6:14 pm - 05/15/2019

For Koreans, cash wedding gifts are stressful but inescapable

A foreign resident of South Korea posted a tricky question on a website where users share information on local culture and life.

Titled, "Most appropriate amount of congratulatory money," it was about a company colleague who was getting married.

"We are close enough to say hi when we see each other. ... We have never met outside of work. What do you think is the most appropriate amount to pay?" it reads.

One reply stood out.

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What do you bring to a wedding, Omona? Besides your charming personality and the hope of an open bar, of course. Personally, I love it when there's a gift registry. Just hop into a Crate and Barrel and pick up whatever they want and already picked out, so easy. If they ask for cash that's cool too. But I really like shopping for gifts lol.

source: Yonhap News
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xoxkenzxox 16th-May-2019 02:58 pm (UTC)
I went to a cousin's wedding once and they provided an envelope with the invitation asking for money to "help reach their dream of traveling to Paris". They never went on any trip. Just wanted a sneaky way to help pay for the wedding. They divorced a year later. I regret giving $50 from me and the hubby.
modestgoddess79 16th-May-2019 05:24 pm (UTC)
Messy, begging for money then divorced a year later
lil_poisonfrog 16th-May-2019 05:38 pm (UTC)
Lmao that's so shitty. Ppl are way too shameless
kyokomurasaki 16th-May-2019 08:22 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it got posted on here, but I remember an advertisement a few years ago urging young people to have simple weddings and of course everyone rightfully pointed out that it was their parents/families pressuring them to have expensive weddings so they could show off to their friends/associates. I'm sure a lot of couples would rather not have a ton of random people they don't even know at their weddings and have their parents basically use them as networking opportunities instead of celebrating their marriage.
daynr 16th-May-2019 08:57 pm (UTC)
The rule I was taught was that you give as much as they spend on you. Expensive weddings garner more expensive gifts.

However, I judge really HARD any of my peers who still accept wedding gifts. Admittedly, I'm older, but most people I know are professionals, marrying other professionals, with both of them having 6 figure incomes. I'm not impressed when they basically ask for help in refurnishing the home they already own. For the last 10 years I basically donate to something in their name, and care not if people are unhappy. This is especially true if I've had to attend multiple events celebrating the bride.

The cultural origins of gifts for events makes real sense. The background explained in this article is interesting, and in a community it makes sense. My great grandparents needed to furnish their new farmhouse and shit in middle America, so it made sense for people to gift them with sheets and plates and stuff. I do not think the same applies in modern, developed countries.

For purchasing power ... the amounts described sound small to me, but I don't have a strong grasp on the purchasing power in Korea. I find Korea quite inexpensive, but I'm American and have spent the last 20 years living in expensive U.S. cities.

Edited at 2019-05-16 09:08 pm (UTC)
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