By Joanna Poh
Weddings are big business in Singapore. Some people spend enough on their wedding dinner, photo shoot, gown and ring to buy a house in some Southeast Asian countries.
But the real killer is definitely the wedding banquet. And hotels know people are willing to pay big bucks to impress their relatives. So every so often, they dutifully hike up their prices, telling themselves these couples will make back that money when they receive their Baby Bonus.
We already compiled a Wedding Banquet Price List for 2017 back in June. And now, in 2018, we're back to see just who has raised their prices and by how much.
(All prices are applicable to Saturday wedding dinners and obtained via SingaporeBrides.com)
How does this increase compare to previous years?
Since June 2017, 55 per cent of the hotels, restaurants and venues we previously listed increased their prices.
Amongst those venues that increased their prices, the average hike was 4.28 per cent.
This is actually low compared to previous years, when the average annual price hikes were between 5 per cent and 10 per cent!
In fact, with some hotels, the drop in the price hike is even more dramatic. We can see this from previous years' wedding banquet price list.
Are the price hikes justified?
From November 2016 to 2017, consumer prices in Singapore increased by only 0.6 per cent.
MAS's Core Inflation Measure for the same period was 1.5 per cent (core inflation excludes price changes in certain things such as accommodation and cars, so that we have a better idea of how consumer prices for day-to-day goods are changing).
So we can see that even with slowing year-on-year price hikes, venues are still increasing their charges disproportionately. It's possible that renewed optimism about the economy in the coming year has caused them to still consider raising their fees in anticipation.
For couples about to tie the knot (or guests attending their weddings, ang bao in hand), that means you should feel the pinch a little more this year.
Click through the photos below to see a price breakdown on 5 and 4-star hotels, restaurants and other venues.
(Photo credits: Hong Leong Group, Ritz-Carlton, Capella Singapore, Grand Hyatt, The Straits Times, Conrad Centennial, Reuters, Amara Singapore, Lianhe Zaobao, Four Seasons, Pan Pacific Singapore, Amara Hotel, Ramada at Zhongshan Park, CDLHT, Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel, Furama Riverfront, Ban Heng Group Restaurant, Peony Jade, Ah Yat Seafood, Shin Min Daily News, Serangoon Gardens Country Club)