Saturday, April 28, 2012

Getting married in South Korea? Bring cash, lots of cash!!!

The Beatles may have sung "all you need is love," but in South Korea a couple wanting to get married also needs cash, a lot of it - nearly $200,000 (122,925 pounds), or more than four times the average annual income.

The sky-high costs stem from a combination of cultural traditions that mandate expensive pre-wedding gifts between families, such as mink coats and diamond rings, along with a decades-old custom that the groom must fork over money to provide a home.

The average cost for a wedding in 2011 rose about 270 percent from 1999, while the inflation during the same period rose 45.5 percent. Total costs far outstripped the average annual household income at around 48.3 million Korean won ($42,400), according to government data.

Thus, young couples seeking to unite in wedded bliss are forced to borrow from parents or take out loans. With candid discussions of money a cultural taboo in Korea, many are reluctant to speak about the high cost of exchanging vows. Full story...

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