China's luxury wedding industry gets creative to meet higher expectations
- POSTED: 03 Jan 2014 19:36
This graph is an experimental feature that tracks number of views over time.
To woo the increasingly affluent young couples, luxury wedding businesses are coming up with more exotic itineraries.
BEIJING: Luxury wedding photography is taking off in China in a big way.
To woo the increasingly affluent young couples, businesses are coming up with more exotic itineraries, such as taking that special wedding photo in the South Pole for a whopping US$100,000.
For the super-rich in China who can afford it, it is no longer just about the price tag -- now it is all about meeting expectations and for the rich, those expectations are getting higher.
They want something that is unique -- away from the mainstream bridal photography that focuses on mass productions with the same make-up, hair, outfits and poses.
"Previously, there have been instances when the couple took someone else's wedding photo by mistake,” said Zhang Qiang, a customer.
“That really happened, it's not a joke. Because your make-up, hair and clothes are the same, you end up looking similar. Sometimes you can't even tell the difference, if it's a different bride."
Celebrity photographer Xu Yongming moved from commercial to bridal photography in 2010, to fill a void that traditional studios have not been able to fill.
He charges about US$10,000 for a day's work.
Customers feel that exclusive experience makes it all worthwhile
"I feel it's affordable. Any more than that will be out of my budget," said customer Eric Wang.
The company is pulling out all the stops to attract customers who are increasingly well-travelled and just a tad jaded by the usual luxury items.
"They really have visited many places around the world. They have stayed in all kinds of luxury hotels, ate at all kinds of Michelin-starred restaurants. How does my itinerary provide something special to satisfy them?" said Mr Xu.
In this case, a rare chance for a wedding photo at the South Pole could cost between US$95,000 and US$130,000 per couple for a 19-day trip.
Alternatively, couples may fancy a trip to Tahiti; flown on private planes.
"On top of taking wedding photos, if they want the exhilaration of true flying, I can arrange for a pilot from the royal flying team to take them on an acrobatic display up in the air," said Mr Xu.
Combining wedding photography, the honeymoon, as well as investment travel all into one is fast becoming another strategy.
"We have readers who went to Mauritius for their honeymoon and ended up buying a villa there. They could stay in a villa that is at the same time available for sale. This way, it becomes a sort of investment travel as well," said Zara Zhang, deputy chief editor at Cosmo Bride.
With increasing affluence in China, industry players say this niche but growing market promises to be lucrative as there is lots of money to be made as long as the pockets are deep.