Besides the cheer, weddings can boost economy–expert

WEDDINGS are good events not only in the cultural sense but also in economics—possibly even in a pandemic, given the necessary health safeguards.

In his Statistically Speaking blog, former National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) Secretary-General Romulo A. Virola said Church wedding fees alone reach anywhere from P5,000 to P20,000, including decorations.

With an average of 36,215 ceremonies a month between 2014 and 2018 or 434,850 weddings per year, this could reach as much as an addition of P8.69 billion or 0.05 percent of GDP.

“Considering the expected recession in 2020 as a result of Covid-19 [coronavirus 2019], more marriages can surely help the economy, right, OIC Neda Director General Karl?” Virola wondered aloud, addressing National Economic and Development Authority chief Karl Kendrick T. Chua.

Virola said December and May recorded the highest number of marriages between 2014 and 2018.

Data showed 11.44 percent of ceremonies happened in December and 11.26 percent in May.

Other popular months to tie the knot are February and April, when 10.82 percent and 10.54 percent of marriages occured.

In 2003, however, the favorite months were May, December, and January, while the least favorite were August and November.

“The top favorites are February [10.80 percent], May [11.26 percent], and December when most couples marry, with a weighted average share of 11.44 percent of all the marriages. December 8 [Immaculate Conception] is a favorite date for couples for divine intervention,” he said.

Meanwhile, Virola also said the weighted average age at marriage is almost 30 years for men and almost 27 years for women.

He said the average age at marriage has been consistently increasing slowly in the past five years, breaching age 30 for men in 2018.

In 2003, Virola said the median age at first marriage for women was only about 22 years.

Virola said the average age at marriage for both groom and bride is highest in February, which may be due to the free mass weddings on February 14.

“This means fewer fertility years for the mother and should augur well for population planning. However, would wedding guests like to see many blushing brides aged 50 in June 2222?” Virola said.

Virola explained that fertility rate refers to the level of fertility at which a cohort of women on the average are having only enough children to replace themselves and their partner in the population. In the country, a total fertility rate of 2.1 is considered to be replacement level.

He said the analysis was based on data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

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