A collective wedding or mass wedding is a marriage ceremony in which several couples are married at the same time.
In 324 BC Alexander the Great married Barsine, the eldest daughter of Darius, the king of Persia. In the same ceremony, he wed many of his leading officers and outstanding soldiers to other Persian women, about 80 couples in all. Today, these ceremonies are now performed in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kurdistan, Palestine, South Korea and Yemen.
Mass weddings are sometimes preferred for economic and social reasons, such as the reduction of costs for the venue, officiants, decorations, as well as the celebrations afterwards which can sometimes be shared between multiple families. In 2011 a collective wedding ceremony in India involved 3,600 couples, including Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and Adivasi. Many of them were the children of poor farmers.
In the Philippines, mass civil or religious weddings are a common phenomenon, and are often sponsored by government and charitable groups as a form of public service. Local politicians and sometimes celebrities participate as common wedding sponsors at such mass rites, which enable couples (and by extension their children) to benefit from formal state recognition of their unions. Parish churches also regularly offer collective Nuptial Masses for their low-income congregants, at times in partnership with the secular government of that predominantly Catholic nation.
Since 7 November 1960 (18th Jumada al-awwal 1380), under the guidance of Syedna Taher Saifuddin, Dawoodi Bohras have been conducting mass marriage events, at several venues, called Rasme Saifee (Arabic: الرسم السيفي ). Currently the largest event is held two days after the birthday of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin in Bombay. The first such mass marriage was held in Jamnagar. The event is now professionally looked after by the community organisation, International Taiseerun Nikah Committee (I.T.N.C).
- Arrian of Nicomedia describes this event in section 7.4.4-5.6 of his Anabasis.
- McBee, Randy D. (2000). Dance hall days: intimacy and leisure among working-class immigrants in the United States. New York: New York University Press. pp. 222–228. ISBN 0-8147-5620-4.
- Thousands marry in big Indian wedding, AFP, February 2, 2011
- Clapano, José Rodel (17 January 2013). "Erap plays 'ninong' at Tondo mass wedding". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "Thousands tie the knot in Philippines mass wedding". CNTV English. China Central Television. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Rosero/KG/HS, Earl Victor L. (12 October 2012). "Half of married Pinoy Catholics did not get married in church". GMA News Online. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Despite controversy, Moon and his church moving into mainstream Chicago Tribune, April 11, 2006.
- At RFK, Moon Presides Over Mass Wedding, Washington Post, November 3, 1997