wedding ready to begin 22

Arriving early for the wedding ceremony, I saw all the couples lined up in the back, getting ready for their special day! I imagine it’s somewhat hard to feel special when sharing your special day with 84 other couples though…
Wedding - mass wedding couples waiting 2 Wedding - mass wedding couples waiting 1

I’m not kidding – it’s 85 couples – note that unlucky numbers 4 and 44 are omitted.
Wedding - seating map

One by one, the couples are called onto the stage and introduced. Some have traditional western wedding dresses, others have more alternative styles:
Wedding - traditional couple Wedding - Aboriginal couple

This is my cousin and his bride!
Wedding - cousin couple

After all the couples have been introduced and seated for the ceremony:
Wedding - mass wedding ready to begin 1 Wedding - mass wedding seating

A famous (?) singer is hired to come and sing some love songs for the ceremony:
Wedding - guest singer

The parents of the groom and bride get involved for the oaths ceremony:
Wedding - oaths 1 Wedding - oaths 2

The mayor of Taipei came to give a long meandering speech and later take photos with each newly married couple. Free PR, on the happiest day of each newly married couple’s life! A deft political maneuver!
Wedding - mayoral speech Wedding - photo with mayor

Meanwhile, to the back of the building, all the kids got bored and wandered off to play. I can’t say I blame them.
Wedding - the kids are bored

Rings are exchanged:
Wedding - rings exchanged

And as the music plays, the MC gets each newly married to kiss for ’60 seconds” (actually two minutes+). If it were me down there, with my freediving training, I could have done three minutes no problem ;-)
Wedding - kiss time all Wedding - kiss time cousin

Have a drink with parents:
Wedding - drink to finalize 1 Wedding - drink to finalize 2

And bam! Confetti to make it all official!
Wedding - mass wedding confetti

Gift bags for the newly married couples:
Wedding - parting gifts

Free strollers for newly married couples, to promote having kids!
Wedding - baby strollers for couples

Of course, no Chinese wedding is complete without a banquet. An entire restaurant full of people (200+), and they’re *all* relatives of mine. What the heck, I don’t know any of these people!
Wedding - banquet couple Wedding - banquet room

And one last photo of the newly married couple, for good luck!
Wedding - couple photo

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