It costs roughly three times more money to marry off a son than a daughter, according to a study by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs.
A team at KIHASA led by Kim Seung-kwon studied the wedding expenses of 973 married couples in 2012 and found that the average cost was W107.4 million for a son's wedding but only W35.4 million for a daughter's (US$1=W1,116).
Yet sons picked up only 32.6 percent of their own wedding tabs or W34.97 million, while daughters paid for 45.9 percent or W16.24 million.
The average wedding cost surged from W50.45 million in 2010 to W77.5 million in 2012.
When asked what was the most burdensome expenditure related to marriage, 81.8 percent of grooms said buying their new home, while only five percent cited expenses related to the actual wedding.
In contrast, 44.8 percent of brides said the most burdensome expenditure was furniture and home appliances, followed by dowry including clothes for the family of the groom (12.5 percent) and buying their new home (12.4 percent).
"Hefty wedding expenses end up causing people to put off marriage and having children, leading to a low birthrate," said Kim. "Korean society needs to embrace new ways of thinking about marriage to reduce the high cost of weddings and find more practical and frugal ways of getting married."