Ayia Napa, Cyprus, will attempt to break the Guinness record for the most civil weddings performed in one session. Mayor Yiannis Karousos stated that they are trying to attract as many couples as possible offering new wedding venues in spectacular places where impressive wedding photos can be taken. A “Lover’s Bridge” was also inaugurated in the city on February 14 to attract more couples.
One of the main reasons foreign couples choose to tie the knot in Cyprus lies in the fact that the island performs both same-sex marriages and mixed-faith marriages and paperwork is easy to fill out. In order to break the Guinness record, however, Ayia Napa will have to compete with Larnaca, which is also a popular wedding destination, especially for Israeli couples due to the steady flow of cruise ships arriving in the city coming from Israel.
In 2014, weddings in Ayia Napa increased by 20 percent providing a 30 percent increase in the city’s revenues as well. In 2013, 1,150 weddings took place in Napa but this year’s weddings are expected to exceed that number reaching up to 1,400.
Many couples choose to marry in locations other than the town hall, something that costs an extra fee of 350 euros, added to the municipality’s revenues.
Last Friday, 90 couples, mainly Israeli and Russian, were married in a mass wedding ceremony in Larnaca. However, last year’s biggest mass civil wedding numbered 100 couples.
In 2011 Natan Uretsky, the event’s organizer, aimed for 170 couples to tie the knot in Larnaca, but this never materialized given that some of the couples never showed up.
In order for an event to be registered in the Guinness Book of World Records, the participants must notify the organization in advance, since the award institution rejects events without prior application. This is why the Guinness record for the most civil weddings in one go has yet to be established, despite the fact that mass civil marriages have happened before in several parts of the world.