Church Wedding Beijing China

Nowadays church wedding—a fashionable, solemn and romantic wedding style, is becoming more and more popular among the white-collar and intellectual level people in Beijing. Church wedding is a witness of Western culture merging into China.
To satisfy the cherished wishes of new couples, Beijing’s Catholic churches offer wedding blessings for people who are not catholic. Wangfujing Cathedral, Xishiku Cathedral and Xuanwumen Cathedral are open for wedding ceremonies.  Beijing’s Christian churches are only open for Christians’ weddings. Chongwenmen Church, Haidian Church and Zhushikou Church can host such wedding blessings.

Christian Church Weddings

Haidian Church
Haidian Church is surrounded by lots of professional book stores and training schools. So it stands out more solemnly and godly in such a strong academic environment. At present three wedding ceremonies can be held each day: Two in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Wedding Host:
Requirement: At least one of the new couple must be Christian
Time: Make reservations half a month in advance. Weddings can be held from Monday to Friday. Saturday is usually busy in arrangement.
Site: It can hold 500 people or so
Others: Have a reception room, no dressing room, and provide choir
Fees: Free of charge. Disciples can donate some money.
Address: No. 39, Haidian Xi Da Jie, Haidian District (In the pedestrian street of Haidian Book City)
Bus Lines: Take No. 740, or 751, and get off at Haidian Qiao Station, or take No. 332, and get off at Haidian Station.
Telephone: 62572902/82613772

Chongwenmen Church
Chongwenmen Church has a history of more than 100 years, and it enjoys some reputation both at home and abroad. The whole church has an area of 8,246 square meters. It is divided into two parts: Main hall and subsidiary hall. The main hall has more than 800 seats, and the subsidiary hall has more than 300 seats. The overall entity is in semicircle shape, and all is wood structure. Its construction style is rather original and unique.
Wedding Host:
Requirement: At least one of the new couple must be Christian
Time: Weddings can be held each day except Thursday and Friday. Generally the wedding time is in the morning.
Site: It can hold 400-500 people or so
Others: Have no reception room, and no dressing room
Fees: Free of charge. Disciples can donate some money.
Address: Ding No. 2, Hougou Hutong, Inside Chongwenmen
Bus Route: Take the buses of No. 106, 44, 48, 110, and get off at Chongwenmen station. You can also take the subway.
Telephone: 65242193
 
Zhushikou Church
Zhushikou Church was built up in 1904. It was the first of the eight churches set up by the United Methodist Church. Different from other churches, Zhushikou Church has had Chinese priests since inception.
Wedding Host:
Requirement: At least one of the new couple must be Christian
Time: Make reservations half a month in advance. Weddings are held Monday through Friday. Sundays are usually busy.
Site: It can hold 500-600 people or so
Others: Have a reception room
Fees: Free of charge. Disciples can donate some money.
Address: No. 129, Qianmen Da Jie, Xuanwu District
Bus Route: Take the buses of No. 57, 5, 110, or 120, and get off at Zhushikou.
Telephone: 63016678

Catholic Cathedral Weddings

Wangfujing Cathedral
Wangfujing Cathedral is also called Dongtang Cathedral, one of Beijing’s Big Four cathedrals.
Wedding host:
Requirement: All people, both catholic or not, can host weddings here.
Time: Make telephone reservations in advance. Weddings can be held from Monday to Sunday.
Site: It can hold 800 people
Others: No reception room; Make arrangement on their own.
Fees: 2,000 yuan or so. Can consult with the priest.
Bus Route: Take the buses of No. 103, 104, 803, or 814, and get off at DongAnShiChang station. Walk northward for 300 meters. Or take Subway Line 1, and get off at Wangfujing Station.
Telephone: 65240634

Xuanwumen Cathedral
Xuanwumen Cathedral is also called Nantang Cathedral, which is the first cathedral in Beijing. It was built up by Matteo Ricci in Ming Dynasty, and rebuilt by Adam Schall von Bell in Qing Dynasty. It was the activity center of Beijing’s Jesus disciples in Qing Dynasty.
Wedding host:
Weddings are held in the formal standard of religious wedding ceremony. Weddings held in other cathedrals of Beijing need also register here.
Requirement: All people, both catholic or not, can host weddings here.
Time: Make telephone reservations in advance. Weddings can be held from Monday to Saturday, and Sunday afternoon.
Site: It can hold 500-600 people
Others: Have a reception room, dressing room. Offer comprehensive facility arrangement services.
Fees: 2,880 yuan.
Bus Route: Take the buses of No. 102, 109, or 105. Or take Subway Line 2, and get off at Xuanwumen Station.
Telephone: 66023048

Dongjiaominxiang Cathedral
Though Dongjiaominxiang Cathedral is smaller in scale compared with the big four cathedrals in Beijing, it has combined the merits of the big four cathedrals. It is a typical Gothic architecture. Since establishment nearly 100 years ago, it has never suffered any disastrous destruction, and has kept well. Due to its special construction style and abundant historic connotations, many foreigners come here to participate in religious activities or for sightseeing. Through this channel, they can genuinely feel the freedom of religious belief in China.
Wedding host:
Requirement: All people, both catholic or not, can host weddings here.
Time: Make telephone reservations in advance. Weddings can be held from Monday to Saturday.
Site: It can hold 500 people
Others: No reception room, dressing room, or choir.
Fees: 1,000 yuan or so.
Bus Route: Take the buses of No. 103, 104, 9, or 48. Or take Subway Line 2, and get off at Chongwenmen Station.
Telephone: 65135170

