Continuing the international trend of my blogs, here’s some information I have researched about the wedding industry in China.
Some big numbers!
Apparently, there is a massive increase in bridal shops in Beijing, to match the fast-growing bridal industry. We are talking some £38 billion now. Each year, around 10 million couples get married in China.
Brides are becoming more selective. Up until half a dozen years ago, they would obediently follow advice from retailers about dress selection. Now, with the rapid growth in Chinese wedding magazines and bridal websites, brides are able to form their own opinions and can follow their whims.
There is no religious element at Chinese weddings. But many weddings are tending to mix Western and local traditions. There can be the traditional toast to elders at the tea ceremony, for example, but also Western white gowns and wedding rings.
Up until the start of this millennium, wedding ceremonies were usually simple. Now it can be very different. The children are of another generation: the first to come of age after the enactment of the one-child policy. They are used to being the centre of family attention and are more demanding.
Rather more personalised is the increasing use of a celebrant, and, more way-out, the hire of misting machines. In certain cases, where the idea is clearly to show off wealth and status, Rolls Royce motorcades or helicopter arrival may be included. In one case in 2012, a wedding was held in the main plaza of a town, to accommodate 800 guests.
There is now training on offer, if you want to become a wedding planner in China. I have read of a 12-day course (costing about £2,000) which covers the gamut from catering to accounting and helps the student build up an extensive database of contacts.
Unlike its American and European counterparts, it looks as if the China wedding industry will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
If you know anybody in China who might like an excellent independent celebrant and would be prepared to pay my (reasonable!) expenses, then I’d be very prepared to consider an opportunity to try out my – non-existent – Chinesel!
Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe (and, conceivably, China?!).