Western eyes (12): Wedding photos à la chinoise

Wedding photos à la chinoise

Chinese portal  It’s a sunny and lovely, almost smog-free, day somewhere in China and you decide to go to a park just to relax and chill out with your book when suddenly you see a couple in their full wedding gear having their photos taken.

How lovely, you think. It’s a perfect day for something like that and that pagoda on the background is not a bad idea. You continue to look for a place to lie down on the grass but struggle – another couple having a wedding photo shoot has stolen your favouritespot. And then you see another one.

The spring is definitely in the air. Finally you realise that the park is full of those couples - lacy white wedding dresses and cranky grooms galore. Are they all getting married right there at that very moment?

The answer is no, they are not getting married just yet; actually, the wedding might be months away. But, contrary to Western wedding traditions where the photos are taken on the day, in Chinaand many other Asian countries, the couple will have the wedding shoot before the event and present the album on their wedding day.

In contrast to the tame photos of the wedding party and the couple in the wedding dress and a suit striking a few poses, the Chinese pre-wedding photoshoot might be a full day of professional modelling going through a number of different costumes and locations.

The wedding photography has become a massive money-making industry, and today is almost expected of the couple to rent several costumes, hire make-up and hair artists and photographers to create the most exciting album for display .

The traditional Western style white wedding dress is an obvious choice but some couples will also act out scenes from Hollywood films, or have one in traditional Chinese costumes, or, why not, have all these shoots.

Only one’s imagination is the limit when it comes to an Asian-style pre-wedding photoshoot. 

Nonetheless, there are certain most commonly selected themes and locations – parks and landmarks around the West Lake in Hangzhou, dreamy beaches in Hainan or elsewhere in South-East Asia, historic landmarks of Beijing, most obviously, the Great Wall.

The rising wealth of Chinese people has taken the trend also further abroad, famous places in Europe and Japan gaining popularity.

Even though you could get a wedding photo with an Eiffel Tower in China as well, the ones who can afford will choose the authentic version in Paris. Another top European destination would be Santorini in Greece.

It is not that uncommon these days to witness a Chinese-speaking couple working on their portfolio in Central London either. In an attempt to avoid the masses of tourists the shoot might take place as soon as the sun rises to get a perfect shot in front of Big Ben.

Wedding photos à la chinoise

Wedding photos à la chinoise

Wedding photos à la chinoise