QINGDAO, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- How to hold a safe wedding amid the novel coronavirus outbreak? A Chinese couple just set an example with a two-minute service attended by only six people, all wearing masks the entire time.
Zhang Long and Chen Xiao from eastern China's Shandong Province held a special wedding last Thursday in the bridegroom's courtyard, with the bride's father as the host and her mother as the photographer.
Answering the government call for staying at home and avoiding crowds amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, many Chinese couples have chosen to postpone weddings, but Zhang and Chen agreed to press on with their schedule but scrapped all the festive trappings.
"We're in a critical time of epidemic prevention and control, so we decided not to invite guests or hold a banquet," said Zhang, the bridegroom. "After all, a wedding is just a ceremony, and the most important thing is our happiness."
On the day of the wedding, Zhang, wearing a mask, followed the custom to drive to the bride's house in Licha Town, the city of Qingdao. There, in a romantic ritual, he lifted the bride's red veil to see a mask on her face.
"Because of the mask, I didn't even know the color of the lipstick she was wearing," the bridegroom recalled.
Presided by the bride's father, the wedding lasted no longer than two minutes.
"My father in law spoke very quickly. Bow to heaven and earth, bow to parents, bow to each other, and the wedding was over. We didn't even have the chance to say our wedding vows," Zhang said.
Before the novel coronavirus swept the nation, Zhang's plan was to have a typical Chinese wedding complete with all the pompous rituals. He booked a 50-table feast, 20 wedding cars and invited four pairs of groomsmen and bridesmaids.
"Everything was canceled. He only spent several hundred yuan to marry me, but it doesn't matter, as long as he is the right man for me," said Chen Xiao, the bride.
On the way back to the groom's house, they passed three checkpoints for measuring body temperatures.
"The volunteers there congratulated us during the checks," Chen said. "Although no relatives or friends came in-person to congratulate us, I believe more people blessed us from their hearts."
Many villagers gave them thumbs up in the WeChat group chat after Zhang Long's father announced the no-guest wedding. "We are in a critical time of novel coronavirus prevention. The villagers support their decision," said Liu Jingming, party chief of the Licha Town.
This is not the first no-guest wedding held amid China's anti-coronavirus fight. On Jan. 27, Sun Wenlong and Liu Miaomiao also had a no-guest masked wedding in Qingdao. "When the epidemic is over, I will definitely make it up to her," said Sun.