- The Straits Times
Hear wedding bells ringing? Getting married is one of the most joyous milestones in one’s life. But for most people in Singapore, it usually comes with having to fork out tens of thousands of dollars for a wedding banquet. And according to a new study, the prices just keep going up.
According to the report conducted by ValueChampion and published on Tuesday (March 26), the average cost of wedding banquets in Singapore has risen significantly in the last eight years.
Taking into account prices of 55 venues, the study found that in 2011, the average cost per table for a weekend dinner was just S$923 (US$681). This has risen to S$1,392 in 2019, a sharp increase of 50.8 per cent in eight years.
The pace at which wedding banquet prices are increasing is also faster than inflation, ValueChampion said in its report.
According to the report, from 2011 to 2019, the overall price of all types of wedding banquets increased by about 54 per cent. This significantly outpaced inflation of 14 per cent from January 2011 to January 2019.
Price change from 2018 to 2019
The study also included a broadened analysis of the average prices of 102 wedding venues, based on available data for the period of 2018 to 2019.
When compared to 2018, the average price of a weekend dinner table was up from S$1,319 last year to S$1,337 this year.
The report also said that overall, the average price of 102 venues increased by about 2.6 per cent, outpacing the 1.7 per cent Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) core inflation for January 2018 to January 2019.
According to the study, the average total cost of getting married in Singapore – from dowry to honeymoon – ranges from around S$33,000 to approximately S$76,000, depending on factors such as the number of guests and venue.
But these prices may not be as excessive as they seem, as they do not take into account gifts or contributions by friends and family which may help cushion the total wedding expenses.
Rising costs possibly due to increase in income
According to the study, the rise of median monthly household income in Singapore, along with increasing venue prices, could be possible reasons accounting for the overall increase in wedding banquets cost.
From 2011 to 2018, the median monthly household income in Singapore increased by 32 per cent. During this period, core inflation rose by only 11 per cent.
In its report, ValueChampion said this could mean that the average Singaporean family enjoyed a significant increase in its real income.
It added: “Perhaps the increase in banquet prices reflects the rise in median income and therefore more willingness to spend in the country.”
The study also acknowledged that supply-side factors could have played a part in the rise in costs. From 2011 to 2018, food costs rose by 15 per cent – 3 per cent faster than core inflation during the same period.
Similarly, since 2011, wages for workers in the accommodation & food services industry increased at an annual average of 3.7 per cent.
Coupled with increased incomes and a resulting surge in demand for wedding banquets, the prices set by wedding venue providers have also shot up as a result.