Amsterdam has found a unique new way of getting people together. In an attempt to get locals and tourists to interact better with each other, the city has launched a campaign called Marry a local in Amsterdam for a Day, reports Conde Nast Traveller.
Tourists can now bid for a listed bride or groom and perform a mock wedding ceremony. The price for the entire experience is €100. The mock wedding will take place at Wed&Walk, a shop that doubles up as a chapel in the De Pijp district of Amsterdam.
Ensuring the complete wedding experience, the couple will also have fake flowers at their ceremony and exchange inexpensive rings. The bride will walk down the aisle to her day-long groom and seal the deal with a hug!
Following the wedding, the couple will set off on their one-day honeymoon. Together, they can explore the quieter parts of Amsterdam, away from the crowded tourist destinations. Friends and family are invited too (as long as the bid money covers their expenses). A part of the money is also given to a charity of the bride or groom’s choice.
Why Amsterdam has launched the new initiative
Don’t get carried away though, this isn’t some sort of elaborate set up to find a date. It is an attempt by the city to tackle mass tourism in an innovative way. Over 200 social entrepreneurs, non-profits, hotels, hostels and other pioneers are coming together as a part of the Untourist movement. The movement wants to change tourism in Amsterdam for the better.
The issues the movement wants to address are social isolation, sustainability and reduction of plastic waste. So, if you’re a little sceptical about your one day-marriage you can always try your hand at another initiative- Weed Dating- speed dating, but with your hands in mud. Visitors meet at a farm where they interact with strangers while they weed an assigned patch of soil. You can also go ‘plastic fishing’, where you fish for plastic in the canal that is later upcycled into furniture.
These programmes have been encouraged to ensure that the influx of tourists has a positive impact on the environment. Given that the number of tourists visiting the Netherlands is expected to rise by 50% in the next decade, it is an important step.
For now, Marrying an Amstadammer for a Day is a great way to contribute to the economy, battle social isolation while also encouraging tourists to explore the lesser known parts of Amsterdam.