The Price of Weddings


How many of us have heard of that phrase before? I’m sure most of us have and damn right you are.

‘The global wedding industry is now a $300 billion dollar industry. $55bn of that is the US wedding market, according to an IBISWorld report, and includes over 500,000 businesses, putting 750,000 people to work.’ – THIS WAS IN 2015. Imagine how much more the industry is worth today.

That said, that industry is one that is overarching and differs between places and customs.

An Indian wedding, for example, is traditionally paid for by the bride and her family. And the weddings are extremely elaborate consisting of not just the extravagant clothings and jewellery but also because it lasts between five days and a week. The average Indian couple will spend one-fifth of the money they make in their entire lives on the event’.

Traditional Indian weddings have several events happening before the wedding, during the wedding and after the wedding. Each one, unique and significant, holds a lot of meaning to it.

Chinese weddings on the other hand, usually have two key events – the traditional ceremony in the morning and the wedding banquet which takes place usually in the evening on a weekend. For two years as a young teen, I worked at a hotel on weekends as a banquet waiter serving guests for wedding banquets. So, I often gawk in awe at how much it’d cost to hold such a wedding there.

So, how much?

As of 2016, banquet prices at top hotels are on the verge of hitting the unprecendented $2000 mark for each table of 10. And that is before the addition of the Goods and Services Tax.

What do you get for paying that much?

An 8 course dinner and a 1-2 nights’ stay at the hotel is quite the standard. And the price for inviting 500 guests in 2015 at a top hotel is about $112, 396.

So, if you don’t get invited to a Chinese wedding at a hotel. I don’t think you’d beat yourself too badly for it cause you’d need to put in about $200 for the red packet to pay for your meal.

So, what then of Malay weddings?

Are they really ‘$50 void deck weddings’? A term famously coined by one Ms Amy Cheong.

Malay wedding invites are typically for 1000 guests on each side of the wedding couple. So, when you put two families together, average guest list for a typical Malay wedding is 2000 guests. Having 2000 guests to be seated at the hotel is a crazy affair and if we’re going by the same rates as how the Chinese community pays for it, for 2000 guests at about $2000/table, it’s going to cost the both sides of the family a total of SGD$400,000!

Thus, void decks are a more sensible option to accomodate the large number of guests invited. That said, the cost for void deck weddings aren’t $50.

Perhaps, what is more appropriate is that $50 is the amount that should be paid by a couple attending since the price range of a void deck wedding ranges between $14,000 to about $20,000 depending on the range of food served, the type of entertainment engaged and the other professional services that accompany it.

But today, we see more Malays holding their wedding in hotels or in venues owned by the wedding companies themselves.

Regardless which culture you belong to, weddings are typically an expensive affair but they can also be affordable IF you’re willing to scale down the pomp of the whole event or to just stick to, what’s necessary only.

If you’re planning towards an outdoor wedding, I’ll share with you in my next post how you can go about it and save money along the way.





One thought on “The Price of Weddings

  1. Pingback: How to Plan an Affordable Outdoor Wedding | Abdillah Zamzuri

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