China is experiencing a post-boandemic wedding boom with over 400,000 couples tying the knot during the Labor Day holidays. Citing industry insiders, the state-run CCTV media reported that the Chinese wedding industry is growing by 5% every year and is expected to exceed 2 trillion yuan ($ 314 billion) by 2026.
After the coronavirus pandemic disrupted plans for over a year, Chinese couples rush to the altar as the wedding season kicks off in May. A wedding planner said business was up 200% compared to 2019. Wedding venues are also in short supply as many hotels shut down during the pandemic.
“In the off-season it is easier to make a booking. For the high season, you have to do this at least six months to a year in advance, ”said a couple of newlyweds with the surname Suen and Shen. Their wedding was postponed from February to May due to a COVID-19 outbreak and they were unable to secure a venue.
Wedding planners, moderators, photographers and makeup artists are also in great demand. Niu Xiao-yu, a Beijing-based planner, said that young people prefer weddings organized by professionals who can advise on outfits, take care of time management and all other details of the event.
Many organizers offer high salaries to recruit new talent. A wedding emcee company held 212 ceremonies on May 22nd alone, increasing the number of emcees from 150 last year to 258 this year.
Although the scale of weddings is on the decline, companies are improving their packages and services, adding to the rising cost of weddings. Market surveys found that the average spend of a new couple exceeds 220,000 yuan, 3.5 times the 2015 figure. In prime cities, 30% of newlyweds hire professional businesses.
Li Ji-yan, who oversees a match-making agency in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang, that focuses on finding men for single women, said the business grew two-thirds from the previous year. Spending increased 20%, mainly due to increased venues and banquet costs, he added. Weddings in rural areas are cheaper, costing an average of 70,000 to 80,000 yuan, while in cities it would cost around 100,000 yuan.
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