Chinese Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot

Why China’s Happy Couples Are Spending Thousands To Stand By Big Ben

How The Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot Became Essential by Cindy Yu

Pre-weddings are now as essential to young Chinese couples as honeymoons are to the British. With ever more money to splash, and their sights set on farther horizons, a sweet pose under a blue sky is no longer enough, as it was for my parents. Today’s twentysomethings demand to see what it would be like to be the protagonists in their own global fairy tale: gown, tiara and all. Pre-weddings are popular because they can be staged, edited and shown at the actual wedding.

As the Chinese become more international, you can see them at landmarks all over the world. The Eiffel Tower is for romantics; the stone temples of Bali for the spiritual; the blue painted roofs of Santorini for anyone fashionable. And London, well, that’s for those with refined tastes.

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Why Chinese Couples Are Having Their Wedding Photos Taken in London

chinese wedding photography london

Image VM Studios


The demand for a particular type of scenic backdrop for pre-wedding photographs is driving Chinese couples to get up very early in the morning, writes Ed Prendeville.

Central London at 06:00 on an August morning can seem a very different city.

While its iconic skyline lies bathed in soft light, rubbish trucks and delivery vans have a free run of the usually heavily congested roads. The pavements, which will later be thronged with tourists, are empty, save for the odd shift worker or lone pigeon.

In a city which has yet to rouse itself from slumber, the sight of a couple in full wedding attire – posing for dramatically-staged photographs on Westminster Bridge – is charmingly incongruous.

Zhiwen Zhao and Yixuan Liu met in Beijing before moving to London a few years ago to study. They’re engaged and will soon return to China to be married. Before they go they’ve decided to have their pre-wedding photographs taken in London.

It’s a Chinese custom for couples to have their wedding photos taken before they are married, rather than on the day of the nuptials. “We wanted to take some sweet moments to share with the guests,” says Yixuan. On the wedding day, the photos will be shown to the guests on cards, via big screens and perhaps on video.

In China, pre-wedding photography is a huge – and lucrative – industry. Zhiwen and Yixuan are part of a small but rapidly growing number of young couples who are choosing to have their photographs taken overseas, often in front of famous landmarks.

Chinese Pre -Wedding Photography London

Image copyright Ed Prendeville

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