In the published book of Gulliver, he mentions the amount of
four hundred pounds for a portion, which is about 4,500 pounds today. Not that much. A cleaning lady today would cost a bachelor over a period of 50 years much more, and that's only part of the 'services' of a wife.
It’s interesting to note how hard it is for scholars, even now, to acknowledge the facts behind this custom. If you search the Internet you’ll find the widest scope of justifications for the fact that women were considered the property of men, and as such, Brides were traded between father and husband.
The fact that no money changes hands over the Bridegroom, serves as the final proof that this is deeply-rooted discrimination.