New wedding trends emerge at Shanghai expo

New wedding trends emerge at Shanghai expo
PHOTO: China Daily/Asia News Network

The Shanghai Winter Wedding Expo at the Shanghai World Expo pavilion last weekend showcased new features and trends.

"The China Wedding Expo is the world's largest one-stop wedding shopping platform," says Lin Yan, representative of the 2017 Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International, whose winners walked the ramp at the expo.

The expo provided couples with choices for wedding photography, honeymoon, wedding dresses, banquets, jewelry and other requirements.

Since the wedding expo concept took off in China in 2005, 42 such expos have been held in Beijing, 36 in Shanghai, 24 in Guangzhou, nine in Wuhan and Tianjin, respectively, and one in Hangzhou.

The platform introduces brand shops, designers and celebrities from over 30 countries with an annual turnover exceeding 10 billion yuan (S$2 billion).

This year's expo in Shanghai invited the winners of Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International to present high-end customised wedding dresses from international bridal brands such as Lanyu, Tarik Ediz, and Grace Kelly and jewelry from Platinum.

Models show wedding dresses at the Shanghai Winter Wedding Expo.Photo: China Daily/Asia News Network

"We will consider business links at different levels to introduce Chinese couples to more honeymoon tourism resources, and also provide more tourism opportunities for merchants," says Lin.

As for hotel choices for wedding banquets, more 5-star hotels entered the market.

For instance, the W Hotel on the Bund, Amanyangyun, Four Seasons Hotel, and the Ritz-Carlton are all participating in the expo.

Also, custom-made ring brand Blove brought the jewelry design team of former US first lady Michelle Obama to the event.

According to Lin, the generation born in the 1990s is gradually becoming the major clientele at wedding expos. And compared with the generation born in the decade before, 90 per cent of whose weddings are arranged by their parents, the '90s generation is more willing to participate in wedding preparations and choosing wedding supplies. Now, around 80 per cent of them arrange their own weddings.

The growing economy and improved economic conditions of the new generation is also pushing up spending on weddings.

According to data from the wedding expos, the average cost of a wedding for a couple increased from 164,000 yuan in 2015 to 181,000 yuan in 2016, and 194,000 yuan in 2017.

Young couples also prefer such expos for their one-stop service.

"According to wedding expo tracking data over the past several years, the one-stop wedding shopping platform can save at least half year's weekend shopping time for couples, and save them at least 18,000 yuan in costs," says Xiao Changhong, deputy secretary-general of the China Wedding Expo committee.

Also, influenced by celebrities, more young couples are going in for Chinese-style wedding dresses. And the phenomenon has grown rapidly within the past two years.

Another growing trend is having weddings abroad.

Most of the 90s generation are ready for an overseas wedding if the budget and schedule are suitable, and 90 per cent of them would consider Bali, Indonesia, because of the facilities and services there.

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