More than 1,800 couples from South Korea and 19 from other countries were married in Seoul on Saturday (8 February) in what is believed to be the biggest over mass wedding.
GV TILT DOWN FROM Balloons TO couples arriving in coaches (3 shots)
SV Flag bearer
SV PAN Couples waiting for ceremony to begin (3 shots)
GV&SV Couples beginning ceremony walking in files past officiating clergy (5 shots)
SV&GV PAN Couples during ceremony
Initials ET/1720 ET/1733
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Background: More than 1,800 couples from South Korea and 19 from other countries were married in Seoul on Saturday (8 February) in what is believed to be the biggest over mass wedding.
The ceremony was officiated over by Mr Moon Sun-Myung, the founder and President of the sect to which the couples belong ... the Holy Spirit Association for Unification of World Christianity.
The wedding ceremony lasted two hours and had more of a carnival atmosphere than a wedding service. The couples made their way into a huge stadium in pairs to the sound of a 40 piece police ban. After they were married huge balloons and confetti showered them.
But that was the end of the festivities... at least for 40 days anyway. Under the rules of Mr Mcon's religion the couples begin a 40 day period of celibacy and evangelical work.
The couples were matched through two weeks of training rituals during which they are introduced to each other, for the first time in most cases. Only those who have followed the sect for at least two years and have won at least three converts are qualified to take part in the rituals.
Each candidate submits five names of desirable spouses and Mr Moon picks couples for engagement. But the final decision is left to the individuals.