Friday, 10 May 2013

Attending a Korean Wedding: Part 1

Angela was recently invited to the wedding of one of her Korean co-teachers, and I was lucky enough to be her plus-one. I'd never been to a wedding outside England before, so I was excited to see how it would compare. This was a western-style wedding - like most in contemporary Korea - but it still had enough of its own idiosyncrasies to set it apart from the ones I was used to.

Angela riding the metro into downtown Seoul.
The ceremony was held in a large wedding hall. These institutions are common across Korea, and each one can arrange dozens of weddings each day, since the weddings are pretty short compared to those in the west.
Inside the main waiting area.
The bride-to-be prepares for her big moment.
Inside the main wedding hall. For some reason the staff used lightsabers to mark the beginning of the ceremony.
Bella walks onto the aisle hand-in-hand with her father.

The marriage officiant read a bunch of formalities for about half an hour, while most of the congregation sat at dinner tables. There was no food on the tables in this instance, but I have heard that at some Korean weddings the guests eat their dinner while the ceremony is taking place.
A bunch of children sing and dance for the newly-wed couple.
The groom does a few bows.
Then the couple walks down the aisle as the guests applaud.


Once the actual ceremony's finished, onto something far more important: photos!
The groom talks on his cell-phone while family members pose for a picture.
Then co-workers join the couple instead. You can see Angela and other foreign teachers on the back row.
Leaning in for a kiss.

In true Korean-style, everyone is ordered to do a cheesy heart-shape pose for the couple. Something tells me they don't do this at traditional Korean weddings.
Afterwards, we went to a banquet hall to eat.

Angela and I pose with Bella and her new husband. They're dressed in traditional Korean hanboks in preparation for their second wedding ceremony. Most Korean couples have a large western-style wedding first, then move onto a more intimate, traditional Korean ceremony with only close family members present.
The whole thing was over in a couple of hours. It all felt very brief compared to the weddings back home, which are usually a whole day affair.
Click here to see where we headed in Part 2!


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