Thanks to a swelling and affluent middle class that's looking for love — the Chinese are spending as lavishly as they can on marriage trappings.

STROLL AROUND a street corner in big Chinese cities and you may run into a marriage.

With an estimated 10 million marriages performed each year in China, it’s not surprising that visitors could come across a happy bride and groom like this couple, posing for photos on a Shanghai street.

A woman with a pretty-in-pink dog trailing her just scoots on past. Maybe she’s seen it all before.

Marriage is a massive business in China, thanks to a swelling and affluent middle class that’s looking for love — and spending as lavishly as they can on marriage trappings. Traditional parental matchmaking has declined amid China’s sweeping social changes. Nowadays want-to-be-married men and women look for each other online; the really rich use the services of “love hunters” who search in person for the right match. No matter the method, hope, and love, spring eternal.

Kristin R. Jackson is The Seattle Times’ NWTraveler editor. Contact her at kjackson@seattletimes.com.