I enjoyed this piece by Choe Sang-Hun in the New York Times, called “Questioning a Korean Wedding Tradition,” which considers recent debate about the practice of making large cash gifts at the time of weddings and funerals.  As a point of (loose) comparison, I recommend this story from the Times in July 2003 called “For Richer or Poorer, to Our Visa Card Limit” by Jennifer Bayot, which discusses personal bankruptcy filings in which debts for wedding expenses were a major source of financial trouble.  (According to a number of web sites and surveys, the cost of the average wedding in the U.S. has dropped steadily as the economy has weakened over the past year.)