Ten couples have shared their special day in the first mass wedding ceremony to take place at The University of Nottingham Ningbo (UNNC).
The couples, who met and fell in love while studying at the university, were invited to come back as part of celebrations to mark a decade of the organisation’s alumni association.
The wedding ceremony took place at 10am on Saturday 15 April outside the Trent Building at UNNC, in coastal province of Zhejiang, near Shanghai, China.
While mass weddings are not uncommon in China this was the first of its kind to be held at UNNC and involving former students. It came about after the number of enquiries from alumni wanting to take wedding photographs in the grounds of the campus.
Li Wang, 25, and Shuai, known as Janet, Cheng, 28, were one couple taking part in the nuptials.
Despite both being enrolled onto the same module, at UNNC, and even sitting the same exam in the same classroom they met via social media.
After finishing her last exam, on Monday 5 January 2015, Janet, decided to set up a WeChat account which also showed people online nearby. Coincidently, Li was doing the same thing.
Li began to woo Janet by telling her that she had the same name as the author of his favourite book.
Janet explained that it was as though the two of them had lived in different worlds on the same campus.
She said: “UNNC plays such a significant role in our lives. We met the person we love at UNNC and we wanted other alumni to be the witnesses of our wedding.
“No matter what happens in the future, we will always support each other and we will always be the person nearby for each other.”
Senior Officer for Alumni Relations, Candy Shen, said: “Normally Chinese people get a legal marriage certificate and then set up a wedding feast to celebrate on a different day.
“They may have several wedding feasts so the group alumni wedding party on campus is one of those celebrations although the ceremony itself is classed as an “official” ceremony.
“It is a great way to welcome our alumni back to campus as part of April Fest, the Alumni Homecoming Day.”
Unlike a UK wedding where the father of the bride might make a speech Saturday’s wedding featured words from Professor Stephen Morgan, Associate-Provost of UNNC. Group photos were then scheduled, followed by a group dance at noon and finishing with the ten brides throwing their bouquets to the assembled audience.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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