Published on May 29th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard0
Brides in Shanghai
One of the many (very many) things to love about Shanghai is the way the locals really use their city and the obvious pleasure they get out of it.
It might be that their housing is cramped (it almost assuredly is) and families like to get outside, but they really take to the streets and use their city every day.
First thing in the morning hundreds of people are doing their tai chi in parks and gardens and at every vacant spot along The Bund.
They have no shyness about exercising in the streets and I envy their free spirit. Being so relaxed and unselfconscious must be liberating.
Bridal couples use the city as a wedding attendant. Each day couples are out in their full wedding finery posing on every street corner.
On weekends it’s impossible to walk a block without running into an extravagantly dressed bridal party. I lost count of how many lovely young couples we saw on Saturday in extravagant bridal regalia.
As the brides have their entourages primp and preen them, fussing with hair and make-up, ensuring dresses are in full flounce for an all-important photo shoot, the grooms stand by patiently with a resigned look on their faces, just like all men do when their women are shopping.
Brides wear all colours for their wedding day. Many stick to white, but others go for bright yellows, reds, blues and greens. The men wear a variety of suits, usually with a matching colour to the bride somewhere in their attire.
Brides have three dresses for their big day: a western wedding dress for the ceremony before a change in the afternoon to a traditional Chinese dress called ‘qipao’ like a cheong sam which must be a red colour for the wedding day.
For the reception the bride will wear an evening gown, often changing twice throughout the party.
Weddings are big. Every family member and extended family member is invited and it appears the friends also invite their own friends. It’s nothing for an invited friend to join in with 40 or more of her own friends. You have to love that.
You have to love Shanghai.