BEIJING, July 27 -- Ten disabled couples have tied the knot in a group wedding at the city's Cultural Square in Changchun, capital of Jilin Province on Monday afternoon. Nearly 50,000 people witnessed the moment and wished them well on their roads ahead.
They said their oaths out loud and cut a huge cake one metre in diameter.
"I am very honoured to be the chief witness to this special marriage, and do hope all society will take care of disabled people and help them keep their happy smiles on their faces forever," said An Li, vice-mayor of Changchun.
The idea of the group wedding was prompted by a love story.
Han Jing and Luo Jiangqian, who became one of the couples, share just one healthy leg. Their union was hard won because both sets of parents were vehemently against it at first.
"But we convinced them of our true love. We don't need a lot of money or a big house to get married. What we want most is to share our happiness with more people - and so we decided to invite more couples like us to join us," said bride Han Jing, who has to walk with crutches.
Their story was reported by the local City Evening News newspaper, and it was immediately followed up by people with similar problems who also wanted to get married despite everything. Wedding companies, studios and even the cake shop offered their services for free.
"I could feel that all the people, even strangers, were all full of good wishes. We won't give up no matter what difficulties we shall encounter in the future," Luo Jiangqian said.
Some of the 10 couples said they never dreamt they would one day have such an unforgettable wedding, but they still never stopped searching for happiness anyway.
Each couple identified a pine tree in Nanhu Park as their love witness and tied a red ribbon around it as a symbol of lasting affection.
Guan Yanfu and Tian Xiuhua had been married for 15 years when they attended the ceremony.
"I only had one bicycle to take my wife home on then because of my financial situation," said Guan. "It was my greatest wish to make a decent wedding for her one day."
"My mum looks so beautiful today," said their 14-year-old daughter, Guan Jing.
"My daughter's greeting is the best gift for us. Thanks to all the kind people, I have no regrets in my life now," Guan said.
Dong Yan, 27, and 28-year-old Li Wei were classmates at university.
"All the people that helped us have given us the support of life," said Li Wei, who has a small Internet company.
(Source: China Daily)