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FILE PHOTO: A Palestinian groom, Rafeh Qassim, wears a mask as he sits in a car with his bride on their wedding day amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A Palestinian groom, Rafeh Qassim, wears a mask as he sits in a car with his bride on their wedding day amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (REUTERS)

Cars instead of altars: Couples say 'I do' at drive-thru weddings

  • Amid the coronavirus pandemic, drive-thru weddings have become a trend in many countries, including Brazil.
  • Cars provide for a safe social distancing space and allow couples to get happily married as the possibility of traditional weddings remain uncertain.

Couples dressed in wedding attire, with flowers, sharing kisses behind masks but in a car instead of an altar. This defines weddings in the times of coronavirus pandemic.

Every major event in the world has nearly come to a standstill as countries are busy dealing with the Covid-19 crisis which has infected lakhs. But, a pandemic cannot be the reason to stop couples anxious to get married to their loved ones, at least not in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro.

A notary in Santa Cruz, a neighborhood on the western outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, has created a drive-thru for marriages, according to Brazil's national association of civil registrations. Couples arrive in their cars at the drive-thru, read vows and exchange rings, sealing the ceremony with a kiss. The whole ceremony lasts for about five minutes. Around 15 couples got married at this drive-thru in a single day.

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As weddings at registry offices are limited due to coronavirus, a drive-in cinema in Germany has started registering official marriages on its stage.
As weddings at registry offices are limited due to coronavirus, a drive-in cinema in Germany has started registering official marriages on its stage.

Couples are choosing the drive-thru ceremony for several reasons, Alessandra Lapoente, a notary at Santa Cruz, was quoted as saying by Associated Press. In most cases, a couple had set a date but their ceremony was disrupted by the pandemic. A drive-thru wedding helps them get engaged instead of lingering in limbo, unsure of when a traditional ceremony might be possible. “We saw the need to create a way to hold a safe celebration that was fast and within regulations," Lapoente said. “We (make) the ceremony brief, but with all the requirements, and everyone leaves happy."

Most Brazilian states have prohibited large gatherings in their effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, forcing many to delay traditional wedding ceremonies or seek safe alternatives like drive-thrus.

(Also read: Hours for burger: McDonalds' drive-thrus in UK open to cars stretching for miles)

Weddings in Palestine are no different. Couples prefer sitting masked in their cars amid the concerns of the spread of coronavirus infection.

Cars provide for a safe social distancing space and allow couples to get happily married as the possibility of traditional weddings remain uncertain.

(With inputs from agencies)

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