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Marriages on May Day all the rage
By Li Dapeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-03 08:45

Holding weddings during the May Day holiday is very popular for couples in love.

Many Chinese couples, who are always busy during work time, are deciding to hold their weddings and honeymoons during the week-long holiday.

Zhao Jinhong, manager of a wedding celebration company in Beijing, says her company will host more than 50 weddings on May 6, a traditionally auspicious day and, on average, 25 further weddings on each of the other days during the holiday.

"Our peak season is coming," she said.

Since wedding celebration companies have mushroomed in China during the late 1990s, more and more young couples are using their services.

Newly-weds, who want their marriages to be the most precious and romantic memory of their lives, are strongly attracted to the various services offered by wedding service companies.

These include planning of the event, the provision of a master of ceremonies, videography and photography, and the supply of wedding gowns and suits, as well as catering and limousine services.

Of the 90,000 or so Beijing couples that plan to tie the knot during this holiday time, about 20,000 entrust the preparation and hosting of the ceremony to professional wedding service companies, according to Ministry of Civil Affairs statistics.

Speaking of trends in popular wedding styles, Zhao Jinhong said many couples were showing a preference to combine traditional Chinese and Western features in their nuptials. This reflected the spread of Western culture in China in recent years.

The hot new fashion for some couples, particularly nature lovers, is having an open air wedding.

"Most couples are satisfied with the services provided by the wedding companies. But there was still some trickery in advertisements and unqualified services in the industry," said Shi Kangning, secretary -general of the nation's wedding industry committee.

A detailed standard code of practice, aimed at improving the wedding service industry in Beijing and ensuring that newly-weds have a satisfactory wedding by prescribing a minimum price for each service provided by the celebration companies, is being promulgated.

"The standards will effectively prevent trickery and malicious competition in the industry," Shi said.

The committee is also going to organize training for professionals in wedding services.

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