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Authentication of Marriage Certificate (Beijing)

Hey good people
I am facing a situation after we relocated to Dalian (Liaoning Province) from Beijing where we lived for 3 years. Apparently all our residency documents have to be done anew, irrespective coming from Beijing or overseas. I stopped long time ago trying to understand the logic of such procedure.
The dilemma we are facing is that they require the ORIGINAL marriage certificate to be translated and certified. The strange thing is that my wife carries my family name as well as an American passport showing my last name too. We do not carry the marriage certificate with us; it is back in the States.
Has anyone encountered such demand in the past? Does the certification (translated too in Chinese), had to be done at a Chinese embassy abroad or at the American embassy in China?
Any feedback ladies & gentlemen would be greatly appreciated as considering returning to the States would be not only costly but very much inconvenient.
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