Before attending a Korean wedding, I often heard people saying they only last 30 minutes, but that didn’t make sense at all to me because weddings in South Africa, especially in black communities are a bit complicated.
This year… rephrase, this month I had the privilege of being invited to not one, not two but three Korean weddings. What a way to motivate me to get a man right! Haha well, I’ve only attended two of those three so far, and I noted the similarities and decided they are worthy of a blog post. Attending two Korean weddings qualifies me to write about them right? Well, this is what you should expect when attending a Korean wedding:
Korean wedding Invitations
You know that superstition about a groom seeing the bride in her wedding dress before the wedding will bring bad luck? Well, I guess Koreans are not superstitious about such things because the bride and groom to get a pre-wedding photoshoot dressed in wedding attire (although the bride wears a different dress at her wedding) and these photos are in the wedding invitation. So they looked married before their wedding, if you get what I’m saying and obviously the invitation will be in Korean, so use Google translate.
What should you wear
Koreans love fashion, so the expectation when attending a wedding is that everyone will be dressed to impress, well that’s not the case. Obviously, you can’t show up in your jeans (although I’ve seen this) and sweats but also don’t put yourself under a lot of pressure; nobody cares.
What should you bring
If you plan on eating after the ceremony or if you one of those lovely, giving people then you should bring 50 000 won.
This gives you access to the buffet after the ceremony and obviously gives you a couple of points to the bride and groom because it shows you’re not stingy.
Now the traditional Korean way of doing this is to go to the bank and get a brand new 50 000 won note from the bank; let them know it’s for a wedding, and they put in in a special envelop for you.
Oh also feel free to bring a plus one if you like, if they plan to eat they also have to pay the gift money, otherwise nobody cares about who is invited and who is not.
If you’re from the west, then a Korean wedding ceremony will be the shortest you’ve ever attended. The time ranges from 20 – 30 minutes and these are some the things you will notice at the ceremony:
- No bridesmaids or groomsmen
- The father doesn’t walk the bride down the aisle
- No exchange of rings
- There will be people standing all over and taking pictures. Also, there are fewer seats than there are people (a little bit of chaos)
Instead, the ceremony goes as follows:
- Mothers from both sides dressed in hanboks will walk down the aisle first and then sit ON their respective seats on each front of the altar.
- The groom walks down the isle and waits for the bride
- The bride enters, and the groom fetches her, and they walk together
- The MC says a couple of things in Korean
- The bride and groom go to their parent’s seats and exchange hugs with both sets of parents.
- A performance of some sort takes place
- The newly weddings may kiss towards the end but not in the typical “you may kiss the bride” fashion.
After the ceremony
A typical title for this part would be “The reception” but is still a reception if the bride and groom are not there? Yep! The buffet is everyone’s favorite part of the ceremony (everyone who brought monetary gifts that is). As soon as the main ceremony ends, everyone rushes to the buffet; there is an endless supply of all sorts of food. Mainly you find a table, eat as much as you can and then go home. That’s right, there are no speeches or toasts or anything of that sort, just eating, mingling with other guests and then heading home.
So what does the bride do with her bouquet? I don’t know
So basically my point is, going to a Korean wedding is pretty easy because you can be in and out in an hour and then continue to go about your day, unlike the western weddings where you know you have to stay there the whole day.
What do you think about Korean weddings? Have you ever been to one? Read more about Korean love here.