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Surprise! We’re married!

ourshanghaiwedding.jpgAnd no two people were more surprised than us. Here’s what I wrote over at Flickr, where you can see photos from the first of what will be several wedding celebrations:

When most people wake up on their wedding day, they know they will be getting married. Not us. We thought we were going to the Shanghai Marriage Service Center to fill out some initial paperwork. We thought we’d then have to go to a hospital for tests and then return at a later date for more paperwork — at least that’s what all the websites told us. Well, they seem to have streamlined their process. And after less than 30 minutes at the office on August 12, 2006, we were pronounced husband and wife by employee No. 3. Bizarre. My attire? A “Bloomsburg Fair” T-shirt and flip-flops. I hadn’t showered. [Since a couple people have inquired about this, we should say that this “wedding” does not cancel our plans to formally tie the knot in Thailand next month. It was just easier (and much, much cheaper) to do the legal stuff here … and this way we don’t have to waste two days of our honeymoon signing papers in Bangkok. I promise I will shower, and maybe wear pants, for our beach ceremony in Koh Samui.]

I think this is something that everyone who gets married in China goes through — you are legally married before the actual big ceremony with friends and relatives. Kind of weird. Bliss and I have a nice ceremony for just the two of us planned in Thailand in September, and that will be the date on which we celebrate our anniversary, we think. We plan on having some kind of party in Shanghai later this year. And then we will have the official wedding reception on February 17, 2007 (Chinese New Year’s Eve) in Savannah, Ga. So, yeah, we are drawing this thing out as long as possible.

And yes, mom and dad, this means I now have health insurance for the first time in four years.

08.16.2006, 1:38 PM · Diary

11 Comments


  1. Congratulations and many happy ceremonies to come.


  2. Congratulations!

    I will also get married soon but we have to go to my wife’s hometown to get registered. At least this is what I know what is needed when none of us is a permanent Shanghai resident.
    But maybe they changed that too.


  3. I think the photo is kind of romantic in its uncontrived feel.

    Got married on the same spot. Had to twist my wifes arm to get her to wear something nice — she insisted it wouldn’t happen that day……


  4. Congratulations!!! MORE PICTURES!!!


    One question Dan. When you take her to Ga., is she going profess to being a Yellow Jacket or a Bulldog?

    GooooooooooooooooCocks!


  5. congrats! you two.
    really happy to know that a westen guy got married in east.

    best wishes


  6. Congratulations!


  7. Wow! Congratulations! All the best!


  8. Félicitation!


  9. From one freelance writer-marrying a chinese girl in Thailand-laowai to another I need to ask you a couple questions… as soon as I find your damn e-mail address on here :-)

    Oh, and congratz.


  10. Nice work! I will be going through this as soon as I propose to my Shenyang girl. Ssshhhh, nobody tell her!


  11. Dan,

    I got married in the same spot, and we also thought it was just a registration day - way too funny!

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Shanghai Diaries is a website about Shanghai, China ... and lots of other stuff. Voted Best Mainland China Blog in the 2004 Asia Blog Awards.

Editor: Dan Washburn

Related: Shanghaiist and Mudan Boutique

Dan is a freelance writer living in Shanghai. More about Dan.

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