First came white bridal gowns, with intricate veils and long flowing trains becoming a common sight at Chinese weddings. Now, more young couples are choosing another imported tradition: tying the knot in a church.
Although the Christian population is in the minority in China, churches and cathedrals nationwide have reported a boom in bookings, with some purposely courting nonbelievers by offering quasi-religious ceremonies.
"Until 2008, we weren't allowed to hold such weddings [for non-registered parishioners]," said Fan Guoxing, a pastor at Haidian Christian Church in Beijing.
"Now the rules have been relaxed, I'm officiating at about 40 a year, half of which are for nonbelievers."
Saturdays are the busiest, he said, sometimes with as many as eight ceremonies to handle.
At the other side of the country in Sichuan province, Xie Hongxia, a Catholic wedding planner for Chengdu diocese, estimated that about 90 per cent of the 70 or so weddings held annually at the city's cathedral are for non-Christian couples.
Wang Manshu and Jiang Jin were married on Feb 12 at Haidian Christian Church, which is in the capital's Zhongguancun technology area.
"We were worried our booking would be rejected, so we were really happy when we got a positive response," said Wang, 35.
"Young people like us need a special [church] ceremony. Our hearts could be purified, and it helps us find a deeper connection."
The couple spent 6,000 yuan (US$940) on their big day, which included the cost of the venue, the pastor, decorations and choral music. It would have cost even more had they not arranged their own bridal stylist, photographer and cameraman.