City in Zhejiang says people should spend less on weddings
HANGZHOU — A recent proposal to bring down the cost of weddings in Tongxiang, Zhejiang province, has become a talking point on the internet.
The proposal called for newlyweds to restrict the cost of wedding banquets to no more than 1,500 yuan ($220) per table, each of which can usually accommodate 10 guests.
The proposal also seeks to end long motorcades, expensive gifts and large gifts of money.
Wildly expensive wedding ceremonies are still common in some parts of China, where many believe the bigger the banquet, the happier the marriage.
Chen Liang, 26, had such a wedding. Though he has a monthly salary of only 4,000 yuan, his wedding cost the family over 470,000 yuan. Almost half the money was borrowed.
His story is common. The reason to spend tens of thousands of yuan on a wedding sometimes is surprisingly simple — to save face.
Chen Miaolin, chairman of New Century Tourism Group, told Xinhua News Agency that his hotels tried to introduce a wedding meal that consisted of six dishes and one soup per table, but the customers insisted on 12 dishes and one soup.
“About one-third of the food usually ends up wasted,” Chen said.
The proposal in Tongxiang also called on young couples to avoid “outdated” wedding procedures, such as games to tease the groom or bridesmaids, as well as drinking games.
It suggested gift money
Such ceremonies ... have become huge burdens for relatives and friends and should be changed.
from relatives and friends should not exceed 600 yuan, and the red Chinese character xi, signifying happiness, should be pasted only in the couple’s own house and yard.
The move was mostly welcomed online.
Internet user Cao Yongping wrote that the eradication of old, rigid ideas in wedding and funeral ceremonies needs the participation of everyone. Another user, Chen Feng, suggested holding ceremonies in village cultural halls to save money.
Other voices questioned the effectiveness of the proposal and said some of the regulations were too detailed and rigid.
An official at a local ethics enhancement committee office told Xinhua that the proposal was meant to relieve the heavy financial pressure brought by wedding and funeral ceremonies.
“Such ceremonies were meant to maintain close relationships within a family but have become huge burdens for relatives and friends and should be changed,” the official said.