Amid the relentless modernisation of mainland China can be found odd flashbacks to the halcyon days of yore. For example, despite being selfie-mongers of the highest order, mainlanders still like to go to studios and have their photo taken.
One such studio is in Kaiping, in Guangdong province. Last month my friend M and I were in that town, staggering back to our hotel from a Sichuan meal of such splendour, beauty and reasonable price that we decided we would move into that restaurant and live there forever.
Outside the brightly, nay, overlit shop window of a photo studio we stopped for a rest.
"Oh wow! Check out the English on that!" M said.
Printed on a large bridal photograph were the words, "The felling of the house. Love you so good / It's very kind of you my world only you / Only you my eyes."
But that wasn't what was unusual about the image: instead of portraying a glimmering couple draped around each other in a gondola or on a fake beach at "sunset", six people had been crammed into the picture.
In the middle was the happy couple, who looked to be in their mid-50s; she was wearing the whole bridal get-up of white dress and tiara, the groom mercifully opting for a dark dinner jacket instead of the all-white suit so popular nowadays.
Flanking them were two beautiful women in white ball gowns and a beautiful man in a suit holding a beautiful toddler.
We stood for ages, trying to work out what had happened here. Was it a mass wedding of two-and-a-half couples? Unlikely. The young people looked more like the bride and groom's children.
Or perhaps it was a couple who had met late in life, each bringing their offspring from a former marriage to the wedding. But why would they dress up to such a degree, and advertise it to the world on the main drag of a fairly large town? Would they even bring their children into this scene?
Then we saw another photo with more or less the same set-up, only this time the older couple had two young couples flanking them as well as three small children.
So this is what I think happened: the older couple had married in the 1980s but at that time didn't have the money to pay for a party or any form of celebration, let alone a professional photographer. Perhaps it was politically inexpedient in some way.
Now that they were flush, with grandchildren to boot, they could finally have the wedding of their dreams, complete with a professional photographer.
I thought it was a nice idea and it should definitely become a thing.
Divorce rates would plummet.