The options for luxury weddings are soaring in China. (Shanghai Hawker Pacific)
As more Chinese couples look overseas for destination weddings, they’re also becoming willing to spend more for the perfect ceremony. With both of these factors in mind, private jet charters are offering the super-rich a wedding experience beyond flying first-class to tie the knot in the Bahamas or Maldives—now, an entire private jet can fly family and guests to exotic locations before bringing them back to China for the banquet.
Shanghai-based event planner Highlife Asia Group announced in a press release Monday that it is partnering with American private jet charter company AVICUS to create a line of wedding packages targeting the affluent in China.
“The expectations of an affluent Chinese wedding party are vastly different from their Western counterparts,” said Mark Byrne, the CEO of Highlife Asia Group. “It’s a chance to wow family and friends and put on a bigger and better wedding than any before, as well as opening up the world for family members who may not yet have much global experience.”
In a Hong Kong Expedia survey, 80 percent of the survey takers expressed interest in having destination weddings, and overseas weddings are becoming popularized as Chinese stars such as Yao Chen and Yang Mi hold their nuptials in far-flung places. Private jet charters have only just begun taking off in this $80 billion wedding industry, as the Chinese government recently loosened the strict requirements for the procurement of private aviation licenses.
These private jet weddings certainly don’t come cheap—Highlife Asia Group offers a very “auspicious” package starting at 68,888 yuan ($11,000) per person for a charter of 26 people, perhaps hoping that all the eights in the price (which sounds like ‘prosper’ in Chinese) would distract the happy couple from the cost. Still, Byrne is bullish about affluent Chinese couples’ willingness to pay the price. “Even if you are traveling in first class on a commercial airline, you are still subject to the same queues, delays, and operational decisions as anyone in economy,” said Byrne, adding that their service offers the flexibility of time with no lines at check-in or immigration, a departure of one’s choosing, and no delays.