Jiang Chen (not his real name), a 26-year-old public servant, got married on April 10. It took him two and half years to prepare. The couple and their parents spent a total of 1.2 million yuan on starting a new life together, including the wedding and honeymoon trip, and buying a home, furniture and a car.
The wedding dress was the first expense. The pragmatic bride-to-be initially planned to rent a gown. But when she cheerfully tried on the rented dress at home, her mother went to the kitchen without so much as a glance at the dress and refused to come back to see how it fit.
当天晚上他们花了很长时间，在网上找到一件漂亮的，新的礼服，价钱也很合适，只有1000元 她没有告诉妈妈这是从网上买来的，并说花了5000元买的, 这让妈妈很高兴。
The bride-to-be spent a long time online that evening and found a nice, brand new wedding dress for a reasonable price - 1,000 yuan. She didn't tell her mother she bought it online and said it cost 5,000 yuan, which satisfied her mother.
江城已经结婚的朋友给他一些小建议，帮他节省了很多婚车的费用 他从天津连人带车租来一辆红色敞篷大奔。车子很体面并且价钱比北京要便宜不少 江的岳父母家给了他们一辆红色马自达作为女儿的嫁妆，所以其他婚车也都要是红色的马自达。他们从网上的一个马自达俱乐部，找到在婚礼当天有空的会员，付给每辆车几百块服务费
Jiang's already-married friends gave him some tips, which helped the young couple save a good deal of money on wedding cars. Jiang hired a driver from Tianjin with a red Mercedes convertible. The car was decent enough and the price was cheaper than those of drivers from Beijing. The following motorcade needed to all be red Mazdas, since Jiang's parents-in-law gave the couple money to buy a Mazda as a gift. They found drivers with the right cars and free time on the wedding day through a Mazda club online and paid several hundred yuan to each driver for their services.
婚礼宴会花了一大笔钱。每个人150元的接待标准，共80位宾客 他们总共收到约20,000礼金, 所以基本是收支相抵了。新娘记下每个人的礼金数，并告诉江城: 当他们有什么要庆祝的时候，我们需要如数送回去。
The wedding reception cost a fortune. They spent 150 yuan for each person and had about 80 guests. The total gift-money they received was less than 20,000 yuan, so not much of it was left after deducting the lunch expenses. The bride recorded everyone's contribution and told Jiang: "We need to give the money back when they have something to celebrate."
Here are Jiang's own words about how he got a home, car and diamond ring for his wife:
Buying and decorating a house has been the biggest task for me during the past two years. Many people said my father was silly to buy a house at that time.
"It is not the first time I have been silly. To marry a girl, to have a son, to help get a wife for the son - I have been silly for my whole life," said my father.
My father says I am totally dependent on him and my mother, which is true. I don't want to depend on them, but I cannot afford a house by myself. If I had not bought a house, I could not have gotten married. Many women have "owning a home" as their top requirement for prospective husbands.
You may have to live on the far outskirts of Beijing and you may have to struggle to pay the mortgage for a long time, but you must own a home.
'你的房子和结婚大事已经花完我所有的积蓄，该为你做的，我都做了, 别再来问我要钱了', 我爸这样告诉我, '如果你没能力抚养一个孩子，就暂时不要，并且你要记住，以后等你做了爸爸后，你或许也要给你的儿子买房子'
I am lucky that my parents bought me a two-bedroom apartment in Daxing district. My father paid the full price and the property rights belong to me.
"Your apartment and your wedding have cost me all my savings. I am done buying things for you - do not come to me again for money," my father said. "If you cannot afford a kid, do not have one, keeping in mind that you will probably need to buy a house for your child when you are old."
I kept silent when my father told me this. What could I say? With a 3,450 yuan monthly salary, I cannot even afford a doghouse in Beijing.
I used to tell my parents I would just remain single so they wouldn't need to spend any money helping me, but my father said I was his only son and that he would do whatever he could for me.
"Your mother and I will be happy if you are settled," he said.
I had a little savings, just enough to decorate my apartment in a simple style. The furniture was from Ikea and my wife bought appliances online or at outdoor markets. But it is nice to have our own apartment and the price of my home has doubled in only two years.
