Who did it better: The Chinese marriage license photo edition

Ever wondered what’s up with the photos that Chinese celebs announce their marriages with? We’ve got the answers for you

Who did it better: The marriage license photo edition
Who did it better: The marriage license photo edition
20 Sep 2019

Who did it better: The marriage license photo edition

Weddings and marriages are always a cause for celebration. While some stars have used the most creative ways to share good news with the world, others prefer a more traditional route.

Take Chinese stars for example. We’ve seen plenty of marriage announcements that feature a deep red background and matching white button shirts. Oh, and the bride is always on the left, and the groom on the right.

This sparked a whole load of questions: what’s the story behind these same-same-but-different wedding photos? Surely there was an explanation for this uncanny similarity.

After hours of trawling the web and hounding our friends from the mainland, we’ve finally got the answer – and while we were at it, we also compared the wedding registration in China with the one that we have here in Singapore.

Read on for more, and to check out which celeb couple pulled off the red-background-white-shirt combination the best.

The marriage registration process in China and Singapore in CliffsNotes form
The marriage registration process in China and Singapore in CliffsNotes form
20 Sep 2019

The marriage registration process in China and Singapore in CliffsNotes form

(L-R: Nicky Wu and Cecilia Liu's marriage license, Vic Zhou and Reen Yu at the civil affairs department registering their marriage)

In Singapore, the Registry of Marriages (ROM) is the only place to go. After filing a Notice of Marriage online, make an appointment and head to the registry to verify your documents and make a statutory declaration, before solemnising your marriage in the presence of a licensed solemniser and two witnesses above 21 years old. The cost: S$42 – that is, if you do everything at ROM and not have a fancy party somewhere.

In China, it’s a little more complicated. Chinese citizens first have to make an appointment to visit the civil affairs department in any city. You can make the appointment on the day itself if there are slots available, however, most usually do so in advance.

On the day itself, both parties have to bring their Hukou (their official household registration record that serves as their national identification) along. The Hukou, which also states their marital status, will be submitted at the office, where the staff will determine if your application is approved or denied.

For non-mainland citizens, more documentation will have to be provided: including a certificate proving that the person is single (the foreigner has to go to the embassy to obtain a certified form that they are not married in their home country) , their passport, along with a letter from the spouse-to-be’s parents giving approval for their child to marry a foreigner. Even then, there’s a chance that the application will be rejected.

After getting approval for the marriage application, the couple will be issued a marriage book (which we fondly refer to as The Little Red Book for obvious reasons), in which their marriage details will be recorded. Accompanying it is – there you have it – a photo of the couple.

Contrary to popular belief, the white shirt is not mandatory. The only requirements are that the couple is to be dressed decently and that the photo is taken against a red background. The photo can be taken at a studio of the couple’s choice before the application is made, or if you don’t quite care how you look, there are also facilities within the office for the couple to take the photos.  The entire process is free, except for the photos, which you will have to pay less than S$10 for.

Now that you know a little more about how to register your marriage in China, we bring to you our thoughts on which celeb couple did their marriage license photos best.

Li Ronghao ♥ Rainie Yang
Li Ronghao ♥ Rainie Yang
20 Sep 2019

Li Ronghao ♥ Rainie Yang

Rainie looks adorably happy to have found her happily ever after, but Ronghao’s fashion magazine-worthy smile looks a tad less so.

Worthy-of-hanging-up-in-the-living-room ‘o meter: ♥♥♥♡♡

Huang Xiaoming ♥ Angelababy
Huang Xiaoming ♥ Angelababy
20 Sep 2019

Huang Xiaoming ♥ Angelababy

Remember when we mentioned that you only need one photo to put in your Little Red Book? Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy took one photo for that very reason, but also took the opportunity to take some goofy shots.

Our personal favourite is the shot of them all dressed up in school uniforms from yesteryear. Angelababy’s twin pigtails were really the cherry on top.

Worthy-of-hanging-up-in-the-living-room ‘o meter: ♥♥♥♥♥

Dai Xiang Yu ♥ Chen Zi Han
Dai Xiang Yu ♥ Chen Zi Han
20 Sep 2019

Dai Xiang Yu ♥ Chen Zi Han

Don’t be alarmed – these goofy clown outfits weren’t the photos that went on their marriage license. We only saw a glimpse of the photo that they used for official purposes, and were impressed that they decided to use a shot of them wearing school uniforms instead of the oft-used white shirt combo. So cute.

Worthy-of-hanging-up-in-the-living-room ‘o meter: ♥♥♥♥♥

Deng Chao ♥ Sun Li
Deng Chao ♥ Sun Li
20 Sep 2019

Deng Chao ♥ Sun Li

This photo might have been taken in 2010, but we love how genuinely happy this couple looks. Bonus points for them buttoning their white shirts all the way up.

Worthy-of-hanging-up-in-the-living-room ‘o meter: ♥♥♥♥♡

Shawn Zhang ♥ Christy Chung
Shawn Zhang ♥ Christy Chung
20 Sep 2019

Shawn Zhang ♥ Christy Chung

Is it just us, or does this photo look like Shawn was forced into taking this photo by his aunt? That might be the 12-year age gap between the couple showing, and honestly, that white bow tie Shawn wore somehow made this photo even more cringe-worthy. Well, we all have that one photo we regret taking.

Worthy-of-hanging-up-in-the-living-room ‘o meter: ♥♡♡♡♡

Chen Xiao ♥ Michelle Chen
Chen Xiao ♥ Michelle Chen
20 Sep 2019

Chen Xiao ♥ Michelle Chen

There’s honestly nothing much to love or hate about this photo – except for the fact that Michelle looks like she was forced into taking this snap.

Worthy-of-hanging-up-in-the-living-room ‘o meter: ♥♥♡♡♡

Ken Chu ♥ Vivian Han
Ken Chu ♥ Vivian Han
20 Sep 2019

Ken Chu ♥ Vivian Han

We wonder whose idea it was to have this photo taken at an angle (was it the ever-popular 45-degree angle?), but this couple looks glowy, radiant and happy. 10/10 would recommend.

Worthy-of-hanging-up-in-the-living-room ‘o meter: ♥♥♥♥♥

Wang Xiaofei ♥ Barbie Hsu
Wang Xiaofei ♥ Barbie Hsu
20 Sep 2019

Wang Xiaofei ♥ Barbie Hsu

This photo is further proof that you don’t need to be decked in matching all-white outfits for marriage license snaps. As adorable as this photo is, we’re slightly disturbed that Xiaofei’s shirt wasn’t buttoned all the way up even though he had a tie on.

Worthy-of-hanging-up-in-the-living-room ‘o meter: ♥♥♥♥♡

Feng Shaofeng ♥ Zanilia Zhao
Feng Shaofeng ♥ Zanilia Zhao
20 Sep 2019

Feng Shaofeng ♥ Zanilia Zhao

After looking at this many wedding license photos, they start to look oddly the same, and small details start to stand out a little more – in this case, we get that they wanted to wear matching white shirts, but this couple’s shirts are too obviously different – just look at the buttons and collar.

Though, to be fair, few people actually look that close at such photos. Plus, their smiles more than make up for their outfits, which clearly weren’t coordinated in advance.

Worthy-of-hanging-up-in-the-living-room ‘o meter: ♥♥♥♡♡

RelatedStars’ most creative dating, wedding and baby announcements

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