We're so excited to feature our first ever child wedding on Bridal Musings today!
Blushing bride, Lilly, is just 11 years old while her husband, John, is 35. They were wed in a beautiful ceremony filled with roses, ribbons and tears.
Lilly took the day off school so that the couple could make use of the mid-week discount at their wedding venue – not that disrupting her studies really matters as Lilly won't be going back to school this September. She'll have far more pressing matters to deal with such as keeping house and rearing children in her new role as John's wife.
On the day of the wedding, John beamed proudly at his new bride, while Lilly waved goodbye to her family, her education and her childhood.
Without further ado let's take a peek at this gorgeous wedding shall we?
Not All Weddings Have Happily Ever Afters
15 million girls across the world are forced into marriage before adulthood every year.
Shocking isn't it?
As wedding bloggers we discuss the love, joy and beauty of weddings on a daily basis but for the millions of young girls who are forced into marriage, a wedding isn’t a joyous occasion – it’s a violation of their human rights, often marking the end of their education, their dreams for the future and their childhood.
These children become wives and mothers before they're emotionally or physically ready and without sufficient healthcare provision, complications during pregnancy are all too common, sometimes resulting in the tragic deaths of mothers and babies.
A Collaboration With UNICEF
This shoot and film are part of a campaign we collaborated on with UNICEF to help raise awareness about child marriage. And we couldn't think of a better time to share it with you than on International Women's Day, a day when women, girls and gender equality are at the forefront of our minds.
Child marriage is not limited to any one religion, country, culture or region. It's a global problem affecting millions of young girls and their families around the world.
If current trends continue, the total number of women married in childhood will grow from more than 700 million today to 950 million –almost 1 billion women – by 2030.
What a truly horrendous prospect.
How Can You Help?
A girl who is married as a child is more likely to be out of school, experience domestic violence and become infected with HIV/AIDS. She is more likely to have children when she herself is still a child, and is far more likely to die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Please show your support for ending child marriage by helping to spread the word about these devastating effects.
Share this post and/or the video above to help UNICEF raise awareness for this important cause. Every Facebook share, Tweet, Pin or Instagram post will help make a difference.
<< You can use the social buttons to the left of this post for an easy way to share with your friends and followers.
Please use the hashtag #EndChildMarriage to draw further attention to this worthy cause. Let's get it trending guys!
Share To Show Your Support
Feel free to use any of the images below on your social channels to help spread the word! (Just click on the image – it'll open up nice and big, then right click and download to share as you wish.)
Alternatively, simply re-share the posts below.
(We want to make it as easy as possible for you to spread the word far and wide!)
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) March 8, 2016
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, we realise it's a sensitive and disturbing topic but we think it's something that needs to be discussed.
The majority of our readers are fortunate enough to marry for love or have the option to chose not to marry at all – lets stand up for the girls who don't get a choice.
To find out more please read this post on Bridal Musings featuring stories and quotes from real child brides. And be sure to head over to UNICEF to see how the charity is working towards the sustainable development goal of ending child marriage by 2030.
None of this would have been possible without the incredibly talented and generous vendors below. We are so grateful to each and every one of them for being part of this campaign:
Shoot Coordinator & Stylist: Always Andri Wedding Design / Photographer: Claire Graham Photography / Videography: Studio 1208 / Video Music by SuRie & Nick Bentley of Studio 1208/ Venue: Nonsuch Mansion / Special Thanks To: Coco Wedding Venues / Stationery: Kate Ruth Romey / Cake Designer: Olofson Design / Wedding Dress: Rock the Frock Bridal / Suit:Alexandra Wood Bespoke / Bridal Accessories: Kelly Spence / Florist: Elizabeth Marsh Floral Design / Linens: Table To Dine For / Hair and Makeup: Jo Irvin Love Hair / Aisle Runner & Chair Covers: Stress Free Hire / Assistant Stylist: Gemma Hallett / Art Direction: Elizabeth & Claire of Bridal Musings