China county recommends limit of S$12,490 on 'bride prices' as poorer families cannot afford it

Women in wedding dresses at a wedding dress market during an event attempting to break the Guinness world record for a gathering with the most people dressed as brides, in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China on Oct 7, 2016.
Women in wedding dresses at a wedding dress market during an event attempting to break the Guinness world record for a gathering with the most people dressed as brides, in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China on Oct 7, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

HENAN, CHINA - A county in China has recommended a limit of 60,000 yuan (S$12,490) on "bride prices".

The "bride price", a sum of money Chinese grooms traditionally pay to the their fiancees' families, was too high for workers such as farmers to bear, said a county official from Taiqian county in China's central Henan province.

Speaking to Henan Business Daily in a report on Wednesday (Jan 4), he said: "In Taiqian county, some people spend 300,000 to 400,000 yuan on wedding ceremonies. Some families that are not so well-to-do cannot afford this. They lose their family fortunes just getting married, and some even turn to moneylenders."

He added that wealthier families can afford to lavish gifts on the bride's family, but this creates an unhealthy spirit of competition.

The guidelines set by county authorities were put into effect on Jan 1.