IT’S safe to say that couples place a great deal of importance on their wedding photos. Some want the ocean and beach as a backdrop while others prefer lush vegetation in the background.
But an increasing number of couples are looking for something different and more nostalgic. Hangzhou’s creative parks offer interesting backdrops as most of the old buildings have been renovated from workshops, cotton mills, printing houses, or warehouses.
Take a look at the following suggestions for locations that will lead to some wonderful and meaningful wedding photos. For the traditionalists, there are also some suggestions featuring beautiful Hangzhou scenery.
Since the road is dotted with the former residences of famous people, newlyweds often pick it as a backdrop for “antique” wedding photos. The road faces picturesque West Lake and circles the north side of Baoshi Hill. It’s considered the city’s hottest location for wedding photos.
The most popular buildings for newlyweds are Baoqing Villa, Qiushui Villa and West Lake Expo Museum.
Baoqing Villa is considered by many the most beautiful building on Beishan Road. In the early 1900s, the villa was a hangout for socialites, politicians and scholars. It features baroque architecture with square columns, arched doors and windows, and red brickwork.
Qiushui Villa shares the same architectural style as Baoqing Villa and also makes a worthy backdrop for couples seeking interesting wedding pictures. Built by Shi Liangcai (1880-1934), who owned Shen Pao newspaper in Shanghai, the villa was dedicated and named after his second wife, Shen Qiushui. Today the villa is Xinxin Hotel.
West Lake Expo Museum is another nice spot. Although the interior features a modern exhibition space, the exterior retains its original style from the 1920s.
Bamboo Path at Yunqi
The Bamboo Path is on Wuyun Hill in Yunqi Village. Both sides of the trail are flanked by tall bamboo, providing a wonderful natural setting for photography.
The name of the trail originated from a legend that said colored clouds flew from nearby Wuyun Hill and lingered here, which is supposedly lucky for couples.
The path is well known for being quiet year around, suitable for brides and grooms who prefer more privacy. Meanwhile, historic pavilions and steles along the path also give wedding photos an old ambience.
Named after its factory and the street number, Silian 166 was once the site of renowned Hangzhou Silk Printing and Dyeing United Factory, the first silk factory to use machines for mass production after the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
The best area for wedding photos is the old workshop designed by former Soviet Union experts and supervised by German architects.
Part of the factory is still open, but 6,600 square meters of space is now devoted to the Silian 166 creative industry zone, containing visual design and artwork auction companies, along with art galleries.
Metoo cafe, run by a group of designers, hosts many photo shoots for fashion brands.
French-style cafe Chez Marie has three-story ceilings and caters small weddings, providing homemade food without additives.
Address: 166 Lishui Rd
Nine Creeks and Eighteen Gullies
Another spot fit for wedding photos is Nine Creeks and Eighteen Gullies, which is considered by some as one of West Lake’s most beautiful attractions.
Tea terraces, folk houses, streams and lush vegetation provide a nice backdrop for photos.
Nine Creeks and Eighteen Gullies is larger compared to other attractions and the scenery differs depending on the angles chosen by the photographer, offering abundant opportunities to create romantic scenarios.
This scenic spot is also connected with Longjing Village. After taking photos, newlyweds can stop here for a well-deserved cup of tea.
Built in the 1950s as a chemical plant, Loft 49 has a unique wave shaped roof that was ahead of its time. Today the zone hosts a group of creative firms in design, advertising, architecture and fashion. It’s also increasingly common to see people take wedding photos here.
The creative park was founded in 2003. The building is designated a municipal historical building under protection as the rusty factory gates, pitted concert pavement and even slogans on the walls have been retained.
Doodles, posters of exhibitions being held in the park and even the work of local design firms hung on the walls, creating many good angles to take wedding pictures.
Address: 49 Hangyin Rd
Phoenix Creative International Park
A large lawn, check. A clean creek, check. Old workshops, check. Rusty steel stairs, check. Phoenix Creative International Park in south Hangzhou was the former location of Shuangliu Concrete Factory. Huge chimneys, rusty steel stairs and all kinds of obsolete factory equipment remain in the park. The former workshops have been converted into offices and art exhibition spaces. The park provides a vintage vibe to wedding pictures.
Well-known designer He Jianping owns a studio and a cafe in the park. The cafe provides cheap and good food with enough space to take a break during the photo shoot.
Address: 1 Chuangyi Rd
Zhijiang campus of Zhejiang University
This Zhejiang University campus stands out among the city’s universities due to its distinctive buildings and great academic ambience. Settled along the Qiantang River and close to Liuhe Pagoda, the campus is on a hill and covered with lush vegetation.
It was originally built in 1897 and boasts elegant buildings and beautiful surroundings.
Today, the university’s library and Severance Hall are frequently used as backdrops for wedding photos.
The campus also provides an old-fashioned look for photographers as the vintage interior features white walls and ceilings, russet floors and stairs, as well as olden lamps. In addition, a 74-year-old bell tower and Gothic chapel also offer exotic background scenery.