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Thousands Don Face Masks At Mass Wedding Over Virus Fears

Despite the virus fears, tens of thousands of couples tied the knot at the Unification Church's mass wedding in South Korea.

The celebration jointly commemorates the 100th birth anniversary of the church's founder.

About 30,000 people from 64 countries, including 6,000 couples, attended the ceremony at Cheong Shim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul, according to the church.

You may kiss the bride! Kind of. Image: Reuters

Church staff prepared hand sanitiser, handed out surgical masks and checked the couples' temperatures, but only few couples were seen wearing masks at the wedding ceremony.

"I didn't put on a mask, because I want to be beautiful for my husband," said a 23-year-old bride from Benin, Nguessan Myeonguet Walehet.

"I want just meet the true mother, because it's most important for me," she added.

Something blue? Image: Reuters

Meanwhile, a 35-year-old South Korean groom Lee Kwon-seok, who brought his own mask, said he is happy to be blessed at the wedding, but also worried about the spread of coronavirus.

The church said the wedding was successful as they deployed medical staff to prevent the spread of virus, and that the wedding has been planned since the death of church founder Sun Myung Moon in 2012 to mark his 100th birth anniversary.

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Unification Church was founded in 1954 by the late Sun Myung Moon, who declared he and his wife were messiahs.

From 1961 until his death in 2012, he oversaw mass weddings at which thousands were matched with spouses they sometimes had just met and who, in some cases, did not even speak the same language.