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China mulls ceremonies at marriage registries


Updated: 2013-08-13

BEIJING - Chinese authorities are considering providing solemnization services at marriage registration offices, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs has revealed.

Instead of a brief process of form filling, approval and certificate issuance that typically can be finished within a minute, the ministry is mulling whether to provide a certificate-presenting ceremony at more registration offices in China, Xu Liyang said on Monday.

China mulls ceremonies at marriage registries

A pair of newlyweds are prensented with marriage certificates at a marriage registry in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, Aug 13, 2013. [Photo by Meng Delong/Asianewsphoto]

With the couple's consent, a registrar and presenter will act as a marriage witness and lead the new bride and groom to utter their wedding vows in a special ritual hall, and the couple will be informed of their rights and obligations as a wife or husband.

It is hoped that through such solemnization procedures, the newlyweds will get an understanding of their responsibilities and commitments in marriage, Xu said.

A free ceremony for marriage registration is now available in registries in Shanghai, Shandong, Hubei and Beijing, and the ministry is considering expanding the program to more places in China, Xu added.