Chinese Wedding Rituals Help Hong Kong’s Snapshock Succeed

August 6, 2012

11:00 am

To celebrate their upcoming marriage, Chinese couples often do a pre-wedding photo shoot – different from traditional engagement pictures in the West.

“In Asia, I think it is more formal,” says Peter Choi, a Hong Kong entrepreneur. He explains that a photo package might include three sets of special clothing, like formal banquet clothing, white attire for the daytime, and black for the night.

Choi before his wedding

Following the trend of capturing special moments, Choi cofounded Snapshock to help couples in Asia collect photos from their weddings. By paying for the service, the newlyweds-to-be get a custom website – with background photos and music – that captures all the photos guests are taking at their wedding in real time, and a CD of original-size photos to take home. And couples have fallen in love with the memento: Snapshock’s beta test has over 1,000 users, with over 150 who paid almost $400 USD for a custom site.

Part of the allure is to broadcast scenes from your nuptials live, so relatives around the world can see them. “In China, people tend to [value] ‘face’: the more people that know I’m getting married, the better I will be,” says Choi.

Choi’s first glimpse into the business of weddings came through his family, who owns a dried seafood business called Hiwave. As he explains, dried seafood is traditionally given as a gift from the groom’s family to the bride’s family and is believed to have medicinal properties. He helped Hiwave get online, and then started Snapshock on his own because he loves building things.

Says Choi, “It’s a mashup between the old and the new.”

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact

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