Category Archives: Getting Married in China

Getting Married in China

When using Chinese dating sites lead to marriage

Chinese dating sites don’t lead only to romance; they sometimes also lead to marriage. What happens when an American wants to marry a Chinese citizen?

Beautiful wedding couple

There are a few things to consider, some of which Chinese dating sites don’t really get into. After all, they aren’t marriage sites! Here’s what you should keep in mind if you’ve found the love of your life and would like to tie the knot:

  • Legal residence. If you want to get married in China, one of you must have legal residence in the country. China does not allow foreigners on tourist visas to marry in the country.
  • General requirements for U.S. citizens. It is important to understand that the regulations for marriage in China vary significantly among the country’s different provinces, cities, and towns. If you are a U.S. citizen, you will typically be asked to provide a valid passport and valid Chinese visa.
  • Other requirements. Other things you might be asked to provide include proof of legal residence of at least one party, a notarized Affidavit of Marriageability, proof of final divorce or annulment (or death certificate of deceased spouse), three photographs of the couple together with a red background, and a registration fee.


Although the above information is currently accurate, it might not be comprehensive, and when you’re getting married, you want to cover all your bases. Therefore, it is advisable that you check with the Chinese Civil Affairs Office to make sure that you are fully prepared for marriage in China!

Asian dating and mixed marriages

Although Asian dating and mixed marriages seem pretty commonplace today, this wasn’t always the case.  In fact, such relationships have historically been frowned upon in mainland China.

The Chinese culture has always been very different from that of most countries in the West.  Several decades ago, public displays of affection and discussions of sex were both punished and thought to be Western spiritual pollution.

Rings with roses

In the past, families would often disown children who dated or married a foreigner, especially if that foreigner happened to be an American, and social isolation was the norm in these cases.  It was not unheard of for universities to expel students for dating or marrying non-Chinese individuals.

It is important not to let the history of Asian dating and mixed marriages deter you.  Although it has been a long, bumpy road, the number of Chinese women marrying foreign-born men has gradually risen over time.  A revolution of sorts has taken place that has changed the way people dress and how they display their affection, and inhibitions about sex have diminished.

What many Chinese people are learning is that a mixed marriage is a great opportunity to travel, learn about other cultures, and explore the world.  Speaking English in China is also grounds for higher pay and more job opportunities.

Despite these cultural setbacks that are slowly going away, there is one thing to remember: follow your heart!

When Chinese dating leads to a wedding

Chinese dating can often lead to marriage, which ultimately means that there is going to be a wedding.  This is an exciting time, but for a groom who is not fully immersed into the Chinese culture, a Chinese wedding can be a bit different from what he might be expecting.

Some grooms-to-be might experience a little bit of culture shock because Chinese wedding customs are a lot different than those in the West.  If you didn’t take the time to learn about the culture when you started Chinese dating, now is definitely the time!


Here are some basic guidelines.  Keep in mind that this list isn’t exhaustive, so additional research might be a good idea:

  • Picking up the bride.  One of the high points of a Chinese wedding is when the groom picks up his bride.  You must pass various tests of strength and intelligence, one of which involves preparing red envelopes filled with money to distribute to the bride’s family in order to take her away to her new life.
  • The marriage toast.  Much like Western weddings, the bride and groom drink to a toast. However, this has a greater significance in the Chinese wedding celebration.  The couple stand and face each other and each person takes a glass of wine.  They then intertwine their arms and each of them drinks the other’s entire glass.  This binds the marriage.
  • Disturbing the nuptial chamber.  Don’t worry; this isn’t quite what it sounds like!  This tradition is a fun and interesting way to wish the newlyweds good luck.  Friends and relatives think up various entertaining skits that the couple must act out in front of the entire wedding party.  Don’t be embarrassed… it’s all in good fun!

Marrying Asian singles in China

Asian singles, even those dating American citizens, often end up getting married in China.  So, if you are dating someone you’ve met online and is from China, you will want to read on for some helpful information about getting married in China.

getting married

Residency required

The first thing to understand is that foreigners cannot get married in China unless one of the people is a legal resident of the country.  If you are simply dating someone of Chinese descent but isn’t a resident, you won’t be able to obtain a marriage license.

Required documents

Registration for marriage in China differs throughout the different cities, townships, and provinces, which means that the documents you may be required to provide will likely vary.  However, U.S citizens hoping to get married in China must provide the following items:

  • Valid passport with a valid Chinese visa.
  • An Affidavit of Marriageability, or a Single Statement, must be notarized and provided.
  • Verification of divorce, annulment decree, or death certificate if you’ve been married before.
  • Three photographs of you and your loved one in front of a red background.
  • Registration fee.

Marriage restrictions

Believe it or not, there are some rules pertaining to which Asian singles can get married and which ones can’t!  Some Chinese citizens, such as security officials and diplomats, are not permitted to marry foreigners.  They can, however, marry other Chinese citizens.  Additionally, Chinese students are allowed to get married to foreigners, but some schools do have rules that require such students to be expelled.