Tomorrow I will be attending the birthday party of a friend who is getting married this year. In that party there will be another friends who will be getting married as well this year. I have yet other friends getting married this year as well. First thought: “Javier, you are in the age where most of those around you get marry…”.
Second thought: weddings cost money, lots of money. And they do not only cost money but produce many exchanges of cash from one side to another: Buying dresses, rental of suits, nuptial cakes, rental of luxury cars, hotel rooms and saloon, expensive menus, free drinks, buses back and forth for the invitees, professional photographers, flowers, hundreds of haircuts, long lists of gifts from El Corte Ingles, honey moon trip to Bali, musicians (with the corresponding cannon to SGAE, it couldn’t be otherwise…), a voluntary donation to the church…
The Federación de Usuarios-Consumidores Independientes (FUCI) releases every year a study of the cost of a wedding per region and how much each item is costing. The latest study dates back from 2009.
From the study we learn that in 2009 a wedding cost around 18,380 euros on average. They were most expensive in Madrid, and the average cost had decreased 11% from 2008.
The study takes into account the expenses incurred by the ones organising the wedding. Can we assume that those attending it will incur in as many costs in gifts, haircuts, cleaning of suits, hotel rooms, transport, etc…? (This hypothesis comes from the not written rule which states that presents should aim to account at least for the same value of the menu which is ~50% of the cost incurred by spouses-to-be, the main assumption is in the other costs incurred by invitees -transport, hotel…). If so, let’s settle the turnover of a wedding in 35,000 euros.
How many people do get married in Spain in a year? From 2006 to 2008 the average was 204,000 weddings, with a slight decrease of 3.4% from 2007 to 2008.
Now the math is already there: this industry generated in 2008 around 7,000 million euros. Is this much? The same year aerospace industry in Spain had a consolidated turnover of 5,577 million euros. So the wedding sector weighs 25% more than the aerospace sector in Spain or around 0.7% of Spanish GDP (let me not enter in this post in the discussion of the value added of the sector… I still want to get invited to those weddings).
In line with the recent campaign “esto solo lo arreglamos entre todos”, my contribution: please encourage marriages and do get married!
I have a good friend who used to be quite against marriage. I hope this may help turning his opinion.