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October 10, 2012


They happen as mass ceremonies or from the back of a van all over the world in many different traditions. In the United States alone more than 2 million weddings take place a year at a average cost of $30,000, according to the Bridal Association of America. Here's a look at some brides and grooms and the events surrounding their big day. -- Lloyd Young ( 45 photos total)

Brides speak to their grooms during a mass wedding ceremony in Amman, Jordan, on July 6. An Islamic charity organized a mass wedding for 46 Jordanian and Syrian couples who are unable to afford expensive ceremonies. (Ali Jarekji/Reuters)

Newlyweds dressed in Han-dynasty costumes bow to each other during a traditional group wedding ceremony in Xi'an, Shaanxi province on May 1. A total of 130 couples from all over China attended the group wedding ceremony following the nuptial rites of the Han Dynasty. (Reuters) #

A participant watches a performance during the annual Parade of Brides festival in the center of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on June 17. About 100 young married women dressed in wedding and fancy dresses took part in the festival to experience their wedding day again. (Ilya Naymushin/Reuters) #

Rev. Andy Gonzalez officiates a wedding vows renewal ceremony between Jay Junio and Anne Junio of Calif. at the Las Vegas Wedding Wagon in the parking lot of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images) #

A Filipino couple make faces as they take a picture using their mobile phone during a mass wedding ceremony inside a chapel in Manila, Philippines, on June 17. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press) #

Gulzar Ahmad Khatana (22) a Kashmir Gujjar groom, sits on a horse as he returns back to his home after his wedding in Dard Khora on the outskirts of Srinagar on April 29. Gujjars, who are semi-nomadic tribe members, mainly inhabit Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. They herd goats, sheep and buffaloes and walk for miles with their cattle through the mountains during summer in search of good pastures and come down to the plains for the winter. (Danish Ismail/Reuters) #

Pakistani groom, Phaloos Sohtra, and his bride Shabana Gill pray during their wedding in a church in a Christian neighborhood in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Oct. 5. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press) #

Ana Borjas (75) kisses her husband Luis Garcia (87) during the wedding of 412 couples during the Free Wedding ceremony in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Aug. 31. (Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images) #

Soldiers guard a platform to prevent it from falling apart while newlyweds have their group photo taken during a military mass wedding ceremony in Taipei on May 10. A total of 264 couples tied the knot together on Thursday, with Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu as the witness for the ceremony. (Pichi Chuang/Reuters) #

A Somali policeman, Mohamed Nuur, and his bride Nawaal Abdi walk togehter after their wedding ceremony in the Hodan district of the capital Mogadishu on May 14. Al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab rebels, who once controlled the district before being driven off by AMISOM troops, had banned social gatherings in the district. (Feisal Omar/Reuters) #

A newly-wed couple poses for wedding photos on a street corner in Shanghai, China, on April 16. (Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press) #

Brunei's newly-wed royal couple, Muhammad Ruzaini, and Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah recite a prayer during their wedding ceremony at Nurul Iman Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan on Sept. 23. Hafizah is the daughter of Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, one of the world's richest men. (Ahim Rani/Reuters) #

Chinese bridal couples take pictures after their symbolic wedding in Fuessen on May 31. The 15 Chinese couples who already got married in China, travelled to Germany to repeat their promise of marriage at Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most popular destinations in Europe. (Michael Dalder/Reuters) #

You Ya-ting (left) and her partner Huang Mei-yu stamp their names in front of a statue of Buddha in the prayer hall as they are married in the first Taiwan same sex Buddhist ceremonial wedding in Taoyuan, Taiwan, on Aug. 11. Taiwan still does not legally recognize same sex marriage. (Wally Santana/Associated Press) #

Friends photograph Jason Welker (left) and Scott Everhart after their wedding ceremony at a comic book retail shop in Manhattan on June 20. The same-sex couple tied the knot at a comic-book store in New York to celebrate the first gay nuptials in the superhero world in a new edition from Marvel Comics. Midtown Comics delayed the opening of its downtown store for the wedding of Everhart, a healthcare site manager from Columbus, Ohio, and 33-year-old architect Welker. The real-life nuptials, complete with a band, balloons and decorations, coincided with the comic-book union of Jean-Paul Beaubier, aka Northstar, who can move and fly at superhuman speed, and his long-term partner, Kyle, in the series Astonishing X-Men #51. (drees Latif/Reuters) #