我从没想过她家会送一辆多好的车，比如宝马或是沃尔沃什么的。 如果我老婆家能买这样的车子，大概我也不需要花我父母的钱买房子了。 所以当她家送了马自达的时候，我的确有些吃惊。
These days if the groom's family contributes a house, the bride's family often contributes at least a car to the marriage. The affordable homes are usually far from the city center and it usually takes more than three hours to commute, often longer if there's a traffic jam, which there frequently is in Beijing.
我知道我不能再要求她或者她家什么了。 她小的时候，她妈给她找了继父。 她妈妈很久以前就失业了，总觉得亏欠现在的丈夫。 还好她的继父是个很好的人。
I never expected a fancy car such as a BMW or a Volvo from my wife's family. If I had found a wife from a family able to buy such cars I wouldn't have needed to use my parents' money to buy a home. So I was somewhat surprised when my wife's family gave us money to buy a nice Mazda.
我不能再要什么了, 已经把他们的女儿娶来作为我妻。 她妈挣钱很少，按道理她的继父也没有义务出钱帮我们结婚。
I feel I cannot demand too much from my wife or her family. She has had a stepfather since she was young. Her mother lost her job a long time ago and has always felt that she is indebted to her current husband. Fortunately the stepfather is a kind man.
But I cannot ask for more. I've already got their daughter as my wife. Her mother doesn't earn much and, by tradition, her stepfather shouldn't have felt any obligation to help us financially when we got married.
但岳母还是给了我们200,000元买车。 当我知道有一部分钱是她继父拿出来的时候，我相当感动。岳母和她继父说到我们的'结婚大事'，提到(买车的)钱还没有全部到位。 她继父听说她妈打算全部用自己的积蓄的时候，有点儿不高兴，最后这20万出自岳母，以及岳母和她继父的共同存款。
I told my wife not to ask for anything from her family for our marriage. She agreed and asked me to do the same with my family. A car is only a means of transportation and doesn't need to be expensive, I told her.
But my wife's mother gave us 200,000 yuan to buy a car. I felt quite touched when I learned her stepfather contributed to the amount. My mother-in-law talked to him about this "big thing of marriage", saying things aren't falling into place financially. The stepfather was a bit upset when he heard my mother-in-law's plan to use her own savings, so in the end the 200,000 yuan came from my mother-in-law's own savings and my mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law's joint savings.
So we had a car for our marriage, although my mother-in-law said she wouldn't pay for any other extra expenses that come with the car.
My fiance once asked me to watch the movie Lust, Caution, but going to the cinema costs at least 300 yuan, so I convinced her that we should just stay home and watch the DVD. She rewound and rewatched the part where the hero purchases a big diamond ring for the heroine.
但是最终我还是买给她一个钻戒。 我们花了6000元买了一个打折的白金戒指，镶有小宝石的那种。 (没想到)这么容易就让她很满意。 内疚的我让她回去问她妈妈这个戒指是否合适。
I promised her I would buy one for her. I said I couldn't afford a ring like the one in the movie since I'm only at the lower end of the working class.
她妈妈的建议很中肯，但于我确是坏消息...她建议把上面的小宝石换成1克拉一个的那种, 更有投资价值。 于是她打算花40,000元自己的积蓄去换，但那样我会感到羞愧的，怎能让我的妻子花自己的钱买钻戒。
But eventually I went shopping with her for a diamond ring. We spent 6,000 yuan on a discounted white gold ring decorated with little diamonds. She was satisfied, almost too easily. So I felt a little guilty and told her to ask her mother whether the ring was suitable.
我们选了一款便宜的，设计简单的宝石，我从家里又借了50,000元。 我的老婆真是太好了，我给他买了这个戒指后，她坚持她要付钱负责装修。 原来我是不让她花钱的，但是最后还是花了她一些钱。 我再不能向我的家人，她的家人和她，开口要什么了。
Her mother's advice was sincere, but bad for me. She suggested replacing the small diamonds with a big one-carat one, something more valuable for investment. My wife was going to spend 40,000 yuan of her savings on it. But I would have been ashamed to let my wife buy her own diamond ring.
2010-06-02 14:08 编辑：kuaileyingyu
Beijing and Mexico City have the worst traffic jams in the world, as record traffic levels take their toll on people's health, productivity and social life, a study said Wednesday.
Beijing's traffic may now be the worst in the world, but natives have long known the capital's streets aren't as hard to navigate as its housing. A study recently released by Beij