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Jasmine Huang, member of CLM, born and raised in the southeast of China, is sharing with you one Chinese woman's point of view regarding western men, Chinese women, online dating and cross cultural relationships. Not an expert, but would be willing to learn and grow with you all.
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‘Naked’ Wedding: a blessing or a disaster?

By Jasmine Huang
11001 Views | 6 Comments | 5/27/2010 12:03:50 PM

I first heard of the word ‘naked’ wedding in a TV show when both the girl’s and the boy’s parents were invited. The young couple were determined to have the ‘naked’ wedding while the girl’s mother was strongly against it. It sounded like a disaster to this girl’s mother. She was not sure whether her daughter would get the happiness and also she felt that she lost face in front of all the relatives. Is it really so bad??

‘Naked’ wedding is a social phenomenon in China, which means newlyweds get married without a house, car, diamond ring or grand wedding ceremony – just a nine-yuan marriage certificate. It is a popular catch phrase coined amid the background of skyrocketing property prices, and reflects the reality of many young people in China today.

In my parents’ generation, the weddings were not so grand and the new couples normally started their lives from scratch. My father was living with my grandpa, and my father’s got many brothers, so the house for him was just very small. In that age, they got a bicycle. And my mother’s dowry was a red case, some cloths, and something she sewed and embroidered by herself. Everything was just simple at that time. And they worked hard to have the 1st black and white TV, to build the house of their own, to have the motorcycle and to have the car.

And nowadays in China, young couples spent a lot of money on the weddings. The amount differs from region to region due to different traditions and cultures. According to some polls about the wedding consuming structure throughout China, the average wedding consuming items are: studio wedding photos RMB3484, jewelries RMB5577, wedding gown(s) RMB2007, customs items RMB7610, wedding party (without beverage and drinks) RMB1024 per table, decoration for new house RMB56998, honeymoon travelling RMB9227, electronic appliances RMB16680, furniture RMB17494. And totally it amounts to RMB139557. House and car are not included yet.

As we all know, one of the most important requirements that Chinese girls care about is the house. Guys, you don’t need to have a car, but you at least need to provide a shelter to make sure that your girl does not need to move often. Renting house is an option, but for how many years? If your landlord changes his/her idea, then you have to move immediately. This kind of life is regarded as insecured, especially if you are going to have the baby/babies soon. This is the situation in China.

And there comes the ‘Naked’ wedding. Under the economic depressing circumstances, ‘Naked’ wedding reflects the helplessness of the young generations in China. Each year, there are more than 6 million new graduates from colleges. And they face great employment pressure. By the time they are about to get married, normally if they don’t ask help from their parents, many of them just can’t afford the house, especially if they are the non-local workers/employers in the big cities in China. If they do afford the house, most of the time, they become the mortgage slaves. And the above said wedding expenses do cost them a big amount of their savings. Sounds like adding insult to injury. In this way, a marriage turns out to be a thing that is both sweet and miserable.

Not like many practical Chinese girls, there are still girls agree with this kind of wedding. They believe that marriage is based on love not material goods. However, many people doubt whether a marriage without any physical foundations will work, and also you have to meet the doubts from girl’s parents. We have an old saying in China: ‘Everything goes wrong for the poor couple’. It may be a little exaggerated, and you may argue that money does not count a lot in a marriage, but at least it DOES count. It all depends on how you think about it. A girl said, ‘houses can be compared to clothes while cars and wedding rings are like hats and scarves.’ She explained that she can do without accessories but definitely can't do without clothes.

My father always told me not to put a guy’s physical situation on the top of everything if I am going to date him. If you work hard together, you can have the house (big or small), and you can have a car (good or economic). So it is pretty much of your own decision. It is not shame to be poor, but when a guy wants to marry a girl with a ‘Naked’ wedding and this girl says YES, it is better for them to also get understanding and blessing from their parents. After all, parents always care for their children.

So, a ‘Naked’ wedding does not sound so bad, right? What if I don’t want the wedding party, but I choose to have the honeymoon travel?

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#2010-05-28 14:06:16 by kahnsfury @kahnsfury

Naked weddings are the most common wedding in the U.S. It is very rare in America for people to have a life plan when it comes to marriage. Perhaps this is the problem here, because they are not prepared for the life of marriage financially or emotionally.

#2010-05-28 18:32:57 by xactly @xactly

I believe they were trying to make a statement. How effective it is, is subject to questioning. But I do not believe in making a statement while making people embarrased or "making a disaster" for the parents and those they love. There are many ways to make a statement that won't cause others to suffer emotionally. So in this narrow sense, the couple is being a bit selfish.

#2010-05-29 02:30:29 by thedragonb1 @thedragonb1

Naked wedding?!!
I don't want my future wife displaying her body for all to see! And no one needs to see my personal goods either!

I do agree, money & wealth is not important as long as you have love, but a couple should agree to work so they can have a home. Whether it's a house or flat. Your father is correct, both can work hard and save for a house and car. Love requires communication and both should agree on goals for your life together.

Now, put some clothes on! You may be poor, but you know damn-well you own CLOTHES!!! Shoot call it a T-shirt & Jeans wedding if you have to, but please, NO NUDITY!

...Hmm, unless your your soon-to-be-wife is stunningly beautiful, then please mail all your wedding invitations to Bren Lau, Boston, MA, USA!


#2010-05-30 20:05:34 by dearjasmine @dearjasmine

Well, it is indeed quite an embarrassed situation if it refers to 'naked' wedding. And somehow it is love VS marriage, and your family VS my family. Marriage is not only the thing between you two, and indeed in China the whole family involves in it. Some ppl used to say, if you are marrying someone, first you are marrying him/her, then his/her habbits, then his/her family and social relationship. 3 steps. Nowadays, a wedding banquet is sometimes more to show off.

PS. Ben, this is only about a situation called 'naked' wedding, but it has nothing to do with the naked wedding photo shoots.

#2010-06-01 05:01:32 by prince42 @prince42

Sometimes we need to understand the fact that we are human beings not animals.So we have to cover our bodies,really I do not understand why one has to be naked in public.

#2010-06-01 22:47:31 by dearjasmine @dearjasmine

To prince42,
Well, young generations always come up with new ideas and even celebrities have their nude pics when they got pregnant. Normally these naked wedding photos are not shared in public. They are just the memories of the best time in life,though it is not accepted by all. And anybody who get the idea of taking this kind of photos, should be very concerned about the privacy and security of them.
Again, this entry was about the wedding, not about the photo shoots. I really misguided ppl by putting that pic.

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