HANGZHOU, July 11 (Xinhua) -- A proposal to bring down the cost of weddings in Tongxiang City, east China's Zhejiang Province has become something of a talking point on the internet.
The proposal called for newly-weds to restrict their cost of wedding meals to no more than 1,500 yuan (about 220 U.S. dollars) per table, which can usually accommodate 10 guests.
The proposal also seeks to end long motorcades, expensive gifts, and big "hongbao" (gift money).
Crazily expensive wedding ceremonies are still common in some parts of China, Many believe the the bigger the banquet, the happier the marriage.
Chen Liang, 26, had a just such a wedding. With a salary of just 4,000 yuan, his wedding cost the family over 470,000 yuan. Almost half the money was borrowed.
Chen's story is quite normal. The aim of spending tens of thousands of yuan on a wedding sometimes is surprisingly simple -- to save face.
Chen Miaolin, chairman of New Century Tourism Group told Xinhua his hotels tried to introduce a wedding meal that consisted of six dishes and one soup per table, but the customers insisted they one 12 dishes and one soup.
"About one-third of the food usually ends up wasted," Chen said.
So came the proposal in Tongxiang, which called on young couples to avoid "outdated" wedding procedures, such as improper games to tease the groom or even bridesmaids, as well as drinking games.
The proposal also suggested gift money from relatives and friends should not exceed 600 yuan, and the red paper-scissored Chinese character of "Xi", or happiness, should be pasted only in the couple's own houses and yards.
The move was mostly welcomed online.
Online user Cao Yongping wrote the eradication of old, rigid ideas in wedding and funeral ceremonies needs the participation of everyone, while another user, Chen Feng, suggested holding ceremonies in village cultural halls to save money.
There are also other voices. Some questioned the effectiveness of the proposal and said some of the regulations were too detailed and rigid.
An official at local ethic enhancement committee office told Xinhua the proposal was meant to relieve the heavy financial pressure brought by wedding and funeral ceremonies.
"Such ceremonies were meant to maintain close relationship within a family, but have become a huge burden for relatives and friends and should be changed," the official said.