More than 3,000 couples participated in a mass wedding on Valentine's Day in Ciudad Juárez, a border city in northern Mexico, continuing a tradition that started seven years ago.

The 6,242 people involved said "I do" at the largest mass wedding ceremony yet staged by the Mass Weddings on the Day of Love and Peace Program.

Chihuahua state Gov. César Duarte attended the ceremony, which featured a couple that has been together for 60 years exchanging vows "once and for all."

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Roberto López, 84, and Remedios Ponce, 82, told Efe they had not exchanged vows before "out of laziness."

"Now, we have a whole bunch of grandchildren, I don't even remember how many, but because of not getting things done and pure laziness, we'd never gotten married. We're happy and thank God for the opportunity to get married at last," López said.

"We far exceeded the number of marriages that were achieved last year, when we had a big turnout and 2,500 couples wed," Chihuahua Deputy Government Secretary Carlos Bernardo Silveyra told Efe.

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The mass weddings usually draw people who are already living together, with such couples accounting for between 70 percent and 80 percent of the total, a Ciudad Juárez Civil Registry official told Efe.

"This is a way mainly to regularize the families and so the rest of the couples can take advantage of the event and get married," the official said.

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