In addition to its gardens, canals, and pagodas, I learned that Suzhou is a popular destination for weddings in China. Not only are picturesque areas of town perfect as a ceremony backdrop, but Suzhou, famous for its silk production and embroidery is also the capital of wedding dress manufacturing and distribution.
Indeed, I saw it with my own eyes- a tree-lined avenue with shop after shop selling everything from the big poofy merengue prom numbers to traditional Chinese style to the jeweled and sophisticated modern ones. In total, there are some 700 wedding gown shops in Suzhou alone. (Considering my absolute confusion over finding a wedding dress, I'm so glad I wasn't near this place while doing wedding planning. Needless to say, I cope better with fewer possibilities).
It turned out that November was a very auspicious time for weddings this year. Many Chinese consult with a fortune teller before committing to major life milestones, the big day being no exception.
Wedding photography and portraits is also extremely lucrative here, as I was to discover the day of my visit.
I get a kick out of this one... yes, I'd like to do the 1950s school uniform themed wedding portraits, please.
I do happen to LOVE these of bride and feisty bridesmaids...
I would love to get portraits done in this old Shanghai style... but I think Sean would be horrified. Since I tricked him into that Ryukyan outfit in Ishigaki a while back, I don't think I'll be able to convince him to dress up again.