Living in Korea many of you may be fortunate to be invited to a colleagues wedding. These are a brisk business on weekends and Wedding Halls are often a bottleneck of cars with many ladies in traditional dress walking about. I have been fortunate to have been invited to three weddings during my time in Daegu which offer many similarities and unique differences to weddings back home.
Wedding ceremonies are
not held in Churches but instead of office like wedding halls. These
cater to several weddings running simultaneously on each floor with one
common buffet restaurant floor for all guests to share.
Gifts are not necessary at Korean weddings. Instead you give a flat
30,000w per head in an envelope. These will be exchanged for a meal
coupon to be used to grant admission at the buffet restaurant.
The bride and grooms family will welcome guests at either side. There
will also be a separate Bridal Room where guests will take their
individual or group photos with the Bride before the wedding ceremony.
The ceremony is quite quick and can actually be over in about 15 mins.
The Bride and Groom will walk down the aisle having followed the two
mothers who have already entered down the aisle first.
brief exchange of vows the couple will then bow to each set of parents
sitting on either side. Then both sets of parents will join the stage
and the entire wedding party bows to all guests. There are no speeches
or other informal presentations.
The couple will then change outfits from their western style ones to
traditional Korean ones. During this time the guests will head down to
the buffet restaurant to have their meal and leave. There is no music or
dancing that typically takes place in weddings of other cultures.
family will then have a private traditional ceremony in a smaller room
where only direct family members are invited. As a foreigner I have been
invited to one before to see the ceremony that takes place.
The Bride and Groom take turns bowing to the parents, grandparents, and
different sets of relatives while in traditional dress. They then use a
long piece of fabric to make a basket to catch chestnuts and other items
thrown by each parents. This will symbolize their children of each
gender depending on how many items they catch.
Back in the food hall it is quite an elaborate feast. There are many
different foods both Korean and Western ranging from salads, soups,
rice, cooked foods, seafood, and fresh grilled items. As most buffets
its quite crowded and can take several rounds just to find everything.
favourite is the dessert round so try to leave some room. In addition
to Korean rice cakes and western style cakes there are also many types
of fruit available.
To a foreigner it does seem like rather a quick affair and that you
spend more time in the food hall than you actually do at the Wedding
Ceremony. During this time the Bride, Groom, and family are still having
professional photos taken.
Living in Daegu its quite possible
you will be invited to a wedding if you are working in a school where
many of the Korean teachers are often young and single. Today's wedding
was actually a bit of a school scandal as the Sports Teacher had married
another teacher! At least they get a week off and dont have to both be
back at school on Monday.