ESDlife Announces 2018 Hong Kong Wedding Survey Results
- Total Wedding Spending Rebounds in Two Consecutive Years
- Average Spending Reaches HK$360,577 and 70% Newlyweds have Overspent
- No Bigger Gifts from Wedding Guests but Betrothal Money Rises 25%
【Hong Kong – 12 November 2018】 ESDlife, Hong Kong’s No.1 wedding media, is hosting the Bridal Award Ceremony 2018 today in recognition of high quality wedding service providers and brands in Hong Kong. During the event, ESDlife also announces the results of Hong Kong Wedding Survey 2018 This year, the online survey was carried out from 1,116 individuals who are getting married between 2018 and 2020, to understand wedding couples’ average expenditures and their wedding spending behavior.
Wedding Couples’ Spending Increases by 9% To Reach HK$360,577
As compared to last year’s figures, ESDlife’s Hong Kong Wedding Survey 2018 indicates a 9% increase in average wedding expenditure, reaching a new record high of HK$360,577. This nearly 10% growth in two consecutive years suggests that wedding couples are still willing to spend on wedding. Apart from the minor decrease in wedding spending triggered by the economic downturn in 2016, the overall wedding expenditure has been growing annually for the past 5 years. (see Appendix – Figure 1)
An Estimated Total Wedding Market Expenditure of HK$18.7 Billion – Increases HK$1.6 Billion
According to Hong Kong Statistics and Census Department, there were a total of 51,817 pairs of newlyweds last year. Based on this data, the total amount of wedding expenditure in 2018 is estimated to be HK$18.7 billion. While the majority of expenses on wedding items showed an increase in figures, Wedding Banquet still ranks top among all wedding expenditures, with an average expense of HK$178,368 per couple, and the total market consumption is estimated up to HK$9.2 billion, achieving a growth of 5%. Followed by Rings and other Jewelry, with a drastic 18% increase in average spending to HK$68,811 and an estimated total market consumption of HK$3.6 billion. In addition, Honeymoon (average spending of HK$40,275) and Pre-wedding Photography (average spending of HK$25,491) comes third and fourth and the estimated total market consumptions are HK$2.1 billion and HK$1.3 billion respectively. The top four spending items compose 87% of the total expenditure of a wedding couple. (See Appendix – Figure 2 and 3)
Increasing Spending on Rings and Jewelry to Commemorate Big Day
Among the top four wedding expenditures, spending on Rings and other Jewelry has increased by 18% when comparing to last year, becomes the largest increment of the expenditure items. Spending on wedding bands has a significant raise of 25%. With more options in the market allowing weds-to-be to design and create their very own wedding bands to make them unique, wedding couples are more willing to spend on this personalized and commemorative item.
Betrothal Money Reaching a New Record High of HK$50,000
Research results show that the median value of wedding betrothal money has increased from HK$39,999 to HK$50,000 this year, surges by 25%. It can be seen that newlyweds and their parents place high importance on the symbolic meaning of Chinese cultures behind betrothal money values. The number HK$39,999 symbolizing ‘forever’ has been adjusted upward straight to HK$50,000, avoiding the unlucky number ‘4’ which sounds similar to ‘death’ in Chinese.
No Increment on Wedding Cash Gifts – The First Time in Five Year
Although the wedding couples’ overall expenditure rebounds for two consecutive years, the Hong Kong Wedding Survey however reflects that wedding guests are unwilling to give more wedding cash gifts to couples. The cash gifts amount for both Hotel (HK$1,200 for quality hotel & HK$1,000 for standard hotel) and Restaurant remain unchanged (HK$800), as well as the gifts amount for Lunch Banquet and Cocktail Party at HK$600 and HK$500 respectively. This year, ‘Special Wedding Venue’ and ‘Clubhouse’ have been added to the survey content. It shows that the average amount of cash gifts for these venues is at HK$800 and HK$1,000 respectively. (See Appendix – Figure 4)
The survey also discovers that newlyweds will only keep 67% of the wedding cash gifts from their guests, while the rest will be given to their parents with the proportion rising from 26% last year to 33% this year (see Appendix – Figure 5). It further increases the financial pressure of the couples with the increasing wedding expenses, betrothal money, and more cash gifts to parents, while the cash gifts which is regarded as ‘subsidy’ remain unchanged.
Average Spending of HK$134,897 on Overseas Wedding
In recent years, many Hong Kong newlyweds love to have an overseas wedding. Research shows that approximately 10% of newlyweds would choose to have overseas weddings, whereby the overall expenditure has increased by 24% as compared to 2016, reaching an average of HK$134,897. As a result, the estimated total market expenditure for overseas wedding is about HK$690 million. According to the research findings, the most popular overseas wedding destination is still Okinawa (30%), followed by other areas in Japan (16%) and Europe (13%).
Nearly 70% Couples Travel Less to Save Up for Wedding
The survey found that 70% of couples overspent their wedding budget, of which 62% of them spent 11%-30% more than they expected; 17% of them overspent 31%-50%; and 10% of them even spent 50% more than they previously imagine. The top 3 overspending items are ‘Wedding Banquets’, ‘Pre-wedding Photography’ and ‘Wedding Gowns and Tuxedo’. The survey shows that the wedding couples believe that the 5 most effective ways to save money are to ‘lower the shopping expenses’(70%), ‘travel less’(68%), ‘reduce entertainment expenses’(63%), ‘reduce dating expenses’ (58%) and ‘bring lunch to work’ (53%). Some of the wedding couples will try to increase their income by ‘taking part-time/freelance jobs’ (28%) and ‘increase investment’ (28%); and even ‘cut the monthly allowance/ contributions to parents’ (14%) and ‘stop their continuing study plan’ (14%). It shows that wedding couples give up quite a lot to make their wedding happens. (See Appendix – Figure 6)
Over 70% Wedding Couples Insist to Get Married on ‘Auspicious Days’
This year’s survey explored that 72% of the wedding couples need their wedding to be hosted on an ‘auspicious day’, while only 28% of them will consider hosting their wedding on a ‘non-auspicious day’. It reflects most of the wedding couples prefer to follow the traditional Chinese culture when selecting their wedding date, because 68% of couples want to fulfill the request by their parents, and 65% respect traditional Chinese culture and believe their wedding would sail smoothly and so as their marriage if they get married on an auspicious day.
Figure 1：Past 5 Year Trend Of Average Wedding Expenditure
Figure 2：Comparison of Wedding Items Expenditure in 2018 and 2017
Figure 3: Estimated Total Market Spending on Wedding Items in 2018
Figure 4： Hong Kong Wedding Cash Gifts Guideline (Median Value)
Figure 5： Wedding Cash Gifts Allocation
Figure 6： Weds-to-be Money Saving Methods