Xishiku Cathedral
Wedding host:
Requirement: All people, both catholic or not, can host weddings here.
Time: Make reservations half a month in advance. Weddings can be held from Monday to Friday. Sunday is busy.
Site: It can hold 1,000 people
Others: No reception room, dressing room, or choir.
Fees: If one person of the couple is a disciple, the cost is 1,000 yuan. If none of them are catholic, the cost is 2,888 yuan.
Bus Route: Take the buses of No. 103, or 109, and get off at Fuyoujie Xishiku Cathedral.
Telephone: 66175198

Marriage process in church
There would be several marriages in the church at weekends. It is suggested that you arrange your ceremony on week days if possible. If you are not the first at weekend, you have to wait outside. There are usually two entry forms for the bride and bridegroom. One form is that the bridegroom goes into the church together with the guests first. Then they stand before the priest at the end of the hall. The bride will go into the hall accompanied by her father. The father will then entrust his daughter to the bridegroom. Another form is that the bride and bridegroom appear at the door together. They will go towards the priest amid the marriage music. Sometimes there would be groomsman and bridesmaid accompanying the bride and bridegroom. They should walk as slowly as possible, to be in line with the solemn and holy environment. The priest will preside the ceremony. He would say that the marriage is arranged by the God, so the couple cannot get separated, and so on. Some priests are not clear in articulation, however their wording will let people feel the holiness of marriage. Then some people from the church will come up to give a speech, offering blessings for the marriage. Their voices are usually very touching and pleasant, with a level of broadcaster.
After that, the bride and bridegroom will exchange rings, swear, and sign certificate. After the ceremony, the new couple will receive the hottest applaud from the participants. After the bride and bridegroom get out of the church, they will take photos in the church yard, and so some other relevant activities. The whole process of the marriage will take about 15-20 minutes. The priest will arrange all points of the ceremony. So the bride and bridegroom needn’t worry for anything. All the people in the church are friendly.

Surroundings of Church
Most churches are located at prosperous regions of Beijing. Such locations have offered great convenience for church weddings. The decorations and ceremony articles used in the church wedding can easily acquired nearby. One important matter is that you cannot have marriage dinner in the church, so you have to choose another place for marriage banquet. There are usually lots of restaurants around the churches.
Take Dongtang Cathedral for example. There are many top-notch grand hotels around Dongtang Cathedral, such as Tianlun Dynasty Hotel, Song He Hotel, Crown Plaza Holiday Inn, the Peninsula Beijing.  There are also many wedding photo studios for your choice. All this can let the bride and bridegroom enjoy a first-class one-stop service within walking distance.


Some historic stories related to churches in Beijing:

Adam Schall von Bell and Xuanwumen Cathedral
After Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) took the place of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the missionaries in the Xuanwumen Cathedral were ordered to move out. However, Adam Schall von Bell refused to obey the rule, but submitted a proposal to the Qing government. He asked the government to continue to let him to revise and update the calendar, which would be beneficial for China. Just on the second day, the Qing rulers approved his request, permitting him to reside in Xuanwumen Cathedral, and help Qing government in astronomy and calendar.
In September, 1644, Adam Schall calculated the solar eclipse moments accurately in all cities of China. Thus his status in Qing Dynasty was reinforced. Emperor Shunzhi bestowed a piece of land beside the original cathedral to Adam Schall, and offered him a big sum of money for the construction of church. The officials of Qing Dynasty also followed suit to donate money to him. Even the mother of Emperor Shunzhi donated some money to Adam Schall. Emperor Shunzhi went to Nantang Cathedral for 24 times in his life, and honored Adam Schall as a respected teacher.

Emperor Kangxi (1669-1722) and Beitang Cathedral
The construction of Beitang Cathedral has an interesting story, which is connected with Emperor Kangxi. According to historical data, Emperor Kangxi started to learn anatomy from missionaries in 1693. When Kangxi anatomized ownerless corpses in the wild, he was infected by a kind of malaria. The imperial doctors offered many Chinese medicines to Emperor Kangxi, without actual effects. Then two missionaries J.F. Gerbillon and Joachim Bouvet presented quinine and some other Western medicines, which cured Emperor Kangxi’s disease. Emperor Kangxi was very delighted. On July 4, 1693, He met with the missionaries including J.F. Gerbillon and Joachim Bouvet. Emperor Kangxi bestowed a residential building to J.F. Gerbillon, and also presented a piece of land to the church to show gratitude.
There’s a painting in Beitang Cathedral. In the picture, the Virgin Mary is holding Jesus in her arms. However Virgin Mary is in the clothes of the Chinese empress, and the little Jesus is also in the clothes of emperor of Qing Dynasty. At first sight, you might consider it to be a picture of a Chinese empress holding a young emperor!