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Beijing Brides

Now that the holiday bridal season in full swing Madge thought this was a great time to share some Beijing Brides inspiration.

On our summer trip to China it was hot, humid and smoggy.  Beijing was our first stop on an action packed two weeks.  Imagine someone asks you to see the United States in two weeks.  That gives an idea of our whirlwind.   Indeed as we came in for a landing, the city’s skyscrapers were barely visible in the haze.  That night walking to dinner with Mr. Madge I wondered just what we had gotten ourselves into.  You can read all you want about smog but until you are breathing it you have no idea how choking it can be.

The next morning however was clear and bright  — and hot.   We had a such fun touring the Forbidden City and collecting snaps of Beijing Hats.  But by the time we got to the vast concrete expanse that is Tiananmen Square, the sun was beating down on us hard.   Just as our small group was about to cry uncle, relief came around the corner in a lush paradise called Temple of Heaven Park.

Beijing brides
Cooling trees await us

Full of shade trees and greenery, this park in the center of town is a cool respite for locals.  A row of tall evergreens stand sentinel along the main path.  The park was full of couples, families and seniors. Despite the amount of people the park never felt crowded.

Beijing Brides
A sidewalk artist plying his trade

Right in the middle of the park is the famed Temple of Heaven, a round, pagoda-like structure originally constructed in the 1400s.   Built as a place for the emperors to pray for a good harvest, it is an amazing architectural feat. With three levels of marble expanding out at its base, the temple is all wood with no nails. Although the original temple was destroyed by fire in 1899 the current building was rebuilt soon afterward to the same exacting specifications.

Beijing Brides
The Temple of Heaven
Beijing Brides
The intricate exterior. Sign at top “The hall of prayer for good harvest”

Today, visitors are not allowed to enter the temple but can peer through the open windows all around the circular building to see the elaborate detail on the wooden surfaces.

Beijing Bridges
A view through the window

Our guide let us know this park is the most popular place in Beijing for wedding photos and Madge can certainly see why.  The elaborate temple and marble walls make a dramatic backdrop for brides wanting to look their most glamorous. On this particular sunny day the temple grounds were full of couples.   Modern bridal customs in China call for three separate wedding dresses: a traditional Chinese gown for the wedding, a less formal dress for the reception plus a va-va-voom Western-style wedding dress or ball gown for the official photos.   These Beijing brides did not disappoint.

Beijing Brides
This lovely couple is almost channeling a Spanish flamenco look.

Their backdrop

Beijing Brides

This bride is going for more traditional white wedding gown look.

Beijing Brides

A contemplative Beijing bride in a dress that reminds Madge of blue and white Ming porcelain.  She’s truly a work of art.

Beijing Brides

With red being the most popular color of the day even Mr. Madge was swept up watching this amazing photo shoot.  We never found out if she was a bride or a modeling for a fashion magazine.  Either way she’s fabulous or as Madge likes to say 极好 !

Beijing Bride
Getting the dress just right
Beijing Brides
Her attendant
Beijing Brides

That’s all from Temple of Heaven. Feeling inspired?  Check out these vintage wedding suggestions from MadgesHatbox Vintage.

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