Fewer ‘I dos’ ruin the party for China’s US$500 billion wedding industry

Fewer 'I dos' ruin the party for China's US$500 billion wedding industry

SHANGHAI: COVID-19 wasn’t model to wedding planners in China, where marriages are usually elaborate, expensive affairs. However, the industry, which is thought to be worth close to US$ 500 billion, is presently facing a greater threat: an increase in the number of couples prepared to get married.

Authorities trying to revive marriage and birth rates, which fell to record lows last year and resulted in the first decline in population figures in 60 years, are also concerned by the trend,which has become more visible as the market weakens and buyer confidence wanes.

Yuan Jialiang, who operated a full-scale wedding planning company in Shanghai for about ten years before deciding to concentrate on wedding photography before the pandemic, said that” the number of marriages is declining and some are willing to spend largely on marriage.”

” The prospects for this industry’s future don’t seem appealing.”

China experienced 6.8 million marriages last season, the lowest number since the government started disclosing the information in 1986 and 800,000 fewer than in 2021.

The collapse in births in China, which is currently one of the fastest-aging cultures in the world, may be exacerbated by this fall in marriage licenses. Some cities forbid unmarried mothers from receiving child-rearing or care subsidies, and it is frequently taboo to have children outside of marriage.

According to Ben Cavender, managing director and head of strategy at China Market Research Group,” You have a lot of consumers who are just saying” well, you know, marriage isn’t the right thing for me ,” and many younger adults in China feel that raising children is just too expensive.

” Things are probably difficult for the classic Chinese wedding market.”


Prior to the pandemic, weddings were a significant industry in China, with Daxue Consulting projecting that by 2020, the sector will be worth 3.6 trillion yuan( US$ 487 billion ).

Few weddings this year had budgets of more than 100,000 yuan( US$ 13, 736 ), according to Frank Chen of Chen Feng Wedding Planning in Shanghai. Couples typically spend a lot of money on gold jewelry, ornate decor, and opulent venues.