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Young couples increasingly shun traditional weddings

China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-29 09:40

Game art designer Momo (pseudonym) decided to tie the knot with her boyfriend at age 34. The wedding ceremony, personally officiated by the couple, lasted less than 10 minutes. Momo's friends presented rings, and many guests dressed up as game characters.

In recent years, weddings among young people have taken on diverse forms, including minimalist weddings, destination weddings and cosplay weddings. This new trend of diverse weddings reflects the changing concepts of the current generation's lifestyle.

Momo, who hails from Fujian province, once served as a bridesmaid at a friend's wedding. She likened the traditional wedding ceremony to a marathon, with the long process of getting ready, picking up the bride, welcoming guests and making their entrance. "Even though I was just in a supporting role, I felt exhausted," she said.

"I believe that life belongs to oneself, and I want it to be more relaxed. There is no need to show off to others," Momo added.

On social media platforms, topics such as minimalist weddings and "three-zero" weddings have garnered millions of views. Netizens have been sharing and discussing their unique wedding experiences, engaging in exchanges and interactions.

The term "three-zero" refers to weddings without traditional rituals such as picking up the bride, hiring wedding cars and organizing bridesmaids or groomsmen.

Destination weddings combine weddings with travel, where couples choose scenic spots such as snowy mountains or forests to hold their ceremony during their journey. Usually, only the couple and local staff participate in those situations.

In October, Xiaoyu (pseudonym), 28, and her then-fiance went to the scenic area of Lianhuahu in western Sichuan province with their parents.

With Moon Lake serving as the backdrop, the couple exchanged vows and rings and expressed gratitude to their parents.

"The process was not easy; it was like an adventure," Xiaoyu said. They arrived at a nearby inn the day before the wedding and encountered a rainstorm while exploring the mountain road for 40 minutes.

"We were unfamiliar with the location, and there were many uncertainties. Fortunately, the weather was good on the wedding day. When we returned home, we felt the experience was extraordinary," she said.

Reducing economic pressure, focusing on personal experiences and pursuing individual expression are some of the reasons cited by many for choosing new types of weddings.

In recent years, the exorbitant costs of weddings, coupled with elaborate procedures, have become a "sweet burden" for many young people.

A survey conducted by a research center at the Renmin University of China showed that from July to September last year, the average cost of getting married was as high as 330,400 yuan ($46,485), which was more than eight times the per capita disposable income of the country's residents that year. "Weddings are one way young people pursue a personalized lifestyle," said Mei Zhigang, director of the social welfare research center at Central China Normal University. The fast-paced social life has led many young people to opt for simpler and more efficient wedding ceremonies.

Additionally, young people value self-expression, making the wedding experience increasingly important.


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