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Shanghai couple holds their wedding online with support from neighbors

Qi Liangliang and Ji Pengcheng hold their wedding ceremony online. [Photo from web]

Qi Liangliang and Ji Pengcheng, a young couple in Shanghai, never thought they would have a memorable online wedding amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The couple, natives of Yancheng, Jiangsu province, lives in a community in Puxi, the area west of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. Six months ago, Qi quit her job in her hometown and came to Shanghai to be with Ji, who is currently enrolled in doctorate program at Shanghai University. After residents in Puxi area went under lockdown, the couple became volunteers of their community.

After the COVID-19 resurgence upset their plan of holding a wedding ceremony in their hometown during the May Day holiday, they decided to hold one online.

On the night of April 29, Qi sent a message in the volunteers” WeChat group of the community, saying “Does anyone have anything for decorations? We’re going to celebrate our wedding online on May 2, and we’d like to decorate our rented house a little.”

A few minutes later, she got a congratulation message from a volunteer. Then more volunteers started to forward her request to other WeChat groups of the community, and neighbors began “digging through” their homes to find any items that could be used as wedding decorations.

In a WeChat group later set up by the neighbors to specially help the couple for house decorations, a young girl sent a picture showing the “double happiness” Chinese character (a traditional Chinese symbol for wedding decoration) written by her in different ways, another girl showed a self-made clay bouquet that took five hours to make. There were also heart-shaped candle, champagne, a pair of bear dolls and the neighbors’ own wedding dresses.

All the decorations were disinfected by volunteers and sent to the couple’s home.

What’s more, the neighbors even set up a “professional wedding team” consisting of 16 people, from wedding planner to dresser and photographer, which went beyond Qi’s expectations.

On May 2, the couple had their online wedding ceremony witnessed by their families in Yancheng and over 3,000 residents of the community in Shanghai.

After the ceremony, the couple was allowed to take a short walk in the community and neighbors sent down their wishes and blessings from the windows and balconies.

As a volunteer worker, Qi didn’t have much time to enjoy the spring, but on her wedding day she took off the heavy protective suit and put on a white cheongsam, and the beautiful sunshine brought the whole neighborhood under golden glow.

“When the lockdown is lifted, I will send my wedding candies to all the well-wishers. And I’m also looking forward to the warm and gentle breeze from the Bund in the city,” Qi said.

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