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Maldives couples get married on China-backed bridge

Five weddings took place at the same time on the US$200 million bridge.



Five couples tied the knot on the newly opened Sinamalé bridge Friday evening.

The weddings were held between 4pm and 6pm, with all five taking place at the same time. The ceremony was followed by photographs, a reception and a send-off for the newlyweds after sunset.

The Housing Ministry had invited couples to get hitched on the US$200 million bridge that links the capital to the airport island. It said more than 250 forms were taken on the day applications opened.

The government initially said it would cover all expenses for bridge weddings, including money for the couple’s outfits and makeup.

A ministry spokesman later told the Maldives Independent that the outfit and makeup costs were being cut to allow more people to participate.

But the government was still sponsoring the catering, the backdrop and photography costs for 50 guests at each wedding ceremony.

One couple raved about the decorations, telling the media they were amazing. They were happy to have their wedding on the bridge, saying it was a historic moment and they were glad for the opportunity.

But one relative at the bridge told the Maldives Independent that the government did not give any financial help. They only provided the venue and the food. “The food was very low quality,” he said.

The groom did not necessarily want to get married on the bridge, said the relative. “He just wanted to get married but he said it was nice the government covered the venue and food.”

The government is holding a week of events to mark the bridge opening.