China: Around The Nation

Never too broke for marriage ... Chinese couple’s bike-sharing wedding transport costs less than US$7

College sweethearts decided to save money by using public bicycles instead of renting a car at high cost

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2017, 2:40pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2017, 2:58pm

A bride in northern China was escorted to her wedding on an unusual form of transportation – a fleet of 50 cycles from a shared bike scheme.

The bride was greeted outside a hotel in central Zhengzhou in Henan province on Tuesday morning by a sea of green bicycles, the Dahe Daily reported.

Each of the bikes was adorned with five or six different coloured balloons, ridden by people wearing red T-shirts.

The bride and groom - aged 26 and 28 - hopped on to wedding bikes decorated with fresh flowers and the congregation of bicycles cycled together to the wedding location, another hotel a few blocks away. Many pedestrians stopped to take photographs and cheer on the young couple, according to the report.

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The newlyweds were college sweethearts who had been dating for six years before they got engaged last year. Both had moved to Zhengzhou to work after graduating from university.

The couple decided to use public shared bicycles instead of a car to save money and to give their special day a novel sense of flair. In traditional Chinese weddings, the groom picks up the bride and they travel to the wedding destination in a bridal car.

The couple calculated that hiring a car would cost anywhere from 3,000 yuan (US$438) to 5,000 yuan, far more than the under 50 yuan they ended up spending on the shared bikes.

Their unconventional transportation choice is another sign of China’s bike-sharing craze, which has now seen over two million new cycles hit the streets.

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Shared bicycles are relatively new to Chinese cities, but they already vastly outstrip similar schemes in cities such as London and New York.

Online users commended the young couple on their innovative wedding choice.

“Quite nice, as it’s trendy and environmentally friendly,” one commenter said.

But another joked: “Getting married is one thing, but they’re also helping to advertise public bikes.”