China's government is cracking down on lavish weddings. Photo: iStock
China's government is cracking down on lavish weddings. Photo: iStock

Rationing confetti might not be the answer. In a major policy decision, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs has announced a crackdown on lavish weddings after an industry report revealed that spending on opulent ceremonies would double to 3 trillion yuan (US$440 billion) by 2021.

Last year, the sector was worth 1.47 trillion yuan and is projected to rise by more than 24% in 2018, a study released by ASKCI Consulting, a market research firm based in Shenzhen, highlighted.

Even though the overall number of people getting married has fallen according to government data, the wedding industry is still booming.

“Although the demographic dividend is disappearing, the market potential is still huge as the nation possesses a huge population base,” the ASKCI Consulting report outlined.

“In addition, wedding industry demand remains at a high level. The increase in the amount per deal brings new impetus for the wedding industry.”

But this surge in spending has triggered a backlash from the ruling Communist Party with the Ministry of Civil Affairs claiming that extravagant ceremonies are an anathema to “socialist values.”

‘Socialist values’

Instead, weddings should “integrate core socialist values and Chinese traditional culture into the construction of marriage and family,” the ministry pointed out in a statement.

Research is sparse on the subject. But a survey released last year by the Chinese wedding specialists Hunliji showed that 42% of newly married couples spent between 50,000 to 100,000 yuan on their big day.

At least 23% put aside budgets of between 100,000 to 200,000 yuan while 5% forked out more than 300,000 yuan.

Flaunting wealth in this way has been condemned by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

“[We] should adhere to [a] simple marriage etiquette [which] should [conform] to a good social trend that advocates diligence and thrift, and opposes extravagance and waste,” the ministry stated.

Now, who said money can’t buy you love?