Nicolas Montano

Nicolas Montano

Photo: Kaloian

In Cuba, love rarely leads to marriage

Dressed all in white except for a hot pink bow-tie, a confident-looking groom stepped out onto Havana’s Paseo del Prado. His bride, dressed in a billowing tulle dress, followed nervously.  Before ducking into the white Corolla waiting for them, they turn to pose for a photo outside the elegant Wedding Palace. This was a rare sight.  Miosotis Suárez Iglesias, the chief notary at the Wedding Palace, where most people in Havana marry, performs 150 ceremonies each month.  She said this is only a small fraction of the number she performed in past decades. Marriage is dying out in Cuba.  People still fall in love, move in together and share their lives, but few bother to marry.  Most couples now forego the paperwork that would formally bind their union. Wedding Palace / Photo: Nicolas Montano Part of the reason could be the declining role of Catholicism in Cuban life.  Marriages were traditionally church ceremonies, and clashes between the revolutionary government and Catholic prelates helped create an antagonism to all things religious, especially in the early years of the revolution. As formal marriages have become less common, the glittering weddings that used to mark them have also become scarce. ...

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