We came back from Hong Kong just few days ago. It was amazing, even two typhoon couldn’t ruin this trip for us. In meantime, while I edit our videos and prepare the gifts for giveaway winners, my hubby decided to contribute to this blog and write a post!
We are at the age our friends are getting married – one after another one. And Hong Kong weddings can be expensive. Not only the wedding banquet itself, but the whole dating, engagement and marriage itself. Looking at out friends and family in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and China we just had to share that very interesting phenomena.
Now when I think of it, Sing probably married me for all the possible savings. It all makes sense now.
But let’s see what he can tell you about cost of dating and marriage based on experience of people around us!
I am writing this article purely from a guy’s point of view. It’s hard to earn money in Hong Kong these days and I am sure a lot of guys will look at their wallet with an upset face after a date. This time I will give you guys a breakdown on dating and marriage so you can save your face in front of your lady.
Let’s have a full date from the morning.
A typical Hong Kong breakfast contains :
Regular: Congee (2x $28), fried items (2x $8) and fried noodles ($20) = $92.
Affordable: Hong Kong Cafe = Meal A (macaroni with soup and a toast) with ice milk tea x 2 = $64
My personal favorite is still the congee for some reason, not because of the price, it is purely the taste.
Then the main plan of the date is Disneyland! But before you get there, for people who live in Hong Kong island need get few changes to go to Disneyland.
Luxury: Taxi = $350 x 2, including bridges and tunnels
Regular = subway, exchange in Hong Kong station = $25 x 2
Affordable = Tram + ferry (lower deck) + subway from TST = $20 x 2
Don’t think I am cheap (he is – Lina) , my personal recommendation is the cheapest one because you get the tram and ferry at the same time!
Disneyland itself doesn’t have different price level but I do recommend you to look for different travel agencies website because sometimes they sell discounted tickets and meal deals, up to 20% off! At the end of the day, I don’t think two of you can walk out of Disneyland without contributing $1000 per person. But hey, at least lunch is in it.
Luxury: A proper continental buffer at a hotel restaurant = $1000 for two.
Regular: Spaghetti House 3 course dinner = $600 for two
Affordable: Temple street clay pot with oyster pancake and beer = $150 for two.
My suggestion is for the first few dates, let’s stick with the luxury opinion as new couple do deserve a moment of being fancy.
In summary, a fancy date can cost you over $3000, even if you exclude the theme park, it can easy be over $1000. The average salary of a college graduate is around $12000 to $15000. This is already 8% of their salary, imagine doing this 4 times a month, its already over the 1/3 of the incoming. (Romantic – Lina)
Now we move on to the next step, you finally feel the time has come and you want to propose to your goddess (love this term – Lina), here are the options of the engagement rings we have:
Luxury: Cartier diamond ring = $50000
Regular: Luk Fook and Chow Tai Fuk diamond ring = $8000-10000
For modern people, there is a pressure to show off the ring in front of your colleagues and relatives, therefore I believe the regular option with a slightly bigger diamond is the most popular option. No wonder I see so many Chow Tai Fuk commercials on buses. Remember: the price above did not include any amount of roses. They can be $15 a piece…so 99 roses means…you know… (you can only imagine why Sing proposed 2 years AFTER we got married; and no, I didn’t get any flower – Lina)
If you are luckily enough, you goddess accepts you proposal. Here is the big deal for guys:
- Courtesy fund to goddess’ parents = current standard price is $50000
- Banquet = $7000 per table of 12. Refundable because the gift money from the guests give usually $500-$800 in the red envelope.
- Wedding dress and rings = $50000
- Wedding photoshoot = $25000 (in Hong Kong)
- Honeymoon = $30000 (trip to Europe)
Since only the banquet cost is recoverable, the net spending will still be $160,000. This is equivalent a college grad’s one year salary before tax and living cost. This explains why not many teenagers can afford marriage (honey, teenage kids should not get married – said by a girl who got married at the age of 21).
On top of that, Asian thoughts of marriage is usually like: get married -> get a new home (10% for down payment these days in Hong Kong is at least $300,000, again that is 2 years of salary before tax), get pregnant (urban legend says it cost 4 millions to raise a child till 18 years old). How can you even make a baby with your parents behind the wall?! (‘Whatever floats your boat’ as they say – Lina).
It is a sad but true reality in Hong Kong that keeping a relationship is consider as a luxury. That is why many people can not or not willing to be in a ‘legal, real’ relationship. In my opinion, the biggest problem here is the traditions and customs that drives the cost up high. Sometimes I feel like its more important to find in-laws that will be on your side then your fiancee. Marrying a girl becomes like marrying the whole family. This is one of the reason why I don’t think I would be able to marry a local girl. (Gee, thanks honey, that doesn’t sound bad at all – Lina)
At the end I had to appreciate my wife because she is willing to have Cafe de Coral instead of Italian restaurant, so my wallet doesn’t hurt as much! (Have you seen prices in Spaghetti House? And that’s not even a fancy place! – Lina).
Now when I read the post, we kinda sound like pair of cheapasses. But we found each other to be cheap with.
It also shows that Sing is literally always counting something.
So what do you think guys? I do my best to respect traditions and customs, but some of them are insane, even for me! Would I want our child to follow this? Not really, if you have that much money to spend, use it as a down payment instead of bribing future in-laws or wasting money for 99999999 things.
Let us know in the comments! Or maybe you were the one in this situation? Would love to read your opinion!