Women in China Are Graduating in Wedding Gowns

Chinese female graduates are ditching their traditional cap and gowns in exchange for a more memorable look — white wedding dresses. According to WSJ, women across China are accepting their diplomas wearing wedding gowns, choosing to celebrate their commencements dressed in fluffy, floor-length gowns in hopes of making the occasion feel more meaningful.

In China, university graduations are not as big of a deal as they are here. There are no big-name graduation speakers doling out words of wisdom, let alone parents or extended family members cheering for grads in the stands. Graduations usually go uncelebrated and for this reason, many graduates are dressing themselves in wedding gowns to make the event feel more special.

"The wedding dress makes things feel more meaningful," said Liu Xiangping, who said she and her friends rented big white gowns with bedazzled bodices and tulle for $7 a day. Zhang Xuehui, a senior at Northeast University of Forestry in China, told WSJ that there's a deeper meaning behind the wedding dresses — it "represents that our youth is fading."

But whatever the reason the graduate chooses to wear a gown, one thing is certain: They're going to have it all documented in an elaborate photo shoot. Posing for pictures with their fellow graduates and friends is another ritual that has become hugely popular among Chinese graduates. Zhang and her five roommates chipped in to hire a photographer who spent three hours snapping pictures of them across campus in their white dresses.

Traditionally, wearing white in the Chinese culture is a symbol of mourning — instead of black, they wear ivory shades to funerals. But this generation of graduates are redefining the meaning of the color and adopting the westernized ideals that it white is a symbol of celebration. And at the end of the day, it just makes them feel pretty. And who doesn't want to feel pretty on one of the most important days of your life? Hu Fan, another wedding gown-clad graduate, said "it's just about creating a memory. After all, we all want to preserve images of our most beautiful selves."