A total of 32 couples officially tied the knot as husbands and wives during a "kasalang bayan" (mass wedding) at Chua's Pavillion here on Monday afternoon, with the brides proudly carrying their bouquets of vegetables instead of flowers.
The unique mass wedding was organized by the city government here.
"They are just being practical with their unique flower bouquet composed of mixed vegetables, including the highly-priced 'sibuyas' (onion), instead of real expensive flower arrangement that will just go into trash after the celebration," said Mayor Denver Reyes Chua, who officiated the wedding.
In an interview, he said this is the first time that a mass wedding was staged "after two years of the pandemic, from the first quarter of 2019 until the latter part of 2021."
One of the married couples, Danica Dalmacia, 25, and Paul John Tagle, 27, said they decided to finally say their 'I do's' after five years of living together.
"Now we know how it feels for your union to be legitimate and have the blessings of our parents," said Paul, while Danica said she would stir-fry the vegetables in her flower bouquet after the wedding.
The oldest couple among the 32 pairs, Sherly Alfonso and Carlito Eugenio, both senior citizens at 60 and 64, respectively, has lived together for more than 34 years with two offspring.
"We finally decided to get married and promised to be at each other's side till our last breath," Carlito said.
Wrapping up the wedding ceremony was a photo opportunity for every couple with the "ninong ng bayan" (godfather of the town), 1st District Representative Ramon Jolo Revilla III. The couples also had free wedding cakes and reception, along with cash and a sack of rice.