About This Project

Pelin Guven


Happily Ever Before

As pre-wed couples flock to the beach with all the props for their once-in-a-lifetime marriage photos, beach life goes on as usual in Sanya, China.

Pre-wedding photography is a thriving industry in today’s modern China with an important history behind. Before China’s Cultural Revolution, China had just come out of Great Leap Forward and Great Famine. The country and people were extremely poor. During China’s Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, dressing up was considered capitalism. Skirts and dresses were not available. Everyone wore the same blue, grey and green color. 

Couples weren’t able to get wedding photos taken because of the implications of the white wedding dress and wedding photos as a symbol of western capitalism. Instead, their wedding photo was a single passport-sized photo that simply documented that the marriage had taken place. Nowadays, things have changed tremendously and couples even travel far to exotic locations just for their wedding photos.


5th edition