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Who pays for wedding in Korea?


Weddings are a significant event in Korean culture and are celebrated with much grandeur. However, the question of who pays for the wedding is a complicated one. In this article, we will explore the traditional practices and modern trends that dictate the financial responsibility of a Korean wedding.

The Traditional View

According to Korean tradition, the groom’s family is responsible for paying for the wedding. This is because the bride’s family is seen as losing a valuable member of their household, and it is the groom’s family’s responsibility to compensate them for this loss. In addition to paying for the wedding itself, the groom’s family must provide a substantial sum of money known as ‘Honsu’ as a gift to the bride’s family.

Modern Trends

In recent years, Korean society has become more equal, and this has had an impact on wedding traditions. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for both families to share the cost of the wedding. However, even in these cases, the groom’s family will still be expected to pay a larger portion of the expenses.

The Role of Parents

Parents play a crucial role in Korean weddings, and they are often expected to contribute financially. The groom’s parents will usually provide financial support for their son, while the bride’s parents will take care of their daughter’s needs.

Wedding Gifts

In addition to paying for the wedding itself, both families are expected to give ‘Dongjeon’ or wedding gifts to their children. These gifts can range from cash to household appliances and are meant to help the newlyweds start their life together.

The Cost of Weddings in Korea

Weddings in Korea can be expensive affairs, and costs can quickly add up. The average cost of a wedding in Korea is around $30,000, and this can be a significant burden for many families.

Wedding Venues

The venue is one of the most significant expenses in a Korean wedding. The couple will typically choose a location that can accommodate their guests and offer catering services. These venues can be pricey, and it is not uncommon for parents to help cover the cost.

Wedding Attire

Another significant expense in a Korean wedding is the attire. The bride and groom will typically wear traditional Korean clothing called ‘Hanbok.’ These outfits can be expensive, and it is common for parents to purchase them as gifts for their children.

Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is an essential part of any Korean wedding. Couples will often hire professional photographers to capture their special day, and this can also be a significant expense.

Wedding Transportation

Transportation is another expense that couples must consider. They may choose to rent luxury cars or hire a bus to transport guests to and from the wedding venue.


In conclusion, the financial responsibility of a Korean wedding is complex and depends on traditional practices and modern trends. While the groom’s family is traditionally responsible for paying for the wedding, both families are expected to contribute financially. Weddings in Korea can be expensive affairs, but with careful planning and budgeting, they can be a beautiful celebration of love and family.

How much does a Korean wedding cost?

The average cost of a wedding in South Korea in 2021 was approximately 287 million South Korean won. The majority of the expenses went towards purchasing new housing for the newlyweds, which accounted for about 240 million South Korean won. The next highest expense was household items, known as “Honsu,” which cost around 14.7 million won.

Why do Koreans give money on weddings?

In Korean wedding traditions, it is common practice for guests to give an envelope of “congratulatory money” to the newlyweds. This money helps cover the costs of the reception and serves as a gift for the couple. The amount given varies depending on the relationship and social status of the guest, with close friends or colleagues often giving over 300,000 won (equivalent to $233).

How does marriage work in Korea?

In Korea, marriage is a legal process and a religious ceremony does not constitute a legally binding marriage. In the US, marriage laws vary by state, but a marriage performed in Korea under Korean law is recognized in all states.

Is $5,000 enough for a wedding?

It is possible to pay for a dress, invitations, flowers, photographs, ceremony, and reception for significantly less than the average amount couples spend on weddings. Both Sandy Smith and LaTisha Styles were able to stay within a budget of approximately $5,000 for their weddings.

Do Korean parents pay for wedding?

In Korean culture, it is traditional for the groom’s family to cover the expenses of the wedding, such as the venue, food, and other related costs. The bride’s family typically pays for her wedding dress and any other miscellaneous expenses.

Who pays in Korean culture?

The one who extends the invitation is expected to cover the expenses for everyone, but it is still considered courteous to offer to pay. In situations where two individuals are dining, it is customary for the younger person to pay for the older person.

It’s important to note that the financial responsibility of a Korean wedding can vary depending on the couple’s personal preferences and circumstances. Some couples may choose to have a more modest wedding to reduce costs, while others may opt for a more extravagant celebration.

Furthermore, there are also cultural and regional differences in how weddings are financed in Korea. For example, in some regions, it may be customary for the bride’s family to cover most of the wedding expenses, while in others, both families are expected to contribute equally.

Regardless of who pays for the wedding, it is considered an honor and a privilege for parents to be able to contribute to their children’s special day. It is a way for them to show their love and support and help their children start their new lives together on a positive note.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards smaller and more intimate weddings in Korea. This is partly due to the rising costs of weddings, but also because many couples prefer a more personalized and meaningful celebration with close family and friends.

No matter the size or cost of the wedding, what matters most is the love shared between the couple and their families. A Korean wedding is not just a celebration of two individuals getting married; it is a celebration of family and community coming together to support and bless the couple as they begin their new life together.

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