Monday, April 1, 2013

Modern Korean Wedding

I was off to a great start last week. A couple of disabled students I teach English gave me a card welcoming me to Korea.

The rest of the week went pretty quick. Before I knew it, it was the weekend and I was on my way to Seoul to attend the wedding for one of Jihyeon’s friends. This time I caught the more expensive KTX train which is much faster, quieter and cleaner than the other options. It costs about 20,000 won ($20) to go from Daejeon to Seoul and takes about 1 hour. As a comparison, the cheaper slower trains cost about 10,000 won ($10) and take about 2 hours.

Once in Seoul we had to catch the subway to the wedding venue. While on the subway I spotted this guy trying to sell some facemasks. Jihyeon told me that it is illegal and they can get fined, but it is still a common sight to see on the Seoul subway. They have small trolleys packed with their merchandise and shout at the top of their voice. I had to get off before he turned around so I couldn’t get a photo of his face.

We eventually made it to the wedding just in time. The bride and groom were having some professional photos taken in a small tent before the ceremony started.

The ceremony started with the two mothers bowing to each other before sitting down.

The groom then stood nervously waiting for his bride. You might notice that there is no best man or brides maid or anything. This is normal in Korea.

The bride then made an appearance with her father and walked down the aisle.

Some more bowing

We then (I say we, but the songs were in Korean so I just listened) sang some songs. The couple then took their vows. They didn’t read their vows, the minister read the vows and they just agreed.

Then some professional singers sang a song for the lucky couple.

Then some more bowing to parents.

And then it was all over red rover.

Now, this is where things differ quite a bit from western style weddings. The bride and groom treated everyone to a buffet lunch in what I would call a kind of fancy cafeteria (there were waterfalls). Typically in Australia everyone would move to a more formal sit down dinner/lunch where the bride, groom, best man and brides maid would sit up the front in front of all the guests. There would be some speeches before eating the food, and then after eating people might decide to dance. There was none of that in Korea (which is fine, I am just pointing out the difference). The bride and groom didn’t attend the lunch.

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