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July 28, 2012

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Weddings dip but their price keeps soaring

SHANGHAI couples are spending more on their weddings because of rising prices and a longing for more innovative and fashionable ways to celebrate, Shanghai Wedding Exposition organizers said yesterday.

A local couple now spends an average of 99,000 yuan (US$15,967) for a wedding banquet, an increase of about 12 to 15 percent compared with last year, according to survey results released by the organizers.

The survey interviewed 3,000 couples who have booked banquets or are planning for weddings. About 87 percent are local couples between 25 and 35 years old.

The survey found couples host 16 to 17 tables on average and many ask for help from their parents.

Jianguo Hotel, a four-star hotel in Xuhui District, said its prices for wedding banquets have gone up by an average of 5 percent this year, and reservations are decreasing by about 5 percent with a drop in marriages in the city starting this year, the first drop since 2002.

The hotel's best table is priced at 5,088 yuan and most couples host 18 tables, said Crystal Dai, a staff member with the hotel.

The survey also found there is a surge in local couples' preparation for weddings, including host fees, the arrangement of the backdrop of weddings, makeup and videos. A couple spends an average of 13,800 yuan in covering the expenditure, soaring 60 percent from last year.

"Nowadays, couples tend to pursue innovation and a sense of 'wedding culture' despite the price," said He Lina, who serves as secretary general of the Shanghai Wedding Trade Association.


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