Weddings 101

The concept of weddings is a global culture: the idea of two people joining in some sort of union with some sort of ceremony and following traditions is practiced in all sorts of cultures all around the world. However there are obvious differences in each country, and Korea is no exception. With its history of rapid industrialization and modernization, Korean traditional customs have been changing a lot in the past century. This means that there are definite parallels between Korean and Western-style weddings, however there are still many distinctions!

  • While Western wedding ceremonies are usually held in multi-purpose halls, convention centres, or banquet halls (or religious buildings), in Korea the ceremonies  and receptions are usually held in Wedding Halls: they are buildings that are specifically made for holding weddings, and often schedule two or three weddings per day! They also take care of all the decorations, makeup, and food for you so there is less planning and stress on your part.
  • While a marriage is considered a union of two people here, in Korea they are considered a joining of two entire families. In-laws meet formally and are considered family more strongly than here. As well, meeting your partner’s parents are considered a big deal. Here, you are expected to introduce each other to your parents relatively early on in the relationship and it is of a casual nature. But in Korea, if you meet the other person’s parents, it is likely a sign that you two are planning on being married relatively soon.
  • Engagement rings are not really a thing. A proposal is not normally done down on one knee like it is here – it is usually discussed between the couple over a period of time. The couple usually doesn’t dawn rings until the wedding ceremony.
  • After the ceremony, there is another smaller-scale traditional ceremony which is only for the couple and their family. They dress in traditional Hanbok, bow tho their parents out of respect, and give them traditional wedding foods such as chestnuts.

These are just a few differences between marriage traditions. Since I am definitely not an expert on this topic, I suggest doing your own research in addition to this list before attending a Korean wedding!

Some points taken from

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