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Wedding jitters that will linger
Yang Huiwen
Sat, May 24, 2008
The Straits Times
IT WAS meant to be a portrait of marital bliss, but a photo shoot for five couples on the day the earthquake struck has now become an eerie record of one of China's deadliest natural disasters.

On May 12, in Bailu town, photographer Wang Qiang had just snapped the happy couple in one pose when the ground started shaking.

His snaps and those of other photographers show young women in wedding dresses, dusty and shaken, with the ruins of the deadly quake around them.

The 100-year-old Church of the Annunciation outside the city of Pengzhou has been a popular spot for wedding photos in recent years. It is now in tatters.

'The building collapsed within 10 seconds,' said Mr Wang, who lives in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.

His photo shows a half-cracked, half-shattered facade with its ruins spilling from the front door. Clouds of dust from the 8.0-magnitude earthquake float in the air.

'When the dust had settled, everyone stood up and realised we were all safe,' Mr Wang said, recalling that day.

His photos show them looking in disbelief, covering their mouths, wiping dust from their hair.

In another shot, another bride-to-be is shown pulling up her dress, revealing sneakers.

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