Chinese Brides Are Hiring Professional Bridesmaids

November 14, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Weddings can be expensive affairs. In China you can add the cost of a professional bridesmaid to the list:

  • At Chinese weddings bridesmaids are sometimes expected to drink on behalf of the bride. And since each guest might be toasted “bottoms up” individually, this has been known to lead to alcohol poisoning and death.
  • It can also be tradition for the bridesmaid to stand between the groom and the bridal suite, acting as a final symbolic hurdle. With all the alcohol, the groom and the groomsmen can become rowdy and violent.
  • Bridesmaids are subject to intense scrutiny, and may be objectified. The beauty of the bridesmaid is seen by some as a signal of the couple’s status and wealth.
  • Still things are better now. In ancient times the bridesmaid would dress up like the bride and be her double, in case there was a kidnapping attempt by a rival clan.
  • But the pressures remain strong enough that some close friends will decline the offer to be a bridesmaid.
  • Enter the free market. Companies have sprung up that offer “professional bridesmaids” for about 800 yuan (US$120) per wedding.

Read more at Quartz.