BEIJING -- Weddings are so important in China that couples are willing to fork out on average 20 times their monthly income on getting hitched and everything that comes with it.
China's newly-weds in urban areas spend 126,600 yuan (16,600 U.S. dollars) on average in 2006 when getting hitched, Thursday's Chongqing Youth Daily reported, citing a recent survey by the Ministry of Commerce.
An analysis of 60,000 couples living in cities showed that about 64 percent of the spending went on apartment decoration, furniture and household appliances and the rest was spent on the wedding, such as the ceremony, photography, wedding dresses and feast.
The survey said the wedding expenditure was only a small share of the overall marriage cost as most Chinese young couples in the cities tended to buy an apartment and a car before tying the knot.
The survey said that about 81.6 percent of the newly-weds admitted that they had got financial support from parents as their monthly income on average was only about 6,240 yuan.
The survey also showed that about 88.4 percent of the newly-weds chose having wedding photography as a priority and 78.74 chose hosting a wedding banquet.
In contrast, young couples in rural areas spent about 40,000 yuan on average on marriage-related issues, less than one third of their city peers, according to the report.
About 8.49 million couples got married in China in 2006.