collective wedding in DF Newlyweds raise their glasses in the zócalo.La Razón

Record numbers for collective wedding

More than 1,600 couples get married in Mexico City's zócalo

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day of love and friendship as it is commonly known, which means marriages in Mexico City, lots of marriages — 1,690, in fact.

The annual collective wedding ceremony in the zócalo drew a record number of couples this year to say their vows, celebrate with a toast, partake of a seven-layer cake and enjoy the music of Sonora Dinamita.

It was the 31st such collective wedding in the Federal District (DF), at which a total of 7,208 couples have tied the knot.

The event is organized by the DF government, whose cabinet members preside as witnesses.

One significant change in the ceremony this year was the elimination of the traditional and famous epistle on marriage by 19th-century politician Melchor Ocampo, long a standard at civil weddings but rather sexist by today’s standards.

(The man, it reads, whose main attributes are courage and strength, must treat the woman “with magnanimity and generous benevolence that a strong being owes the weak.” The woman, meanwhile, “must give and shall always give the husband obedience, pleasantness . . . treating him always with the veneration owed . . . .”)

Among today’s participants were Rafael Troncoso Muñoz, 66, and Teresa Alatorre Díaz, 91, who have lived together more than 40 years, but put off marrying for various reasons.

Luis Henry, 19, and Jonathan, 21, decided to legalize their relationship after living together for a year. Both hope their union will be for life, which means not joining the thousands of married couples who divorce each year.

However, the chances of divorce appear to be diminishing as the statistics show there were about 14,000 divorces in Mexico in 2013, but just half that many last year.

So Happy Valentine’s Day to all 3,380 newlyweds, and may the statistics continue to improve in their favor.

Sources: Excélsior (sp), Milenio (sp)

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