Prepare your red packets – wedding season is in full swing.

December is the most popular month for nuptials, The Straits Times discovered through its check of marriage statistics over the past decade. The statistics are published by the Department of Statistics annually.

Last year, 3,210 marriages were registered in December, making up 11.5 per cent of all marriages for the year. With the exception of October 2010 and November 2011, December has punched above its weight in the past decade.

Couples and wedding planners say the last month of the calendar year is picked for practical reasons, mainly because work slows down and the festive season gets into gear, so it is easier for couples to take time off to get married.

Marketing executive Lim Shi Han, 27, is saying “I do” to teacher Kenji Li, also 27, on Dec 9, as it is very difficult for her fiance to take leave during the busy school term.

Marketing manager Tang Ji Ching and civil servant Ng Kaijie, both 29, also chose a December wedding date to “optimise” their leave, alongside the Christmas and New Year public holidays, for a long honeymoon. They were headed for a three-week backpacking trip to South America following their wedding last Saturday.

Architect Joel Lau, 29, got hitched at the weekend. A December wedding date was chosen as his wife, architect Samantha Quek, 27, loves Christmas decorations and the festive mood during the month.

FESTIVE MOOD

People are generally more relaxed towards the end of the year and geared towards celebrations.

MS JUNE CHOONG, director of events and sales at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.

Besides the leave factor, the end of the year just seems to be a more joyful season to celebrate weddings.

Ms June Choong, director of events and sales at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, said: “People are generally more relaxed towards the end of the year and geared towards celebrations.”

But while December was the star for most of the last decade, it was upstaged on two occasions – October 2010 and November 2011, in particular, Oct 10, 2010, and Nov 11, 2011, with the dates 10/10/10 and 11/11/11.

Wedding planner Herlina Makmur of Chere Weddings & Events said that for some couples, 10/10/10 signified shi quan shi mei in Mandarin, meaning perfection. On Oct 10, 2010, 724 couples tied the knot, while 553 couples said “I do” on Nov 11, 2011.

The average is 61 civil marriages a day, a Registry of Marriages spokesman said. While December is the most popular month, April and August are the least popular. Last year, there were 1,728 marriages in April and 1,405 in August.

Geomancer Adelina Pang of Adelina Pang Fengshui Consultancy noted that the Chinese avoid holding weddings during the Hungry Ghost Festival, which starts in August, and during Qing Ming, or Tomb Sweeping Day, which falls in April. These dates, being related to ghosts and death, tend to be seen as inauspicious.

The wedding activities pick up in the months following the Hungry Ghost Festival.

However, there is a downside to getting married during a popular time. Couples have to vie with more people to book a venue for the wedding banquet. Some guests also end up with multiple invitations on the same day and have to choose whose big day to witness.

As Ms Tang said: “The end of the year is really wedding season.”



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