ESDlife Announces 2023 Hong Kong Wedding Spending Survey Results

by pr
Nov , 27 2023
ESDlife Announces 2023 Hong Kong Wedding Spending Survey Results
  • Average wedding expenses rise by 9% and surpass 400K to HK$419,751
  • Numbers of marriages and wedding banquets gradually revive to pre-pandemic levels under post-pandemic normalcy
  • Cash Gift remains unchanged for 4 consecutive years
  • Betrothal Money hits a record high at HK$68,888

ESDlife, Hong Kong’s No.1 wedding media, announces the results of Hong Kong Wedding Spending Survey 2023. This year, the online survey was carried out on 1,033 individuals who are getting married between 2023 and 2025, to understand wedding couples’ average expenditures and their wedding spending behavior.

Total wedding expenditure surpass 400k with an average increase of 9% to $419,751
According to ESDlife’s Hong Kong Wedding Spending Survey 2023, rebound on the average wedding expenditure continues for another year, posting 9% YoY growth to HK$419,751 surpassing the 400k mark for the first time. (See Appendix 1) The figure underlines the normalcy of hosting a hassle-free wedding from 2023 onwards upon the lifting of many restrictions such as maximum number of persons for banquets, Vaccine Pass, mask-wearing requirement and travel restrictions.

Comprehensive wedding expenditure surge with double-digit growth in Wedding Banquet
Wedding Banquet still holds the highest share among wedding expenses. A jump by 15% to HK$170,886 reflects the wedding banquet plan has gradually resume to pre-pandemic levels without restriction or constraint. It was followed by Rings and Other Jewelries with an average spending increase of 5% to HK$114,257, showing the willingness to spend on commemorative and value-preserving wedding jewelry and rings among wedding couples. In addition, lifting of travel restrictions favour to the spending on Honeymoon, resulting an increase by 4% to HK$47,930. Spending on Wedding Photography also rose by 8% to HK$27,456. The top four spendings together translate into 86% of the total wedding expenditure. (See Appendix 2)

Total value of wedding consumption market boosts over 50% and exceeds pre-pandemic levels
Subject to the number of marriages registered throughout the first three quarters of 2023, estimated total marriage of 2023 is approximately 42,247. This reflects a 41% increase from the 29,983 marriages recorded in 2022, although still slightly below pre-pandemic levels. Based on the 42,247 marriages estimate and average expenditure in all wedding items, our valuation of Hong Kong wedding consumption market reaches HK16.14 billion in 2023, representing a 58% YoY growth and 6% growth from pre-pandemic period. Among all, the total market value of Wedding Banquet, the highest share of wedding expenditure, posts an estimated 67% YoY surge to HK$6.35 billion, followed by an estimated 49% YoY growth in Rings and Other Jewelries to HK$4.65 billion, an estimated 55% YoY growth in Honeymoon to HK1.85 billion, and an estimated 53% growth in Wedding Photography to HK$1.1 billion. Thanks to remarkable growth in other wedding expenses, overall wedding consumption market valuation rockets by 58% to HK$16.14 million from previous year and exceeds the valuation in 2019, suggesting a gradual wedding market recovery to pre-pandemic levels. (See Appendix 4) It is worth noting that by factoring 2023 as a year of double springs and a leap month, along with the rigid wedding market demand in post-pandemic period, there would be an adjustment in the number of marriages in 2024 – a year with no spring.

Full lifting of anti-pandemic measures ends 4-year average wedding banquet table drop and rebounds to 19
With maximum number of persons for banquets has been lifted since the end of December 2022, it eases the concerns on the tightening of measures or potential suspension of reserved wedding banquet among couples. Since considerations like guest vaccination status and Vaccine Pass eligibility have become the past, average wedding banquet table bounced back to pre-pandemic levels from 16 tables in 2022 to 19 tables in 2023. Table distribution changed from 8 tables each for family and friends of bridegroom and bride in 2022 to 10 tables and 9 tables respectively in 2023.

Wedding dinner is still the conventional choice and preferred to be hosted in hotels
The survey revealed that wedding dinner is still the conventional choice as 51% of wedding couples opted for dinner this year, a rebound from 47% in 2022. In the same period, number of couples wedding lunch slightly dropped from 33% in 2022 to 32% in 2023, while couples hosting both wedding lunch and dinner maintain the same level at 5%. Another finding is the increasing popularity of hotels as wedding banquet venue with a gradual increase from 54% in 2022 to 55% in 2023. Wedding banquets held at Chinses restaurants, however, slightly reduced from 26% to 25%. (See Appendix 5)

Betrothal Money median post 3 consecutive rises to HK$68,888
A perennial financial challenge for wedding couples, the amount of Betrothal Money somehow dictates the level of wedding expenses. With strong consideration of auspicious meaning and pleasing parents-in-law, Betrothal Money median moderately increased from HK$68,000 in 2022 to HK$68,888 in 2023, highlighting the best wishes of “smoothness” and “prosperity” without adding financial burden on the newlyweds. The amount represents an increase for three consecutive years from HK$50,000 in 2020. (See Appendix 6)

No change in cash gift for 4 years, but parents share less contribution from the couple
Although expenditures on wedding banquet and Betrothal Money are on the rise in 2023, Cash Gift median does not follow the growth trend. Cash Gift median for wedding banquet at Premium and Standard Hotels stayed flat at HK$1,500 and HK$1,000 respectively; HK$1,000 remained the benchmark median for attending wedding banquet at Clubhouse and Special Wedding Venue; for wedding banquet at Chinese Restaurant, Wedding Lunch, Western Restaurant and Wedding Cocktail, the Cash Gift median steadily stood at HK$800. For guests who are “only being invited to attend a wedding ceremony at the marriage registry/ church”, or wedding couples who “only send bakery voucher, no invitation to the wedding ceremony/ wedding banquet” to family and friends, respective Cash Gift median were on par at HK$500 and HK$300 respectively. In short, there is zero increase in Cash Gift for wedding banquet at Hotel, Chinese Restaurants, Clubhouse, Special Wedding Venues, Wedding Lunch and Western Restaurant since 2020. (See Appendix 7)

In terms of Cash Gift distribution, the couple kept 74% and only shared 26% with their parents in 2023, a decrease from 31% in 2022. (See Appendix 8). As the growth of wedding expenditure and Betrothal Money is outpacing Cash Gift, there is a downward trend on the sharing of Cash Gift with parents of the couple. There is always a close relationship between wedding banquet expenses, Cash Gift proceeds and its allocation. Allocation of the so-called “wedding subsidy” varies – subject to whom to pay for the banquet, the source and use of Cash Gift – it is especially essential for couples to communicate and reach a consensus with their parents to avoid potential conflicts.