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Tying the Knot More Expensive in HK

Hong Kong's matrimonial services market grew by HK$1.4 billion in the past two years, with couples spending more on weddings, says a new survey.  

The average amount the 1,461 people who were interviewed would spend on their wedding this year or next is HK$149,700.


"Immigration Department figures show 41,377 couples registered to get married last year. And if each couple spent an average of HK$149,700 on their wedding, the total amount would be HK$6.2 billion," said Alan Cheung, General Manager of Marketing at ESDlife, which conducted the survey with City University of Hong Kong. Cheung said 32,070 couples got married in 2002.


About 94 percent of the respondents plan to have a banquet that would encourage more competition between hotels and restaurants.


Almost 48 percent prefer to have a traditional reception in a Chinese restaurant and 41 percent have chosen luxury hotels, with the average number of dinner tables being 20.


Based on average market price of about HK$4,000 a table in a Chinese restaurant and HK$5,500 in a luxury hotel, the total expenses for a banquet is estimated to be HK$3.4 billion a year, according to the survey.


Competition in wedding photo-services too is becoming fierce, with 32 percent of those interviewed admitting that they'd consider having their wedding photographs taken outside Hong Kong.


Their favorite destinations are neighboring Taiwan and the mainland, suggesting an increase in competition for local bridal salons that recently began offering outdoor photo-services.


About 53 percent of the interviewees said they planned to have wedding insurance for their "other half" and about 66 percent would consider buying their own house after they D-Day.


"These findings show that couples about to wed are pragmatic about their future and understand the importance of financial planning," said Alan Tsang, Director of AMTD Financial Planning Ltd.


Results of the study indicate the Internet was fast becoming a popular channel for couples to source wedding information, with 60 percent of the respondents obtaining wedding information online. This is much higher than other channels such as shops and malls, which account for 44 percent, and wedding magazines, 44 percent.


(China Daily HK Edition May 25, 2005)

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