3,500 Moonie Couples Get Hitched
First mass wedding since death of church founder
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2013 7:07 AM CST
Newly-married groom Juan Proano from Miami holds a wedding ring and a picture of his bride, who didn't appear, during a mass wedding ceremony in Gapyeong, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – They definitely do: The Moonies have staged their annual mass wedding, joining some 3,500 couples in matrimony in a South Korea stadium, reports Sky News. The group nuptials were the first since the death of Unification Church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon in September, and were presided over by his widow, Hak Ja Han, aka "Mother Moon." Many of the couples had only met days earlier and were of different nationalities, and some don't speak the same language. "Yeah, I was pretty nervous," said a 21-year-old man, himself the product of an Australian father and Japanese mother matched by Moon. Of his 21-year-old Japanese bride, he says, "We struggle a little to communicate right now, as I speak no Japanese at all, and she only speaks a little English, but we see it as an exciting challenge and proof of our faith."

Says another new bride: "I've been waiting for him all my life. Language isn't such an issue. We're connected by the church."