Having a Philippines Marriage Saves

Have a Philippines marriage and save, wedding industry to gain from recession, says US wedding professionals

“A basic wedding in the US costs between $15,000 and $25,000, while in the Philippines you can hold weddings for less than half of that, with a honeymoon holiday thrown in the package,” Richard Markel, President of the Association for Wedding Professionals International which is based in Los Angeles, said.

Upon the invitation of the Department of Tourism, Markel and his group of wedding professionals which include videographers, photographers, planners and tour operators, went on a familiarization tour of the Philippines marriage premier destination sites.

Philippines Marriage - Shangri-la Mactan Cebu Resort
Philippines Marriage - Shangri-la Mactan Cebu Resort

“This is a specialized market with big returns, because couples bring along 50 to 100 guests who stay here for 5-12 days for the celebration,” shared Ace Durano, Secretary of Tourism.

Last year, the DOT actively participated in wedding expositions in the US and Japan as both markets have been setting their sights on alternative destinations, with their declining economy affecting even their wedding industry.

“A lot of couples in the US have already cancelled their weddings this year due to the recession. And most of them are looking at holding more affordable weddings in nonetheless romantic, exotic, and memorable destinations like the Philippines,” added Durano.

Markel agreed: “Weddings in Hawaii and Maui are still more costly despite their proximity, with beach resorts raising their rates due to high prices of services and commodities.”

“A high-end beach wedding of 100 guests, complete with a wedding planner, the best suppliers, great food, and even fireworks, costs only P100,000 here, including the couple’s airfare.

In Hawaii, couples spend that much for basic things only such as venue and ceremony,” said, Eduardo Jarque, Jr., Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions.

“December is our strongest month for a Philippines marriage because balikbayans come home for their Christmas vacation. After the ceremony, guests find other things to do in the country, like hopping to another island, or shopping in Manila,” Jarque further shared.

Corazon Apo Jorda, Head of DOT Team North America also acknowledged, “Weddings here come in neat little packages unlike in the US where the couple has to go through each tiny detail and buy everything, even the utensils.”

“If the bride and groom are non-Filipinos, it’s not a problem as well, because we have tourist-on-arrival visas. They don’t have to apply for marriage licenses since the Philippines marriage is ceremonial,” added Jorda.

The DOT brought Markel and his group to Manila Pen for a wedding fair and to Cebu for a mock wedding at Shangri La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.

Photographers and videographers in the group documented the Philippines marriage amidst the exotic backdrop of the beach front. Some of the females in the group also tried out wedding dresses by renowned Filipino couturiers, and posed as models for their peers.

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