UNICEF has partnered with Bridal Musings, a wedding blog, to raise awareness of the impact of child weddings on young girls who are forced into marriage. “Weddings are supposed to be joyous and festive occasions, but this one is anything but a fairytale. About 15 million girls will be married as children this year – their right to a childhood ripped away.” The campaign is hosted at Bridal Musings and includes Instagram images, Twitter posts and the following YouTube video. The UNICEF Storybook Wedding campaign was launched in anticipation of International Womens Day, and includes stories of women who were married at a young age.
“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.”
UNICEF’s Child Marriage page reveals that worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children. More than 1 in 3 – or some 250 million – were married before 15. Girls who marry before they turn 18 are less likely to remain in school and more likely to experience domestic violence. Young teenage girls are more likely to die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s; their infants are more likely to be stillborn or die in the first month of life.
Filming was produced at Studio 1208 by Nick and Maria Bentley with shoot coordinator and stylist Always Andri Wedding Design. Photography was by Claire Graham Photography. Art direction was by Bridal Musings bloggers Elizabeth and Claire. Music is by SuRie and Nick Bentley of Studio 1208.