Love and marriage seem to be contagious this summer in Sweden, and a couple of ways that these are oozing out of every nook and cranny entail mass marriages - some for real (and forever, till death do them part, of course) and others that are spoofs and have an automatic built-in divorce that follows.

In probably the largest wedding in terms of marrying couples, estimates went as high as 350 couples who gathered June 12 for what was billed as a "Drop-In Wedding" at the outdoor nature, entertainment and cultural site, Skansen, in Stockholm to tie the knot...for real and keeps! Bearing umbrellas to protect their tuxedos and gowns from the wet weather, the day-long parade of betrothed followed a meticulously planned wedding production line that went through the proper civil and religious personages and finally ended with partying and champagne.


All around the nation, June is always a favorite wedding month, and every chapel and church is booked every day of the week for months in advance. The lovely countryside settings along with impressive church interiors and green gardens attract couples from throughout the world to exchange vows at memorable ceremonies and receptions.

According to Freja Hallberg from the Potato Potato Performing Arts Network, a "Kinda Cheaper, Not As Good Wedding" - which will hopefully appear as live video on their web page - will unite some 20 couples at the People's Park in Malmö simultaneously while the Royal Wedding happens in Stockholm.

The pairs have been selected at random from Internet applicants, and happiness is assured because, although the couples haven't met one another before they advance to the altar, an automatic, after-the-wedding divorce has been sewn into the package.

"If any couple takes a liking to one other, they can always remarry later for real," assured Hallberg. Since their founding early last year, the Potato Potato group has staged more than a hundred theatrical events around Sweden at places including the Hultsfred and Arvika rock festivals.

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