Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Traditional Korean Wedding as I've Seen It

The following pics are from a dramatized traditional Korean wedding ceremony at the folk village I visited in 2008. Check it out! I have to add that my descriptions of what is happening here are very vague, because there was little English commentary aside from my friends' explanations, and they had only general knowledge of the significance of the rituals. Either that or I just can't remember what was being said, as it was 4 years ago. Anyway. . .

This here is the groom, wearing his scholarly yang ban robes. I believe his clothes are traditional "groom clothes"; however, because they resemble the clothes of a scholar-official, this guy would have been of the upper class (I assume). Notice how he carries a blue cloth in front of his face. Again, I'm not totally sure why, but based on what I've seen in dramas and Korean films, I think this is sort of like the veil we have in traditional North American weddings. Except it's on the groom. Interesting! This could have something to do with Korea's Confucian roots.

The groom sits in front of a table and presents . . . uh . . . whatever that is. I'll be honest, I really don't know what that thing is, but it's likely some sort of symbolic offering to the bride's parents or ancestors, as Confucian values dictate.

 After presenting the offering, the groom bows to whomever is receiving it.

Enter the bride. Here we have a traditional Korean bride in an elaborate and beautiful costume. I wish I could explain in detail all the intricacies of her dress and accessories and what they mean, but I can't . . . sorry. That's another reason I'm going to go study in Korea -- to learn stuff like this! Still. quite aesthetically pleasing, no?

Here we have a long shot of the bride apparently applying something to her hands while the groom waits patiently. Between them is the fellow who is marrying them.

After the ceremony, the wedding procession is led to the groom's family's residence, where the bride will officially join the groom's family as a wife, daughter-in-law, etc. The groom rides atop a horse and the bride is carried in a palanquin alongside, accompanied by a procession of musicians, dancers and servants.

So, yes, that is my horribly vague description of a traditional Korean wedding. I also left out a bunch of intermediate steps, mostly because I didn't have pics of them. However, the real objective here was to show these pics, which I thought were pretty good. Thanks for taking a look!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. :) My mom and her siblings all had both traditional Korean weddings as well as modern-day weddings (two weddings for each of them). Even modern Korean weddings are elaborate and beautiful and still hold on to a lot of cultural traditions.