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Wedding Supplement: Wedding Reunions at the Waldorf Astoria

Located in one of the oldest buildings on the Bund, The Waldorf Astoria has quite the romantic history. In January, The Waldorf invited couples back to the locales where they were married decades ago to celebrate the building’s storied past. With four family members holding their wedding ceremonies in what is now The Long Bar from 1973 to 1982, the Qin family was overjoyed to return to the site where so many of their relatives had exchanged vows. Mr Qin, who at 56 was the last member of the family to marry in the erstwhile Oriental Hotel, spoke for the entire clan.

When did the Qin family wedding ceremonies take place?

My uncle was married here in 1973, my older brother in 1974, my aunt in 1978, then I married my wife in 1982. We were all married in The Long Bar, but back then it was the Oriental Hotel. During those days in Shanghai, most of the hotels weren’t open for society events. The Oriental Hotel was one of the best in town that hosted weddings.

What has changed about the location since your wedding?

There was no entrance from the Bund. Guests had to enter from where the new tower is in the back. I remember coming back to the exact spot we were married in Oriental Hotel a few years after my wedding with my wife and daughter, but this time we came to sample Western food from the first KFC in Shanghai. We waited in line for two hours! Now, the former KFC has become The Long Bar, which was perfectly restored – it looks exactly the same as it did at our wedding.

What was your wedding like?

At my uncle’s wedding, they wore traditional Mao suits, but by the time my wife and I married, we were wearing the Western-style suits that were en vogue at that time. We were only allowed to have three tables of ten people each, and each table only cost RMB 25 in 1973. The price rose to RMB 56 per table by 1982, which included eight cold dishes, eight hot dishes, two desserts and one soup. We had to choose between orange juice and beer.

Will any members carry on the Qin tradition and host their weddings at the Waldorf?

My daughter is going to be married soon, and it would be nice if she chose the Waldorf, but she can pick wherever she wants to get married.

All of the couples who were married here are still together. What is the secret to a long marriage?

Respect for each other is the most important thing.


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