Hundreds of couples wed Tuesday in a mass ceremony on Valentine’s Day in one of the last Mexican states to legalie same-sex marriage.
“It’s an important date for us because we met on February 14,” said 24-year-old Sarai Vargas, who wed her partner Yazmin Acosta, 27.
“We’re happy because same-sex marriage was approved just three months ago here in the State of Mexico, so we decided to marry this year,” she added.
Nearly 1,000 couples took part in the event, which included 35 same-sex unions, according to a municipal official.
The authorities provided a hairdressing and make-up service for those taking part.
Marriage equality was approved in October in the State of Mexico, the most populous of the country’s 32 states, located on the outskirts of the capital Mexico City.
Same-sex marriage is now legal throughout the Latin American nation, more than a decade after Mexico City became the first to celebrate same-sex unions in 2010.
The newlyweds also included Francisco Calvo, 74, and Rosalba Silva, 67 — two widowers who met five years ago.
“I didn’t think I would have another chance, but love arrived because love arrived,” Silva said, smiling next to her new husband at the ceremony.
For Jonathan Garcia, a mass wedding is almost a family custom.
“Two of my sisters in my family have already been married this way and we saw they were happy so we said ‘let’s continue the tradition,’” the 40-year-old said.
What the mass wedding lacks in intimacy it makes up for with perks such as free marriage certificates, said Maria Darinka Rendon, a council official in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl.
“Gathering [the] families in one place was quite a challenge,” she admitted.
But it is worth it for what is “a very emotional event, for the spouses, for the families and for us who are going to witness it,” she added.