Date
17 December 2017
A cash gift of up HK$1,000 is customary in big wedding receptions but the average is about HK$600, according to a survey. Photo: chr.com.hk
A cash gift of up HK$1,000 is customary in big wedding receptions but the average is about HK$600, according to a survey. Photo: chr.com.hk

Average wedding cash gift rises to HK$600 as spending soars

Hong Kong spending on wedding banquets is expected to hit HK$17.2 billion (US$2.22 billion) this year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday.

Couples will spend an average of HK$311,000, up 3 percent from last year, the report said, citing a survey by lifestyle website ESDlife.

The survey, conducted from August to October, polled 1,771 people who plan to get married in the next two years.

The figure is almost 30 percent higher than in 2010.

Banquets are the biggest cost component of weddings at an average of HK$155,000. Meanwhile, spending on rings and jewelry is up 8 percent.

Bride price, an amount a bridegroom pays to her family as part of the traditional Chinese wedding ritual, has been blamed for ratcheting up expenses and has been a source of conflict.

Often, some brides are forced to secretly pay their own dowry to avoid problems, wedding planner Au Wai-fong, was quoted as saying.

However, some bride families are more open-minded and are not hung up on the practice.

In fact, they might be the ones who will shower the bride and the couple with gifts, Au said.

Two years ago, a bride sparked a social media firestorm after criticizing a wedding guest who gave HK$500 at her banquet which she deemed too small.

She apologized but not before shining a harsh light on the practice.

It turns out the money was within the standard cash gift for such occasions, although the going rate has recently gone up 20 percent.

Up to HK$1,000 is customary during big wedding receptions or banquets in luxury hotels.

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JZ/JP/RA

Freelance journalist

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