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Wuhan group wedding both lean and green

By LIU KUN in Wuhan and CHEN MEILING | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-11 09:30
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Grooms and brides wearing white T-shirts were greeted with applause and blessings when they arrived by public bus late last month for a "carbon neutrality" group wedding in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Such weddings shun traditional Chinese customs that often involve complex processes and luxurious feasts, sometimes costing hundreds of thousands of yuan. More new couples are now opting for environmentally friendly, simple and sustainable weddings, something the country is also encouraging.

The eight couples arrived at Ziyang Park at 6 am to have their makeup done and get changed. They then boarded a decorated bus to head to the Tanhualin block of the city's Wuchang district.

During the ceremony, they shared their love stories, sang a song about environmental protection, made vows to their partners and received their wedding certificates.

They then visited the Wuchang City History Museum and the Yangtze River beach, before having a buffet at noon. All services were free of charge.

Zhu Panjin, a 34-year-old dentist from Huangshi, Hubei, and his now wife signed up for the group wedding after seeing information about it online.

"We found it fashionable, fun and cost-effective," he said. "Our parents were very supportive, but they couldn't come as they were in our hometown. We didn't invite any relatives or friends, although we could have. Instead, we shared videos and photos in our family and friend groups, and they all thought it was great and meaningful.

"Both my wife and I didn't care about wearing wedding finery or hosting a banquet. Everyone has different perspectives, but we believe that what matters most is living well together in the future."

Li Shuying, 27, a finance worker from Wuhan, said both she and her husband agree that such a wedding is a meaningful way to convey the importance of environmental protection.

"Besides, we both don't like complexity and trouble," she said. "I think this kind of wedding will become more popular in the future."

Wuchang is the only national-level experimental area for wedding customs reform in Hubei. It has been hosting marriage and family cultural festivals for three years, and the low-carbon group wedding is part of efforts to offer high-quality services to residents, said Wei Fen, director of the district's civil affairs bureau, which was one of the event's organizers.

"The newlyweds highly appreciate this wedding format for several reasons," she said. "First, the low-carbon and environmentally friendly ceremony holds significant meaning that resonates with their inner beliefs. Second, the sense of ceremony in a collective wedding is quite trendy, showcasing individuality within their social circle. And lastly, it does indeed help save costs."

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