Why Is Getting Married at McDonald's So Popular in China?

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It seems like everyone I know has gotten married in the last five years or so. And each wedding I went to was more lavish than the next. The average wedding costs over $20,000 in the US, but all of the ones I went to were a lot more expensive than that. (Note: It's good etiquette to ask the bride or groom how much their wedding costs. That way you know what kind of gift to give).
 
In Hong Kong things seem to be a little different. You see, now you can get married in one of over 15 McDonald's locations in Hong Kong. It's a real thing, not just a stunt someone pulled for attention. They've got a logo: 

 
They've got a Website. And on that Website is great stuff like this: 

"Thinking about throwing a really special party for your wedding, engagement, anniversary or bridal shower? Think McDonald's®." 

Yes, think McDonald's for your wedding. For one thing, it's cheap. Packages start at $373 but go up to $9,999. So even if you go all out, you're still spending less than the cost of a new Kia. 

So what's different about McDonald's in Hong Kong and here in the states? They have some weird food options, like this thing: 

I'm lovin' . .. wait, why is it purple? 

But otherwise it's still a cheap fast food joint with the same basic restaurant design that we all know and love (?). According to this dissertation: 

"When the company opened in Hong Kong in 1975, it was the first restaurant to consistently offer clean restrooms which drove customers to demand the same of other restaurants and institutions and made McDonald's restaurant of choice."  

When I think of McDonald's, I don't think "cleanest restrooms in town," so either the ones in Hong Kong are better maintained or the competition in Hong Kong is just dirtier. At any rate, Hong Kong didn't get their first McDonald's until 1975. By then it was a worldwide brand. So, instead of trying to translate their offerings (like their sign) for the people of Hong Kong, they marketed it as a taste of American popular life. 

According to this blog, here was the thinking behind it: 

"[The] idea was to attract locals by using the same business model used in the United States, hoping to draw people looking for a taste of America."
 
 
That's a lot of signs. 

Long story short, they don't look at Mcdonald's the same way we do. It's not the generic fast food place on every corner, it's the cool "American" place with the cleanest bathrooms in town. 

But there is one thing we have in common with Hong Kong: expensive weddings. The average cost of a wedding in Hong Kong is about $18,000 USD, almost on par with us. So a bargain wedding for under 10 grand is already an attractive proposition. 

People in Hong Kong actually like McDonald's and don't just go there because they have to eat (like we do). It starts to make more sense. These guys look happy:  

My Dress Cost More Than My Wedding

So chalk it up to cost, convenience, and cultural differences. I don't think I would get married at McDonald's, but that's just me. Maybe Jack in the Box.
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