Tuesday, May 7, 2013

[Press Artcle] Guide to Korean Weddings

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.

After a 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.

The 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.

Everyones 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.


1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.