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Young Chinese couple redefines weddings with simplicity and joy
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Young Chinese couple redefines weddings with simplicity and joy

Amidst enthusiastic applause, 28-year-old bride Wang Lan walked onto the stage arm-in-arm with her husband, receiving blessings not only from family and friends but also from strangers.

The joyful scenes unfolded at a group wedding, where 10 other newlywed couples also took the stage.

"Sharing this special day with so many other couples doubles the happiness," said Wang, who hails from Haiyuan County in Zhongwei City, located in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. She wore a well-tailored red dress and a simple yet elegant floral updo, reminiscent of styles from China in the 1980s and 1990s.

Since the pronunciation of May 20 (5/20) in Chinese sounds similar to "I love you," many people choose this day to confess their love and get married. Group weddings were held across China on this day, including this retro-style Chinese group wedding organized by the local government in Ningxia, and in some provinces including Jiangsu, Hunan and Shandong.

"Last year, the county organized a group wedding for young couples, and I was in the audience," Wang said, adding that when she found out there was another opportunity this year, she quickly signed up, knowing it was her turn to share her happiness.

The wedding day was brimming with performances and interactive games, creating a lively atmosphere. The couples collaborated to complete challenges such as threading needles and inflating balloons, delighting the audience and crafting cherished memories.

"The overall atmosphere was relaxing and enjoyable, and the games were impressive. It was worth participating in such a wedding," Wang said, adding that her parents were married in the 1990s, and although their wedding photos have yellowed with time, the happiness on their young faces remains evident.

Having rarely seen her parents argue, she aspires to such a loving marriage. Experiencing a wedding reminiscent of her parents' era held special meaning for her.

In recent years, many young people in China have redefined their weddings to imbue them with special meaning, pursuing simplicity, freedom and individuality. In addition to group weddings, new types of ceremonies such as destination weddings, low-carbon weddings, and minimalist weddings have emerged.

Earlier this month, a video of a "post-95s" newlywed couple riding a shared bike to their wedding venue went viral. In the video, the groom led the way on a shared bike, carrying the bride, with the bridal party following suit on bikes adorned with colorful balloons.

According to the groom, Zhang Shubin, considering the short distance to the venue, they decided to use shared bikes for the bridal procession, mindful of the environmental benefits and cost-effectiveness of the choice. Zhang added that he also arranged for a bus from a local public transport company to accommodate elderly relatives with mobility issues.

The bike procession received praise from passers-by, with many netizens applauding the low-carbon wedding and conveying their blessings.

"A cookie-cutter wedding holds little appeal. After all, love is at its happiest when it's simplest; making it too complicated risks tarnishing its beauty," Zhang said. As a broadcaster, he hosted his own wedding and exchanged vows. By cutting costs on rental cars and hiring a master of ceremonies, they instead used the money to buy gifts for their guests.

Zhang Wanjing, a researcher at the Ningxia academy of social sciences, said that an increasing number of young people are opting for new-style weddings as they aim to avoid unnecessary financial pressure, among other considerations.

The diversification of wedding styles reflects a shift in young people's mindset, emphasizing low-carbon living and rejecting extravagance, and this trend mirrors societal progress and development, according to the researcher. 

XinhuaShen Yi

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