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.

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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.

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

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