#166. In Korea, wedding photos are taken months before the actual wedding. The bride and groom are in all of their wedding attire and spend an entire day with a photographer capturing their "wedding day." The bride rents (yes rents) multiple dresses for the day and is photographed in all of them. Some fancy. Some more simple. All breathtakingly beautiful.
#167. Weddings are blissfully short. We're talking 30 minutes from the minute the bride and groom walk down the aisle to when you're sipping on a drink at the reception that follows. While i'm sure all weddings vary, most that i've heard of include: A quick walk down the aisle (accompanied by music such as "unchained melody" and others that are heavily influenced by western culture), a candle lighting ceremony and group pictures at the end to complete the affair.
#168. Korean weddings do not have drawn out receptions like those in the states. They generally have a buffet style lunch that immediately follows the wedding ceremony and then the guests are free to say a few words to the happy couple and then be on their way. Short, sweet and to the point.
As you can tell from today's "Koreanisms", there is a special theme today. Over the weekend I went to my first (and unfortunately last) Korean wedding. One of my former co-workers was getting married and I was lucky enough for an invitation. Early on Sunday (for me at least), we made our way to Daejon (about 3 hours west) for what would be yet another cultural difference between Korean and Western culture for me to witness.
After arriving at the wedding hall, we were greeted by family members of the groom and bride and given envelopes to put money in. The Korean culture is quite brilliant in that they do not do wedding registries, cards or anything that spotlights someone for how much or little they give to the happy couple. All the money (large or small) is put into identical envelopes and each person is then given a lunch coupon for after the ceremony to thank them for their gift. Each guest then has the option to go and view the bride and pose for pictures. Seated in a comfortable chair with the big puffy dress all around her, the bride waits (for hours i'm told) for those who want a picture with her. The photographer takes a few photos and that's it.
|With the beautiful bride, Haesan|
As I said before, the actual ceremony is over within 30 minutes and the guests are escorted to the buffet-style lunch. While the guests are busy gorging on sushi rolls and delicious plates of Korean food, the bridal party is completing the last part of their day, the Korean ceremony. During this part, only the close family members are allowed to be part of this. The bride trades her white wedding dress for the traditional Korean Hanbok (한복) for this particular ceremony. After this is over, the bride and groom are allowed to come celebrate with the remaining guests and then they are on their way to their honeymoon in Bali.
|The current staff of Kids College along with the happy couple.|
Left to right: Brendan, Director Minh, Groom, Haesan,
Lia, Me, Elly
As the pictures can attest to, Haesan made a beautiful bride. I felt very honored to be included in her special day. While I may not want a speedy ceremony when it comes my time for a wedding (though the guests may enjoy it) or to be holed up in a small room to be gawked at in my white dress, I find all of the differences intriguing. The differences between our cultures in something as special and beautiful as a wedding remind me yet again that there are other ways to celebrate than how my country does.
This post is to you Haesan, though you may never read it. May your marriage be blessed. I wish you and your new husband the best and I hope that someday our paths may cross again.