Chinese couple Shi, 36, and Tan, 38, pose for wedding photos at the Only Photo studio in Shanghai. Shi works as an artist and Tan works in advertising.
Behind the Scenes of China's Over-the-Top Wedding Shoots
As China modernizes and sees a rising middle class weddings have become big business, and a way for couples to show off both their wealth and their personality.
A few years ago, photographer Guillaume Herbaut was in Shanghai to report on its “love market,” a park where parents gather to play matchmaker for their single children. On the way, he dropped by a company called “The Only Studio.” Inside, he found a marriage-themed Disneyland sprinkled with more than 20 dramatic sets, ranging from snowy castles to Greek islands. Makeup artists, costume designers, and photographers guided engaged couples from scene to scene, shooting their fantasy faux weddings.
“There was a cross between real love stories [and] fake scenery,” Herbaut recalls. “The impression that the universe of the [TV] soaps operated in reality.”
In high season, he learned, 80 couples may filter through the studio each day to get their portraits taken