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A male office worker who is preparing for his wedding turned to an online community to gauge opinions about the estimated cost of his upcoming nuptials. He posed the question of whether 72 million KRW (approximately 54,045 USD) is a reasonable amount to spend on a wedding, sparking a spirited debate among netizens. 

Opinions range from “It’s appropriate” and “It’s way too much” to “You should spend even more.” Some responded sarcastically, saying, “Does this mean you can only get married if you spend that much on the wedding? Is that why the birth rate is still relatively high at 0.6 (sarcasm)?”

On February 25, a male netizen posted on the anonymous online community “Blind” seeking advice on wedding costs. Certified as an employee of a foreign sports fashion company, the netizen shared, “I’m organizing my finances for the wedding, but it’s too much money for me,” and asked if spending over 72 million KRW was normal.

The male netizen also attached a detailed breakdown of expected expenses. According to this, he plans to spend about 23 million KRW (~17,276 USD) on a wedding hall, about 2.6 million KRW (~1,953 USD) on a Jeju wedding pictorial (including photos, airfare, and accommodation), about 2.3 million KRW (~1,728 USD) on wedding rings, and about 3.6 million KRW (~2,704 USD) on studio-dress-makeup. In addition, he allocated a budget of about 23 million KRW for home appliances and furniture and about 12 million KRW (~9,013 USD) for a honeymoon, bringing the total wedding cost to 72 million KRW (54,045 USD).

Regarding the wedding costs, 48% of the 2,100 office workers who voted on Blind said it was “too much.” On the other hand, 36% said it was “about right,” and 16% said it was “too low.”

Office workers who believe the netizen’s estimated costs isn’t excessive said, “This is about average. The cost of living has risen a lot,” and “Those who voted that it’s too much are probably the people who got married a long time ago.” The anonymous people who voted had their occupations verified as employees of major companies such as Samsung Electronics, Samsung Display, Hyundai Motor, and HD Hyundai Oilbank, as well as pharmacists and government officials. To join the anonymous Blind app, one must verify their employment via work email.

A netizen who identified himself as a government employee said, “I got married last February, and that’s not a lot of money,” and “I also said to myself I was going to save money, but I ended up spending 80 million KRW (60,053 USD) excluding home appliances and furniture.” Another netizen who identified himself as a Hyundai Motor employee said, “I also spent 90 million KRW (67,559 USD). Everything else is similar, but the wedding hall was 20 million KRW (15,013 USD) more expensive.”

There were also opinions that the cost of a wedding was way too excessive. They said, “It’s better to reduce unnecessary expenses and prepare for a deposit (on a home),” “If you prioritize what you can give up, you can reduce it,” and “There seems to be plenty of areas you can save on.” They were identified as employees of Severance Hospital, Seoul Metropolitan Subway Corporation, Samsung Card, and others.

The content of this post was also shared on various online communities. Among netizens who saw this, opinions similar to those of Blind netizens were divided, and some comments made sarcastic jokes such as “I guess the birth rate of 0.6 is still too high.” This means that the cost of marriage is too expensive, and one can’t help but avoid marriage and childbirth.

In this context, the male netizen’s estimated costs were found to be higher than the average wedding cost in Korea.

According to a recent survey by the marriage information company Gaeun, the average cost of marriage was 347.4 million KRW (260,000 USD) for 1,000 married men and women (within 5 years of marriage), including the cost of buying a new home.

The cost of preparing for marriage, excluding the cost of buying a new home, accounted for 62.98 million KRW (~47,277 USD). The average cost of a wedding hall was 9.9 million KRW (7,400 USD), with a wide range from free (using company/school-supported wedding hall) to over 100 million KRW (over 75,000 USD for a 5-star hotel wedding hall).

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