I recently received some photos from a friend wedding. He has been dating the same girl for more than 10 years (what??!! but yes!!) and he surely deserved a nice and memorable wedding with his long time girlfriend now wife. But amidst the celebration moments captured in the photos, i wondered how people find money to wed in time of crisis like this? Why people don’t postpone wedding and struggle to find the money? Why wedding while spending a lot of money make the couple happy? Why people that come to wedding gives money to bridal purse while they themselves are short of money? Is wedding an economic activity? Who involves in the entire value chain? I set to investigate and dig further. Here what i found.
That guy who just got married spent nearly USD 20, 000 for a 1 month celebration including few events. This amount is equivalent to his paycheck for 12 months but he spent it in a month and whooosshh! The caterer that catered the wedding received total 4 bookings on the same day and monthly bookings stood at 25 weddings. Per wedding the caterer charged around USD 5, 000 for 1,000 patrons. The caterer employed 8 waiters per wedding and paid each of them USD 50 per day for 12 hours and that made up to USD 400 per day for 8 waiters. She has 4 weddings on that day, therefore the waiters wages cost her USD 1, 600. Each of the waiter is part time waiter, therefore every weekend they make extra USD 200 – USD 400 per month depending if they only work one day or two days. And figures are on and on.
In other words, from my observation that wedding is an economic activity. It generates income for many more people in the value chain just from one wedding. Lets look again.
The caterer has to buy meat, vegetables, ingredients and rice for the wedding lunch. She needs to rent the space to place all the tables and chairs. She needs to buy fruits too. Because it is wedding season, the grocery store owner needs to stock extra meat, vegetables and fruits because the caterer will buy from him. As the wedding season coming, the poultry farmer and vegetable farmer need to plan their produces, so the distributor will buy more from them and they get extra money. Besides, they need the extra money for the coming school opening for their school going children.
As for the wedding couples, months before their wedding they have to work harder and save more money so they have money to spend on the wedding. They also buy less stuffs for the next few months so they can buy more discounted items during the year end sale period where they buy nice goodies as wedding gifts. The parents of the wedding couples start calculating on how much they want to chip in for the wedding. If too much, it might burden them but if too little, they might have ego stripped from their neighbours. The neighbours can’t wait to see what’s in store and keep comparing from previous weddings thus push the wedding couple parents to spend more than they should.
The wedding planner is promoting the latest wedding gown and tux for the couples. This is limited edition and no one use this before. With the money they have, they said Yes! The wedding planner then has to hire a tailor to measure and sew wedding gown and tux. The weddin planner also work with the wedding space design and decoration. They need to have a flourist for the flower supplies. They also need a candle supplier for the candle supplies.
Now, the wedding planner needs to look for professional photographer. The wedding couple said, ‘Let’s make it memorable and sweet!”. Thus the wedding planner hired an established photographer. This photographer has done it at another wedding and with his experience, he is charging around USD 1, 500 for the whole session. Looking back, the wedding couple realized the wedding gown and tux is not enough. Since they are hiring a professional photographer perhaps they should wear various and traditional costume so they are “memorable and sweets!”
Later they have miniature wedding gifts and cakes for the patrons. They need to look for collectibles shop for a designer gift or simply a gift from a wedding shop. Since they have at least 1,000 patrons therefore they need to buy at least 1,000 gifts. Usually they end up buying 10-20% extra to be on the safe side and to make sure no one missed the gift. One gift costs them USD 2 and total around USD 2, 500. Then they need to fill the gift with sweets or simple mementos.
Another is the directional signboard to the wedding. And also the wedding card. It needs to be nice and well designed so it reflects and give desirable first impression. People said first impression lasts and the wedding card is designed properly. the map, name, contact number, quotations and so on are selected carefully. Then the signboards just follow accordingly.
on the wedding day, the patrons come with smiles and usually with family. They don’t come empty but with some token for the bridal purse. Usually each family will contribute USD 50 for the bridal purse and assuming the wedding “generates” 500 families, therefore the bridal purse collects as much as USD 25,000 for that wedding. Substantial amount? Yes, not too bad! Then the collection later distributed as return on investment (or expenses) then the wedding couple whom happily married go on a honeymoon. which now give a business to travel agency, airline and tourism.
As you can see, wedding is a big business and indeed an economic activity. when there is no wedding, the economic acitivity can go haywire and halted. last month alone, i spotted at least 50 weddings around the areas i live. Wedding is very important and when happy people become wedded, they generate more income because later they are going to have a lot more needs and some children. 🙂
P/S: Congratulations to Kamarul Akmal and Erni Yusnani on their wedding!! May you live happily ever after!! 🙂