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  Metamorphosis of Wedding Over 30 years  

A parade of limousines, bright bouquets – decorated cars, chic bridal gowns, stylish wedding photos, a luxury hotel for the wedding party and an all-inclusive wedding banquet… The list goes on.

These are all common, if not necessary, parts for a wedding ceremony in urban China today. However, the picture was different 3 decades ago.

Wedding necessities

“The living condition at that time was not as good as today. Those who could afford the “Old Three” for a wedding would be admired. The wealthy people would buy brides a “Diamond” watch, a “Phoenix” bicycle and a “Wuyang” sewing machine, which were all big brands at that time,” according to Tao Lin, a Shanghai citizen who got married in 1976.


The “Old Three” Tao referred to were “watch, bicycle, and sewing machine.” Through the entire 1960s and 70s, these the “Old Three” were regarded as the three most important and valuable assets that a family could own.

Sewing machine

Things changed since the reform and opening-up policy was initiated in late 1978. Regarded as "great historical change”, it largely increased the country’s national strength and bettered people’s lives. Wedding necessities were an example of this.

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