Skyrocketing Wedding Costs in Singapore: Ang Bao Rates Soar Alongside Banquet Prices
Not only does attending wedding banquets make you feel single – it makes the $2 note in your wallet feel single too.
With the GST increasing to 9% in 2024 and inflation on the rise, it’s no surprise that the prices of everything – including wedding banquets – would go up, too.
But even to Singaporeans, who live in a country that’s consistently crowned one of the most expensive countries in the world, sometimes the prices are stretched just a bit too far.
Wedding banquet costs will rise by 20% in 2024
According to Shin Min Daily News, wedding banquet prices will see a rise of 10 to 20% by next year. This follows the previous 10% increase that occurred last year in 2022. This rise is mainly attributed to manpower and food costs. Electricity, maintenances and other facilities also contributed.
Based on a list compiled by online wedding directory Singapore Brides, to-be-wed couples could face a heavy sum of up to $4,053 per table of ten – if they wanted to hold their wedding banquet at five-star resort Capella Singapore.
Even less lavish options cost a small fortune. For example, a wedding banquet at the Holiday Inn Novena would amount to a minimum of $1,471, while one at ParkRoyal nearly $2,000.
However, in most hotels and restaurants, couples can save about 10% by opting for a lunch banquet or a weekday celebration.
And it’s not just wedding banquets that couples have to pay for. With the added purchase of decorations, flowers, clothes and rings – all lovebirds would be in debt by the time they say their ‘I do’s…which is precisely why guests are invited – to help out.
Market rate of ang baos at an all-time high average of $400
If you’re the one single Pringle left in your friend group – you’d probably be accustomed to the Singapore tradition which calls for giving ang baos to every newlywed.
This sum of money is a monetary symbol of your well-wishes for the bride and groom, and also your donation to cover a portion of the Mr & Mrs’ wedding costs.
As expected, ang bao market rates are also skyrocketing, just like the wedding banquet costs. In 2024, wedding guests can expect to pay up to a whopping $840, for a weekend wedding banquet at the Marguerite restaurant in the Flower Dome.
Thankfully, the average is a little bit less at $300 to $400, but still damaging nonetheless.
More guests starting to consider relationships with newly-weds before giving ang baos
This is exactly why some guests refuse to give market rate ang baos – instead, they give an amount based on how close they are with the bride and groom. Others consider their financial position, as well as how much they are comfortable with giving.
A 35-year-old who spoke to Shin Min Daily News said that he would usually choose to decline the invitation if the wedding is held at a very luxurious venue. Another 23-year-old, a financial planner, added that if she felt she was unable to match the market rate, she would say that she was unable to attend – but “still send a money gift digitally as a token”.