Tag Archives: hanggyeo

happily ever after: a traditional Korean wedding…

Over the summer, I had the honor of attending an American friend’s traditional Korean wedding. I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to a couple of weddings in Korea – both celebrations of love between a dual-Korean couple – but this was even more special, as the ceremony was steeped in history and tradition that is absent from the popular Westernized weddings in Korea today.

My friend, Nicole, was gracious enough to let me take photographs at her wedding and share some of the exciting moments with you, Reader. 

Contemporary Korean Weddings

Traditional Korean weddings are somewhat of a rarity in Korea today. Instead, Western-influence wedding halls seem to line the streets in popular areas of town and are sometimes even tucked away in unlikely places – like in my neighborhood, tucked behind a “Debec Mart,” a neighborhood mini-mart.

Korean weddings are interesting because even though they seem like they’re trying to imitate everything about Western-style weddings, they’re also totally different. What’s fascinating about Korean wedding halls is that they sell the bride and groom an entire package for their wedding, much like a wedding planner might do in a Western country.

It’s truly a mix-and-match situation: the couple is presented a list of all the offerings the hall has, and they choose from this proverbial buffet how their short ceremony will go.

Korean wedding hall

Lobby of the wedding hall where my co-worker, Emily, was married.

The Wedding Necessities

Everything, from the gown the bride wears to the photos, is provided by the hall. (That’s right, ladies! Korean women don’t buy their wedding dresses; they rent them from the hall. They choose one, wear it on their big day, and give it right back.)

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