True to its reputation as one of the world’s most expensive cities, getting married in Singapore costs a lot. The spend-meter keeps rising and ticking faster.
Related story: The Cost of Wedding Banquets Is Soaring in Singapore
According to a recent study conducted by ValueChampion, the average cost of wedding banquets in Singapore has swelled considerably in the last eight years.
Taking into account prices of 55 venues, the study revealed that in 2011, the average cost per table for a weekend dinner was just S$923 (US$681). This year, it skyrocketed to S$1,392, a sharp increase of 50.8% in just 8 years.
Price exceeds MAS core inflation rate
The study also covered a wide analysis of the average prices of 102 wedding venues, based on available data for the period of 2018 to 2019. It showed that the rate at which wedding banquet prices have increased is faster than inflation. From 2011 to 2019, the overall price of all types of wedding banquets increased by approximately 54%, significantly exceeding inflation of 14% from January 2011 to January 2019.
When compared to 2018, the average price of a weekend dinner table was up from S$1,319 last year to S$1,337 this year.
The report also showed that in its entirety, the average price of 102 venues went up by more or less 2.6%, outdoing the 1.7% Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) core inflation for January 2018 to January 2019 period.
According to the study, the average total cost of getting married in Singapore – from dowry to honeymoon – ranges from around S$33,000 to approximately S$76,000, depending on factors such as the number of guests, and venue.
Trends on the rising cost of weddings
Although the actual causes of the rising cost cannot be ascertained, there are a few trends worth probing into as possible factors. Firstly, Singaporeans are getting married much later in life. The median age of first marriage for grooms increased gradually from 30.2 in 2007 to 30.8 in 2016. For brides, the median age for first marriages increased from 27.6 to 28.7 in the 2007-2016 period.
In the same way, the average ages of all brides and grooms have increased. In 2016, 41% of all brides and 60% of grooms were over 30 years old compared to just 33% and 56%, respectively, being older than 30 in 2007.
This trend could have an influence in the escalating cost of weddings, or perhaps a symptom of this rise. Since Singaporeans are getting married later in life, they are more capable and willing to pay for an expensive wedding. On the other hand, it is also possible that the significant cost of marriage is compelling couples to postpone their wedding plans in order to save up for their dream wedding ceremony and feast.
Wedding-made-in-heaven ended up in hell
In 2012, a Singaporean couple had wanted to pamper themselves and had planned for a dream wedding. But, the plan proved to be lavishly expensive for them. As a result, the 32-year-old insurance agent is still stuck in the debt he incurred for the nuptials.
The husband confided that they regretted their over-expenditure so much, as they struggled from month to month just to make ends meet.
The couple borrowed $45,000 from a financial institution with a repayment period of two years. They also borrowed $4,000 from a licensed moneylender and $11,000 from a relative. On top of that, they pumped in their entire savings of $20,000.
They also used their individual credit cards and estimated charges came up to $30,000. All in all, they spent $110,000 for that wedding and were indebted to a lot of people.
The wedding included a bridal arch which was made with 999 fresh tulips from Holland and embellished with a tulip-shaped balloon. The arch cost nearly $12,000.
The wedding banquet was held at a six-star hotel in the Marina Bay area, with each of the 45 tables costing $1,688++.
Other costs included their bridal photography, make-up, hair-styling and videography.
Trying to clear the debts has put a strain on their marriage. The couple have had more fights since they got married than in the six years that they were dating.
They say that most of the times, their marital quarrels are over money and they end up blaming each other for the situation they had come to be in.
For those who plan to marry in Singapore, don’t spend too much because instead of saying, “till death do us part,” you might just say “till debt do us part.”
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