Eleven ‘eleventh-hour’ nuptials on 11-11-11

Eleven 'eleventh-hour' nuptials on 11-11-11
Eleven Swedish couples are set to be married in a church in Gothenburg at 11.11am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 2011.

“All the couples are very different, and that is what is so charming about this whole thing. To share this magical day with them is something we will remember for the rest of our lives”, says Markus Nicola, one of the grooms set to tie the knot, told the Metro newspaper.

The eleven couples will all arrive at the Cathedral of Gothenburg together and then have their ceremonies one after the other.

On Thursday, all the couples met for a rehearsal to ensure that there is enough room for eleven couples at the altar.

Rehearsals went well and the wedding preparations are in full swing.

For the wedding ceremony to take place, at least one of the couples needed to be members of the Church of Sweden, and there must of course be no other legal impediments to the marriage.

The 11-11-11 group wedding is sponsored by various businesses in central Gothenburg that have an interest in weddings, such as make-up resellers, clothes shops, accessory shops and florists, as well as travel agents and confectioners.

The local Gothenburg council is also involved.

Nicola and his wife-to-be Johanna Ardstål got engaged in 2008 and had not planned a big wedding.

But when the opportunity to get married in the Cathedral in Gothenburg presented itself they didn’t want to hold back.

“Today’s date is also very special for us, it’s exactly on the day four years since we got engaged”, says Markus.

The date 11-11 itself is seen as very special and magical in old folklore.

According to Susanne Nylund Skog, professor at the Institute of languages and folklore in Uppsala, the number has been used in spells and the number eleven has special powers.

She said the fixation with numbers remains a part of life today, even though it is part of old traditions. She says it may be a way of feeling more in tune with life.

“Possibly because we want to create meaning in the midst of chaos”, she told Metro.

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