In yet another attempt to protect the sanctity of marriage (registration), Beijing is asking newlyweds-to-be to please at least try to class it up a little bit.
“Some people wear sleeveless shirts and shorts, or slippers, to register their marriages,” Han Mingxi, head of the wedding registry office for the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau, told the Beijing Daily via The New York Times. “You see them and can immediately tell their attitude toward the marriage registry is too casual. This can easily create all sorts of problems.”
The problems that he is referring to is to divorce. China’s divorce rate has been skyrocketing for some time now (the Shanghai government can’t even handle all the paperwork), but it’s the highest in Beijing — where divorces have jumped from 33,000 in 2011 to 56,000 in 2014, while marriages have remained steady at 170,000. While in the past, rising divorce rates have been blamed on social media, it seems that officials have been forced to seek out other culprits.
The new rules against casual wear at the marriage registry office will go into effect on July 1st in Beijing. However, Han says that even if a couple does show up in slippers and pajamas, they won’t be able to tell them to get lost. Officials can only helpfully suggest more appropriate wardrobe options. If couples still want to go casual and risk divorce, it’s up to them.
Of course, if you really want your marriage to last, it is important to copy out the Party constitution every night. No excuses.