The average wedding in South Korea now costs over 200 million won, or US$185,000. In the US, the average cost is $38,410.
holy christ on a cracker!! Reason 0387494586098709 why I don’t want to get married!
A mis-leading quote…the $185,000 is NOT the cost of the ‘wedding’…but is rather the cost of getting married…so it includes all of the various traditional costs (e.g, the man paying for an apartment, and the woma’s family buying furniture etc.), while the American quote doesn’t have these included.
You could probably buy a wedding hall for $185,000!!!!!!!!!!
The costs cited include about US$20,000 in gifts alone (예단 and 예물), apart from the housing and furnishings. This is not a negligible element. Weddings have been dashed at the last minute by a 예단 deemed insufficient. This is absolutely a part of the ‘wedding’ cost. Thus the cost of the wedding ceremony and associated gifts (but excluding the engagement ceremony expenses, honeymoon costs, apartment and furnishing) still comes out to about US$40,000.
The comparable US figure is just over $20,000. Of course much of the Korean expenses will be recuperated in the form of cash gifts from guests (although much of that in turn will have to be repaid when the guests’ children get married).
The point is that the potlatch wedding culture in Korea is archaic and out of control and needs to be changed.
I researched this a little… and part of the problem is that these days EVERYONE in Korea is trying to follow the wedding rituals and ceremonies that were practiced only by the richest Koreans 150 years ago… and depending on how wealthy you were in Chosun Korea, there’s no end to the different gift-giving wealth-displaying ceremonies that you could tack onto the ceremony, to show that you were the biggest swinging dick in the region.
The problem here, as with north face jackets an import cars and unemployed university graduates who won’t take less than a top-notch job at a world famous company, is simply that EVERYONE feels like they ought to/deserve to/must appear to live the way only Korea’s richest 1% actually CAN live.
Not that I’m saying anything new here.