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A preview of Korean Wedding Traditions

Like many other countries, Korean wedding traditions have included online matchmaking and dating. However, traditional Korean wedding customs demand that the weddings be arranged by a matchmaker. You can find families approaching professional matchmakers with the resume of their son or daughter and a request that they find someone who will be a suitable match for their offspring.

You will appreciate the fact that Koreans are very family conscious. Precise lineage records are submitted to the matchmaker along with resume so that the prospective bride or groom is selected from among persons with the same socio-economic background. There are about 300 surnames in Korea and the surnames have significance at the social, political and economic levels of life. Women do not change their surname after marriage.

Once the groom or the bride is selected, the Korean families consult with the fortune teller to ensure that the couple’s life together would be harmonious? The consultation with the fortune teller about the future life of the couple is known as Kung-hap. This is similar to the Chinese exchange of “eight characters” or “four pillars”.

Courtship and Engagement

Courtship before marriage is rare, according to Korean wedding traditions. The brides and grooms are supposed not to meet each other before their wedding (in the case of arranged marriage of course). The friends of the groom go to the home of bride and carry traditional gift box by colouring their faces with black ink.

The bride’s family then comes out and bargain with the groom’s friends on the price of the gifts. There is a lot of merry making and negotiation that happens at this time. The groom’s friends are then wined and dined by the bride’s family before they depart leaving the gifts behind for the bride. You may be interested to know that this is the most expensive aspect of the Korean wedding. Grooms may spend a very large sum on the gifts to his bride!

Wedding attire and Ceremony

According to Korean wedding traditions, the bride and the groom are dressed like the nobility on their wedding day. The traditional wedding attire for the bride is called wonsam and the hwarrot. The wonsam is a simple lime green dress and the hwarrot is an elaborately embroidered robe. The hwarrot is worn over a hanbok which is the traditional in Korea. She wears a black cap and elaborately embroidered shoes with a pair of white socks. Her face is decorated with red circles. These circles are painted on or made with red peppers.

As per Korean wedding traditions, the ceremony starts with groom who presents a live goose to his mother-in-law to commit that he will remain loyal to his wife during his life. Modern day grooms prefer a wooden goose instead of a live one. (Perhaps it is more solid commitment than the live one as it can survive longer period of time.). Anyway, everybody sits around a table and a special white wine is offered to the groom and his bride. The wine is prepared prepared by the mother of the bride. The groom and bride sip wine and the remaining is mixed together and poured back into two halves of gourd and presented to the couple again.

This ceremony is called the kunbere or the wedding vow. You will see that in traditional Korean families, the wedding ceremony is sometimes followed by the peh beck ceremony. The bride offers dried dates to her in-laws, along with jujubes symbolic of children that she will bear the family. They in turn offer her tea. At the conclusion of the ceremony the in-laws toss the dates and chestnuts at the bride and she catches them with her large skirt.

The traditional Korean wedding food is comprised of Kook soo sang. It is mainly comprised of noodles. Additionally, there is sticky rice cake filled with beans paste or dotted with sesame seeds. As a sweet, the sticky rice ball is used with brown sugar. It is served at times.

Finally, after the wedding, you will see the bride being carried in a palanquin to the groom’s house. She will be followed by a procession of all the grooms relatives and friends of the groom. According to Korean wedding traditions, the groom rides home on a horse.

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