The average Hong Kong couple splurges $149,700 on their wedding, hosts a 20-table banquet in a restaurant or hotel and spends about four hours a day doing their marital research online, a survey has found. The findings, based on an online survey of 1,161 couples in March and April, show 32.4 per cent have a wedding budget of between $100,000 and $150,000. More than 20 per cent topped $150,000, while 14.4 per cent splashed out more than $200,000. Using the $149,700 average, the local wedding industry would be valued at just over $6.19 billion in 2004, when 41,377 couples tied the knot in the city. The number of marriages has been steadily increasing from about 32,000 in 2002 to 35,500 in 2003. 'Over the past one or two years, there have been more and more mainland couples coming to Hong Kong, mostly to pick out their outfits and to have their wedding pictures taken,' said Sulairmarn Ma King Chy, director of exhibition organiser Audace International Fairs. The survey, conducted by City University, also found 67.9 per cent of the couples chose to marry in Hong Kong, followed by Taiwan (23.3 per cent). According to Mr Ma, the numbers may well lean even more towards Hong Kong once Disneyland opens in September because more couples, especially those from the mainland and Taiwan, are likely to be attracted by the prospect of having a Mickey Mouse wedding. However, the university's associate professor of applied social studies, Leung Kwan-kwok, said: 'It's difficult to say if Disney will have any effect on the number of people getting married here. But, in the sense that the theme park will have an overall impact on the economy, there should be a boost to the local wedding industry.' The cheapest 10-table wedding package at the theme park costs $116,248 for only the banquet but includes the 10 per cent service charge. Mr Ma said he was aware of discussions between independent wedding planners and consultants and the theme park about possible co-operation but these remained 'confidential'. Proposed changes to relax the Marriage Ordinance are expected later this year. These changes would give greater flexibility in the timing and venue and probably provide an economic boost to wedding planners and related health and beauty industries, Mr Ma said.