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June 26, 2008 / 3:56 PM / 9 years ago

Honk once for "I do"

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Church of Sweden will carry out drive-in weddings lasting about seven minutes at a car rally next month in a bid to make marriage more accessible, it said on Thursday.

<p>A couple walks as they get married under the patronage of Saint Antonio during a parade in Lisbon June 12, 2008. The Church of Sweden will carry out drive-in weddings lasting about seven minutes at a car rally next month in a bid to make marriage more accessible, it said on Thursday. REUTERS/Nacho Doce</p>

Undaunted by soaring fuel prices, 36 couples have applied to get married at a gathering of auto enthusiasts in Vasteras in central Sweden, said priest Jerker Asterlund, the scheme’s initiator.

“Weddings are getting more and more commercialized and that is not something we have any interest in. We would like to make things simpler and more down to earth when people take the plunge and get married,” he told Reuters.

“This is not just for fun, but also a way for the Church of Sweden to show we can take part in celebration and happiness and not just in crisis and catastrophes,” he said.

The wedding ceremonies will be carried by 10 priests alongside the focal point of the auto gathering, a motorcade of 1950s and 1960s cars.

A gospel choir and a priest singing Elvis tunes will provide the soundtrack to the festivities, Asterlund said.

“We have added a bit of a Las Vegas touch to it and put up a huge red, neon sign which reads ‘Get Married’ so one can see it from afar and know where to turn off.”

Reporting by Niklas Pollard; Editing by Matthew Jones

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