Young couples in China embrace retro-romance by publishing marriage announcements in newspapers
Published: Jul 03, 2023 10:34 PM
A newly married couple at a marriage registration center in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, on May 20, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

A newly married couple at a marriage registration center in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, on May 20, 2021. Photo: Xinhua


The practice of Chinese young people publishing their marriage announcements in traditional newspapers has captured the spotlight on China's social media platforms in recent days, winning applause from online users, as it not only has a sense of ritual but also serves as a meaningful commemoration of the union. 

Typically, the marriage announcements are succinct, featuring a straightforward message with the names of the couple and the date of their marriage.

One couple, 24-year-old Wang and her husband, surnamed Liu, decided to adopt this classic approach to announce their marriage in their hometown's local newspaper, Tianjin Daily. The two got married on June 7.

Wang told the Global Times that they are both shy and didn't want to announce their marriage on WeChat. Instead, publishing their wedding announcement in a newspaper seemed a better choice as they still wanted a sense of public ritual.

"In addition to carrying a sense of retro romance, this approach not only satisfies our psychological need to publicly announce our significant life event but also allows us to avoid drawing too much attention," she added.

Individuals interested in this traditional way can register through a mini-program on the Alipay app. Within the program, users can input their personal information based on the template provided and choose a newspaper. The cost is usually several hundred yuan, which may vary in different regions. People can also call newspapers directly to ask for the service. 

Wang and her husband paid a total of 750 yuan for publishing the announcement as well as five copies of the newspaper, she said.

Another woman, 27-year-old Miss Wang from Southwest China's Sichuan Province, wanted to publish an announcement of their marriage in a local newspaper as a commemoration, as they finnaly got married on their tenth anniversary of love. It's "romantic" and "classic," she said. 

"Compared to other forms of commemoration, the joy derived from spending a few hundred yuan on this way feels more profound than gifting flowers or dining in high-end restaurants," she told the Global Times.

Miss Wang's post about her experience has gained 30,000 likes on lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu, with many sending their blessings to the couple and expressing an interest in doing the same thing. 

According to media reports, publishing marriage announcements in newspapers was a popular choice during the Republic of China (1912-1949). Given the imperfect domestic marriage law and marriage registration system at the time, announcing marriages in newspapers became a common way to inform relatives and friends. Moreover, it held legal significance and could serve as evidence of a marriage. Newspapers also offered the convenience of long-term preservation and added commemorative value.

"Publishing marriage announcements in newspapers among younger generations is a sign of their trust and respect for print media," according to a Saturday commentary by the Elephant News, a media outlet based in Central China's Henan Province.