Wed­ding spend­ing on the rise

The Phnom Penh Post - - BUSINESS - Zheng Yi­ran

CHINA’S wed­ding in­dus­try, which stood at 1.46 trillion yuan ($210 bil­lion) last year, is es­ti­mated to surge 24.66 per cent year-on-year to reach 1.82 trillion yuan this year, and to sur­pass three trillion yuan by 2021, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by mar­ket re­search com­pany ASKCI Con­sult­ing.

The growth comes de­spite fewer peo­ple get­ting mar­ried. Sta­tis­tics from the Min­istry of Civil Af­fairs showed that last year 10.59 mil­lion cou­ples reg­is­tered their mar­riage in China, down roughly seven per cent from 2016.

That marks four years of con­sec­u­tive de­clines.

But as the post-1990s gen­er­a­tion be­comes the back­bone in the in­dustr y, their higher con­sump­tion de­mands are driving them to spend more on their wed­ding. As such, the to­tal con­sump­tion amount re­mains strong, in­dustr y in­sid­ers said.

“Although the de­mo­graphic div­i­dend is dis­ap­pear­ing, the mar­ket po­ten­tial is still huge as the na­tion pos­sesses a huge pop­u­la­tion base,” the ASKCI Con­sult­ing re­port said. “In ad­di­tion, wed­ding in­dus­try de­mand re­mains at a high level. The in­crease in the amount per deal brings new im­pe­tus for the wed­ding in­dustr y.”

Specif­i­cally, the in­dus­try is un­der­go­ing a tran­si­tion to­ward a more frag­mented model, cov­er­ing wed­ding photography, hon­ey­moon tourism, wed­ding plan­ning, ban­quets and car rental, with each field stim­u­lat­ing con­sump­tion.

Jiang Xin, a 26-year-old of­fice clerk in Beijing, held her wed­ding cer­e­mony a few months ago, with a to­tal cost of roughly 100,000 yuan. Jiang and her hus­band trav­elled to In­done­sia to shoot their wed­ding pho­tos. The four-day trip cost them 25,000 yuan.

“I think the price was fairly rea­son­able,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Jiang, apart from the wed­ding cer­e­mony and wed­ding pho­tos, they also spent 170,000 yuan on their wed­ding car.

“Most of the spend­ing was covered by our par­ents, and we were re­spon­si­ble for a small part. As both of us are the only child in the fam­ily, our par­ents want to give us the best wed­ding. Af­ter all, we only get mar­ried once,” Jiang said.

A 2017 re­port by on­line wed­ding ser­vice provider Hun­liji re­vealed that 42 per cent of newly mar­ried cou­ples spend 50,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan on their wed­ding, while 23 per cent and 15 per cent spend 100,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan and 20,000 yuan to 50,000 yuan, re­spec­tively. The re­main­ing five per cent spend over 300,000 yuan.

In terms of re­gions, new­ly­weds in Beijing take first place for wed­ding costs, com­ing in at 280,000 yuan on av­er­age. New­ly­weds in Shang­hai ranked sec­ond, spend­ing 250,000 yuan on av­er­age, which is three times higher than the na­tional av­er­age, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Wed­ding costs have been ris­ing con­tin­u­ously in re­cent years. Last year alone wit­nessed a five per cent in­crease, the re­port showed. Among the costs, wed­ding cer­e­monies proved to be the most costly, tak­ing up 40 per cent of the to­tal spend­ing.

An av­er­age of 21.5 tables was set for the wed­ding ban­quet. Wed­dings in Wen­zhou in East China’s Zhe­jiang prov­ince ranked first with 52 tables, the re­port said.

For the din­ing cost per ta­ble, the av­er­age level was 3,385 yuan na­tion- wide, although the amount var­ied in dif­fer­ent cities. Shang­hai took first place with an av­er­age price of 7,596 yuan per ta­ble, and Wen­zhou and Beijing ranked sec­ond and third with av­er­age prices of 6,963 yuan and 6,542 yuan re­spec­tively.

The av­er­age cost per ta­ble in first-tier cities surged by 12.6 per cent com­pared to that of 2016, the Hun­liji re­port said.

Apart from the wed­ding cer­e­mony, wed­ding jew­eller y, plan­ning and photography, which are usu­ally a must for mod­ern cou­ples, a lso cost con­sid­er­able sums.

Dur­ing the 2018 Wed­ding In­dus­try Fo­rum of China held in Suzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince in Au­gust, China As­so­ci­a­tion of So­cial Work­ers’ Com­mit­tee of Wed­ding Ser­vice In­dus­tries sec­re­tary­gen­eral Shi Kangn­ing said: “About four to five years ago, we found that the con­ven­tional wed­ding ser­vice model had taken a hit as a re­sult of many fac­tors, such as the in­ter­net, ho­tels, per­sonal stu­dios, cap­i­tal and the changes in taste among post-1990s cou­ples.”

“Mar­ket com­pe­ti­tion is fierce. In the past decade, as the de­mo­graphic div­i­dend has dis­ap­peared, nu­mer­ous wed­ding com­pa­nies went bank­rupt,” Shi said.

How­ever, the wed­ding in­dustr y re­cov­ered from re­ces­sion from last year, he said.

“Wed­ding ser­vice agen­cies be­gan to ad­just their strate­gies and tac­tics in prod­uct de­sign, op­er­a­tion model, team build­ing and mar­ket­ing, etc,” Shi said. “In 2017, we were de­lighted to see that many tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tions that once faced cri­sis be­gan to roar back in the tran­si­tion. The in­dus­try po­ten­tial re­mains huge,” he said.

CHEN XIAOGEN/CHINA DAILY

Wed­ding cars for hire are dis­played at the China Wed­ding Expo 2017 in Beijing.

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