When Chang Benfu and his wife Zhao Xuefang married back in 1976, the wedding was a simple affair. They didn’t have the money for a grand ceremony, or even for a photographer to capture the big day.
But now, four decades later, a group of university students have given them the greatest wedding gift of all and given the couple their own photo-shoot.
Chinese villagers Chang Benfu, 84, and his wife Zhao Xuefang, 83, posed for adorably traditional wedding photos at their home in Mihzi County, part of China’s Shaanxi province, last month.
The wedding may have happened 40 years ago, but the couple look as romantic as ever in their wedding attire.
These modest, rustic pictures are worlds away from the lavish scenes popular in the Chinese wedding industry. In 2015, the BBC reported that the wedding industry brings in revenues of £64bn each year, while the average household spends just under £10,000 per wedding.
Luckily for Benfu and Xuefang, their wedding photos were a gift from a group of students, who offered to take them after hearing the couple’s story at a friends’ wedding.
Benfu told the story of his basic wedding in 1976 during his grandson’s own wedding ceremony. ‘We had nothing at all and we had just got married,’ he said.
On hearing this, student Li Huan collaborated with his classmates to create the photo shoot, titled Wedding photos for Grandma and Grandpa.
The photos are inspired by the pair’s day-to-day lives in rural China, with the wedding gown and denim jackets bringing a flash of colour to the shoot.
Since the couple married in 1976, they have shared a lifetime of adventure.
The octogenarians have eight children, while their extended family, including great-grandchildren, has an astonishing 53 members.
Now that the pair are the heads of a large family, their descendants have been able to give them the greatest wedding gift of all – even if it is a few decades late.
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