Demand and Supply in Singapore – Yes I Do


Do you know that the three most expensive words in Singapore is ” Yes I Do”?

According to a recent Straits Times article, cost of marriage has risen sharply. For a weekday wedding package wedding dinner package for a table of 10 in a 5 star hotel, it would easy cost up to $1,700+, as compared to $1,200+ in 2011.

What?! A whopping 42% increase?! What could have caused such a steep increase in banquet price? This is attributed to Economics theory and is a perfect illustration of Demand and Supply in Singapore.

1. Increase in operating cost for hotels – with the tightening of foreign labours, manpower cost for banquets has risen sharply. You have to look beyond the part-time servers to the back end operations at the kitchen chefs and hotel receptionist. Lesser foreign labours means higher running cost for hotels and hotels wills pass on the higher cost to everyone else attending the banquet.

2. Increase in demand – with higher dual income, couples now days are more inclined to host their wedding banquets at hotels and big restaurants. Even if the young couples can’t afford, the parents of the couple who can’t be seen as “losing face” in front of their relatives will provide “subsidy” to the young couple to go for high end hotels, pushing demand higher.

And wedding banquet is not all. What about pre / actual wedding shoot? Honeymoon? A rough estimate of getting married in Singapore can easily cost up to $60K – $100K (I really have no idea how the couple is going to fork out $100K for a wedding).

Morale of the story, the price of “Yes I do” is still governed by ECONOMICS PRINCIPLE. And the price is rising from the sky to stratosphere. And we expect the price to continue rising from stratosphere to another planet.

Our economics advice to young couples – go for a more affordable substitute.

As mentioned in the Straits Times article, hosting the wedding banquet in JB will result in significant cost saving due to lower operating cost in JB hotels and ringgit at its all time low (S$1 = RM 2.66). The featured couple in the article only spent RM 55K (approx S$20K+) for shuttling 300 guests and having good quality food (includes abalone, fish maw and alcohol!)!

The emotional benefits of “Yes I Do” is no doubt very romantic and touching. However, it comes with a hefty price tag and all young couples should work out their budget before committing to a $100K wedding!

In my regular classes, I will be using interesting examples like these to relate to economics theory. Find out more!