Breaking the bank

Weddings in Hong Kong are seriously big business. There is nothing — and I mean literally nothing — more important in a Chinese person’s life than a wedding. Forget about births and deaths and graduations. Weddings take the cake. Weddings ‘buss the bank’, as they might say in Trinidad. Weddings are the be-all and end-all of Hong Kong existence.

Today in The Standard, one of Hong Kong’s free newspapers, I read an interesting article about how the average cost of a wedding in Hong Kong is actually going down, due to the economic downturn. But if this is the price during a downturn, I would hate to see how much people spend when things are good!

According to the article:

“Average expenditure on nuptials has only dropped 3.3 percent to HK$226,352, from the HK$234,176 spent in 2008, according to the online Wedding Spending Survey 2009 by lifestyle website ESDlife.”
Now to put this in perspective — at least in Trini terms — HKD 234,000 translates to TTD 184,000, or over USD 30,000. Imagine spending that amount on a wedding, on average! The survey was not talking about the richest of the rich; they were talking about the average wedding in Hong Kong for average people with average jobs and average salaries.

How on earth do they do it?

<<You can read the full story here >>

I myself am planning a Hong Kong wedding, and have been getting a bit of flack about  certain aspects. To start, we’re not having any bridesmaids or groomsmen; no veil; no high heels; no church. Most importantly, there is no banquet.

The banquet is the most important part of a Chinese wedding. Expensive food, shark fin soup, special dishes. It costs a fortune and is meant to impress the guests. But the amazing thing about Chinese weddings is this — you invite everyone you’ve ever met, then don’t even speak to them for the whole night, and people leave immediately after dinner is served! That’s right! No fete, no dancing, no wining, no liming, no socialising. If you are lucky, you might get a bit of majhong. So how is $234,000 really justified?

Anyways, this is just one of the many cultural differences you have to try to comprehend when you live overseas. All I have to say is that I’m glad I have no obligation to spend all of my savings on one day of my life. I’d rather get married barefoot, and live like a king. I suppose there are the lucky few who can do both. In the meantime, I’ll stick with my cheapo small-assed wedding!

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3 Replies to “Breaking the bank”

  1. hey think of it like this … if you have a 150 person wedding in Trini and run $400 tt a head it works out to $60k the costs go up if you have more people and they drink more … it can happen!

  2. Congratulations, I know you will make a wonderful bride.

    Sorry to hear about Jeffery, in truth I only just heard.

    Life truly is a Forrest Gump.

    Keep well

    Chad D

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