The bride and groom, along with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, pose with the wedding bus. (Photo provided to China Daily)
When young urban couples get married, they usually hire a fleet of about 10 cars to escort them and their family to the wedding venue.
But one newlywed couple in Dalian, Liaoning province, did something a little different — they chose to rent a public bus instead.
Looking back on their wedding day on Oct 5, the bride, Yang Le'er, said she still feels joyful about the bus experience, which added special meaning to the nuptials.
Yang and her husband, both 26, met while studying in the United Kingdom, and now both work in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province. Yang is from Wenzhou, Zhejiang, while her new husband, Li Ang, is from Dalian.
"I don't like taking the usual path. With a car fleet, the bride and groom sit in the first car, while everyone else is scattered in different cars, which isn't very exciting. So I contacted the Dalian Bus Group in advance, and they agreed," Yang said.
On their wedding day, a red electric bus — adorned with a giant caricature of the couple, a large rose pattern, and the words "We're getting married" — carried the bride and groom, the groomsmen and bridesmaids, and Yang's parents, who had flown in from Wenzhou, to a hotel.
"Everyone being together on one bus made the joy double. We played festive music along the way, and friends sang along. The atmosphere was so happy. Even though my parents didn't sing, they were drawn in by the atmosphere and didn't show the traditional sadness of a daughter's marriage," Yang recalled.
At a cost of 10,000 yuan ($1,367), which included the decorations, she said getting the bus was cheaper than hiring a fleet of cars.
If they had chosen a car fleet, the car for the bride and groom would have cost more than 5,000 yuan alone, and if they had opted for a Rolls-Royce, it would have been over 20,000 yuan.
"Besides, using a bus as our wedding car was so much cooler than a luxury car," Yang said.
On the road, they drew a lot of attention. Pedestrians took out their phones to take pictures and waved at them.
When the bridesmaids and groomsmen shouted to passersby that "they're getting married", they received smiles and cheers in response.
"Now that I think about it, it still warms my heart. And personally, I work in Hangzhou in traffic planning, so I have a deep affection for public buses. I think this 'wedding theme bus' is very meaningful," Yang said.
She said this wedding idea received positive feedback from their family and friends. Some friends said they would rent a bus for their own weddings.
Using public buses as wedding vehicles has been done before in cities in southern China, but this is the first one in Dalian.
Song Jian, the head of the planning department at Dalian Transportation Advertising Co, said the 'wedding theme bus' is a green and low-carbon electric bus, and the design of the bus and its route can be customized according to the couple's preferences.
She added that the company will continue to explore more creative "theme buses" and expand related businesses in the future.