An inmate and his wife pose for a picture with their family after their wedding ceremony at Lurigancho's men's prison in Lima on Sept. 6. About 10 couples tied the knot in a mass wedding ceremony at South America's biggest jail, which has more than 9,000 inmates. The mass marriage ceremony was part of a string of events to promote the integration of prisoners back into society, according to the organizers. (Mariana Bazo/Reuters) #

Bridegroom Mao Mingchao (right) and his wife Mao Ting hold balloons as they are accompanied by employees from a wedding contractor, who dressed up as sailors on a boat, during a wedding ceremony at a park in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on May 5. (Sean Yong/Reuters) #

A couple wearing traditional clothes wait for the start of a mass wedding ceremony in the district of Comas in Lima on Oct. 8. Some 60 couples wearing traditional outfits tied the knot in the mass wedding ceremony organized by Comas city officials to promote family integration and cultural diversity. (Lucero Del Castillo/Reuters) #

Mayanda Abud, a 27-year-old Syrian Druze bride from Damascus, prepares for her wedding ceremony after she crossed the Syrian-Israeli border pass of Quneitra in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Nov. 3, 2011. Mayanda Abud left her family in Syria and entered the strategic plateau that Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War to get married with Munjed Awad (30) who lives in the Israeli controlled area. The passage was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images) #

Indian couples look on ahead of a mass wedding in Kolkata, India in July. Over one-hundred underprivileged couples took part in the mass wedding organized by local charity the Vaishwa Jagriti Mission Trust. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images) #

A bride poses for photos on unused railway tracks in the 798 art district, previously the site of various electronics factories, in Beijing on July 19. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Jewish groom (center) dances with the Rabbi of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish group, Tholdot Avraham Yizhak Hasidic, as his bride watches during their wedding in Mea Shearim, an Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem on Aug. 28. During the Mitzva Tanz dance ritual, members of the community and family dance in front of the bride at the end of the wedding ceremony. (Menahem Kahaha/AFP/Getty Images) #

An image grab taken from AFP TV shows Syrian rebel sniper Abu Khaled exchanging rings with his bride Hanan, the nurse who treated his leg wound, during their wedding ceremony in the Saif al-Dawla district of the northern city of Aleppo on Aug. 31. In the heart of Aleppo, besieged by Syrian troops for more than a month, a young couple who found love in the time of war exchanged vows. (James Foley/AFP/Getty Images) #

Nine grooms kneel and kiss their brides right hand during a wedding ceremony as the capital city of Minsk celebrates its 945th anniversary on Sept. 8. (Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images) #

Brides wait in line to get married during a mass wedding ceremony at the construction site of the soccer stadium that will host the opening match of the World Cup in 2014, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 17. Sixty-two grooms who work in the construction of the stadium were married in a ceremony organized by the builder company. (Andre Penner/Associated Press) #

Jordanian grooms dance over the shoulders of their relatives during a mass wedding of 46 brides and 46 grooms in Amman, Jordan, on July 6. The wedding was organized by an Islamic association, Al-Afaf, which means chastity in Arabic, to encourage the young adults to remain virtuous until marriage. (Raad Adayleh/Associated Press) #

Bride-to-be, Meredith Lewallen, lets go of her harness right before she rappels down the side of the SunTrust building as part Over the Edge, a RiverRocks festival kickoff event on Oct. 4. Lewallen will be married on Saturday and wanted to commemorate her wedding with a rappel. (Allison Love/Chattanooga Times Free Press via Associated Press) #

Fran Calvo (left) and Monica Fraile celebrate their wedding in a Sea Life Aquarium on Aug. 6 in Benalmadena, where two couples took the opportunity to get into the pool to get married. (Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images) #

Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera (right) and bride Claudia Fernandez wave from an Aymara reed raft known as a "totora," soon after the couple were wed by Aymaran spiritual guides in a temple of stone walls in Tiwanaku, Bolivia, on Sept. 8. The ceremony uniting the 49-year-old vice president with the 25-year-old journalist was held at an ancestral site constructed by the ancient Aymara people some 3,000 years ago to observe the heavens. (Juan Karita/Associated Press) #

Couples participate in a collective wedding ceremony in Cobija, Bolivia, on Oct. 6. Indigenous couples from Boliviaís Amazon region got married in a mass wedding coined ìCollective Marriage from our Identity 2012, organized by the government. Many of the couples were already legally married, but wanted to attend a ceremony that included some indigenous traditions from the Amazon. (Juan Karita/Associated Press) #

Solerica Dumay (left) and Layoner Ubano pose for a portrait before a collective wedding ceremony in Cobija, Bolivia, on Oct. 6. Indigenous couples from Boliviaís Amazon region got married in a mass wedding coined ìCollective Marriage from our Identity. (Juan Karita/Associated Press) #

A Mongolian soldier stands near a newly-wed couple for wedding photos in front of the Parliament House at Sukhbaatar Square in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, on July 2. (Andy Wong/Associated Press) #

A newly-wed couple poses for wedding photos on a street on June 28 in Shanghai, China. (Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press) #

A newly-wed couple leaves a garden in the rain outside an apartment after a photo take in Beijing, China, on July 21. (Andy Wong/Associated Press) #

Two flower girls walk off as a photographer takes a photo of a wedding party at sunset on a beach outside of Accra, Ghana, on May 26. (Jon Gambrell/Associated Press) #

Roland Davis of Colorado (left) and Lena Henderson of West Seneca, N.Y. pose for a photo on July 24 at the Buffalo City Hall. Davis and Henderson were divorced 50 years ago in Georgia and are now remarrying. They went to City Hall to get their marriage license, for their Aug. 4 wedding. (Sharon Cantillon/The Buffalo News via Associated Press) #

Couples sit together for a ritual during a mass wedding ceremony in Kolkata, India, on July 1. The wedding was organized by social organizations primarily to help the families who cannot afford the high ceremony costs as well as the customary dowry and expensive gifts which are still prevalent in many communities. A total of 126 couples tied the knot during the ceremony. (Bikas Das/Associated Press) #

A newly-wed couple poses for a wedding photo session on May 29 in Shanghai, China. (Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press) #

Bride Aseel Hamza and groom Ahmed Abdul Kareem receive cheers from security officers as they ride in a white Hummer 2 limo past a security checkpoint en route to their wedding reception in Baghdad. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post) #

The best man shaves bridegroom Trajce Lozanoski during the traditional Galicnik Wedding on July 15 in Macedonia's western village of Galicnik. Traditionally, the two-day Galicnik Wedding is held every year on Orthodox St. Peter's day. (Boris Grdanosk/Associated Press) #

Bride Maha Surougi walks towards Thaer Qasem, the groom, during their wedding in the West Bank village of Deir Istiya, near Nablus on April 12. The bride and the groom, Syrian citizens with Palestinian roots were invited by the Palestinian government to celebrate their marriage in the West Bank. (Bernat Armangue/Associated Press) #

Caleb & Candra Pence pose for a wedding photo as a tornado swirls in the background on May 19 after they were married in Harper County, Kan. (Cate Eighmey via Associated Press) #

Romanian brides dance next to the Triumph Arch in Bucharest, Romania, on Aug. 26. The arch, a replica of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the French capital, is a rendezvous place for brides on the wedding night for the bride stealing ritual. The ancient Romanian tradition of bride stealing is getting bigger, brasher and an increasingly common sight in the Romanian capital, the regions undisputed party town. (Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press) #

Pakistani bride Shabana Gill (20) is flanked by her friends while waiting for family members to go to a church to attend her wedding procession in a Christian neighborhood in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Oct. 5. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press) #

Ramoncito Campo kisses his wife Hernelie Ruazol Campo on a flooded street during a southwest monsoon that battered Manila on Aug. 8. The newly wed couple pushed through with their scheduled wedding despite severe flooding that inundated wide areas of the capital and nearby nine provinces. (Ramoncito Campo via Reuters) #