28 October 2016
A lavish wedding is no guarantee of a long-lasting or successful marriage. Photo: Internet
A lavish wedding is no guarantee of a long-lasting or successful marriage. Photo: Internet

Why ‘naked’ marriages are becoming increasingly acceptable

Some men joke that if they can find a wife who’ll come with a free wedding party and a home (all paid for by parents-in-law), it would be like winning a jackpot.

We often hear stories about couples struggling to repay loans for years after the marriage due to the expensive weddings they went through.

But people are now beginning to realize that splurging on weddings is the height of folly if one can’t really afford it.

In a survey earlier this year, social service group Caritas Hong Kong found that 20 percent of the respondents plan to get married “fully naked”, a term created first in China that refers to couples getting married without buying their own home, holding banquets, or buying wedding rings.

About 60 percent said they would go for the “half naked” option, or doing away with either the wedding banquet or home purchase.

Over half of the interviewees said the cost of getting married is too expensive and that it entails borrowing from family members.

According to EDSlife, Hong Kong couples on average spent over HK$310,000 on wedding last year. Nearly half of that went to pay for banquets, followed by wedding rings and jewelry, honeymoon trip and wedding photos.

Naked weddings are becoming more acceptable partly because properties and other expenses are simply too much for many to afford. Some youngsters just don’t want to put up with a complicated wedding.

It’s true the idea of a simple wedding is getting popular, yet there are still lots of Hongkongers who insist on the traditional way.

Some do it for the “face” thing, others regard it a must for this all-important and supposedly once-in-a-lifetime event. Many women still yearn for a dream wedding.

It’s certainly up to individuals to decide which approach suits them best. But brides and grooms would be doing themselves a favor by spending within their means rather than racking up credit card debts.

After all, marriage is a marathon. Each and every day of shared life counts as much as the big day.

In fact, a huge wedding party and expensive wedding rings have little to do with love and happiness. A lavish wedding ceremony does not ensure longer-lasting marriage.

Quite the reverse, two economics professors at Emory University found a correlation between less expensive weddings and lower divorce rates.

Specifically, the study showed that couples whose wedding cost more than US$20,000 divorced at a rate roughly 1.6 times higher than those whose wedding cost between US$5,000-10,000.

Couples who spent US$1,000 or less on their big day had a lower than average rate of divorce.

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EJ Insight writer

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