Big spenders hit expo to plan big day

Updated: 2011-02-26 16:34

By Cui Jia (China Daily)

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Big spenders hit expo to plan big day

A young woman tries on a wedding dress at the China Wedding Expo in Beijing on Friday. The three-day event, which ends on Sunday, gathers 1,800 shops together in the hope of providing one-stop shopping for couples. [Photo / China Daily]

BEIJING - Beauty may take your breath away, but a glamorous wedding is almost certain to take your savings away.

That was the message many young couples took from the first day of the annual China Wedding Expo in Beijing on Friday.

The expo, which lasts until Sunday, is a one-stop shop for those planning their big day. It is packed with 1,800 retailers, from caterers and florists to photographers and cake designers.

Thousands of future brides and grooms were busy pinning down the little details that go into creating the perfect wedding, although many found the array of choices and high prices somewhat overwhelming.

"I like this one better. It might cost more but I just want everything to be perfect," said newly engaged Peng Ning, as she looked in the mirror while trying on a 20,000-yuan ($3,000) Spanish-made La Sposa wedding dress at the expo. "It's a once-in-a-life event, so I don't want to settle for less."

Peng's mother, who is paying for the wedding in July, could not agree more with her 28-year-old daughter. "Of course, it's a lot of money to spend on a dress that will only be worn once, but she has no interest in cheaper brands," she added.

Ye Shichang, director of La Sposa, said Chinese's attitudes towards wedding dresses have changed much since the Spanish company started to do business in China 12 years ago.

"Chinese people used to rent wedding dresses because it's cheaper, but now people want it tailor-made in Europe. Chinese have more money now, a lot more, and they want to show it," Ye said.

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He said three people have already shown an interest in the most expensive wedding dress he has brought to the expo, which cost almost 120,000 yuan.

Wu Chao, a consultant at wedding planners Princess Dairy, said: "We can give couples any kind of wedding they can imagine, as long as they can afford it."

However, Princess Dairy's clients Hu Xiaohan and her fiance Zhang Liang just want something simple.

"We won't be wearing a wedding dress and tuxedo. Instead we'll just wear plain white T-shirts and jeans and hold the ceremony at the university dining hall where we first met," Hu said.

The couple will use the money they save to travel around China for six months in the belief such memories will be more precious to them.


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