China / Society

Wedding businesses need tweak, report says

By ZHOU WENTING (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-26 07:16

Wedding businesses need tweak, report says

Search platform advises more customized services for couples, focus on smaller cities

China's wedding industry should shift to more customized services, as the number of people getting married is decreasing, a market report said on Wednesday.

The industry enjoyed explosive growth in the past, partly because of the large marriage-age population. The number of couples tying the knot will be less than 10 million in 2020, down from 13.5 million in 2013, the high point after several years of growth since 2010, according to the 2016 Blue Book of the Marriage Market by Meituan-Dianping, an online-to-offline service platform.

The decline in Beijing and Shanghai is most obvious, the blue book said.

The number of people born annually after 1990 is lower than previous years. For example, data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs shows roughly 15 million babies were born in the country in 1996, a drop of 10 million from a decade previously.

Compounding the puzzle, the younger generation is postponing marriage.

However, while the marrying group is getting smaller, the price that prospective brides and grooms pay for each element of the process-a wedding banquet, portraits, renting a wedding gown-is on the rise, as is the total turnover of the industry, according to the report.

"Customers are not attracted by inexpensiveness," said Yang Feng, general manager of the wedding business department of Meituan-Dianping, which provides people with search results of 120,000 service providers in the marriage industry. "They are willing to pay more for high-quality service and experience-especially custom services."

Newlyweds in Beijing pay an average of 260,000 yuan ($39,100) on marriage celebrations, which usually include wedding rings, flowers, wedding photography and a banquet with decorations. Some brides even purchase or rent three or four wedding gowns, the report said.

The average outlay in Shanghai is 200,000 yuan. The national average is just under 100,000 yuan.

The report also said businesses should further develop the market in small cities, as the ratio of people from those regions searching online for wedding services is rising.

The report noted that Henan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, will likely present the best potential for development.

Huang Jianing, a Shanghai native, held two wedding feasts in June-one in Shanghai and the other in Chengdu, Sichuan province, her husband's home. She said it cost more than 11,000 yuan for a table at a five-star hotel in Shanghai, but a table at the same standard in Chengdu cost 2,500 yuan.

Hot Topics