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Nude weddings are weddings that may include the couple, bridal party, and/or guests in the nude. Participants may be committed to the nudist lifestyle or want a different kind of wedding. Though nude weddings have occurred throughout history, the first documented wedding was in Elysian Fields, California in 1942.
The wedding couple may be nude while the guests may come nude or dressed, or with the couple and all the guests naked. There are 270 clubs in America that are clothes-free or clothes-optional, and some of these serve as locations for nude weddings.
In China a word that may be transliterated as 'Nude wedding' has come to mean a simple, low budget, wedding, not involving the purchase of a house, car, or wedding rings. Such weddings have become more popular. The term does not mean a nude wedding.
Smock weddings were a public event for early settlers of New England, USA. A woman was required to marry in her underwear, a smock or nude. Hannah Ward married Major Moses Joy while she stood naked in a closet with nothing but her hand showing through the door.
There has been an increase in nude weddings with the growth of nude recreational practices. According to the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), founded in 1931, nude recreation grew 75 percent during the 1990s. Today, the AANR estimates it has grown to be a 440 million dollar industry, from $120 million in 1992.
Nude weddings can include traditional flowers, veils and accessories, music, and food. An official conducts the ceremony and legal requirements are as for any other wedding.
The largest nude wedding took place 2003 in Jamaica with 29 couples married at the same time. The wedding was at Hedonism III in Runaway Bay, Jamaica on Valentine's Day. Couples included a Russian, a Canadian, and an American Indian from the Crow tribe. The ceremony was conducted by Rev. Frank Cervasio of the Universal Life Church in Florida. Participants were required to stay a minimum of 4 days, and arrive on February 12, two days before the marriage ceremony.
Nude weddings are the norm in the fictional Betazoid culture in Star Trek because of their ability to see thoughts and emotions of others. This gift evolved their society into an open one, which allowed nude weddings without taboo. Books that include nude weddings include I Never Performed a Nude Wedding by Naomi Cherny. Cherny, who is a Justice of the Peace in Massachusetts, performed many weddings. In the book, she writes about wedding tips and unusual weddings such as nude weddings.
In the 1960s Irving Klaw directed Girls Come Too (also known as How I Became a Nudist) in which Maria Stinger married her real-life husband Harry Stinger (known in the film as 'Dick Powers') in a nudist ceremony at a Miami nudist camp.