Tagged: Korean Weddings

in Life

another korean wedding

We attended our second Korean wedding this past weekend for one of our co-teachers. Lookin’ pretty good, right? The bride wasn’t too bad either… All jesting aside, it was pretty much exactly like the last Korean wedding we went to back in January– or was it December? Another cabbage leaf in the kimchi pot at this point. Being that the weddings were not in a church or temple, a friend back home asked if there was any religious significance to the ceremony. Although there does not appear to be any spiritual influence, it’s hard knowing what the old man behind the alter is rambling on for twenty minutes about unless you speak 한국. After the ceremony, the groom got down in the aisle and started doing push ups with his new bride sitting on his back. The crowd loved it. “It’s to show he is strong and ready for the night,” one of my Korean friends explained. A rather embarrassing moment occurred a few minutes later when friends of the bride gathered together for a group photo. I was all the way at the end of the crowd, and very eager to get this over with in order to peruse the spectacular buffet downstairs. The photographer snapped a few pictures, made a squirrely motion and said some shit which I interpreted as ‘finished’.  So I stepped out of line rather fast. Everyone suddenly started clapping, and before I could react, a Korean woman out of nowhere put the iron grip to my arm and literally dragged me over to the bride. I had broke formation at the worst possible moment. They needed a picture of someone catching the bouquet, and it was going to be me. Fuck.

in Life

Weddings in Korea

I didn’t even know the bride’s name, but when one of the Korean teachers invited the whole school to her wedding this past weekend, we couldn’t refuse a chance to see how the East does it. The venue for this particular ceremony was a wedding hall, which I would describe as a department store approach to the whole marriage business.  It was jammed with suits. One of the guests said he knew of at least three other weddings taking place there that day. Entering the lobby, we proceeded to the “Waiting Room”, a place for friends and family to sit and take pictures with the beautiful bride posed on a velvet sofa. They insisted we participate. Twenty minutes of fixing my hair later, the first wedding ended, and we took our seats in the main hall. Literally, as one bride entered the other was hustled out by the maître d’. The ceremony itself was in Korean (naturally) so I’m not really sure what the 15 minutes of very formal sounding eyos and haamneedas were all about. Throughout the speech however, there was a surprising amount of background noise. Many guests happily carried on side conversations as another wedding party began to amass itself along the edge of the main hall entrance. There was no exchange of vows and no kissing of the bride; just a brief round of applause. Right before picture time, a Korean pop song came on over the loud speaker, and the groom took his shoe off to run around the room collecting money with it. Insert witty remark here. After more pictures, we headed out towards the buffet. Just as before another bride was being ushered in.

As the two brides momentarily crossed paths, I was struck by their contrasting faces. One unshielded with a desire to get things over with, while the other jubilantly wiped tears from her eyes. I asked one of the locals if Koreans ever get married outside or in a more private setting. “Yes,” she responded. “If you are rich”.

The food was a rather large buffet in a dinner room that was reminiscent of last year’s company Christmas party — and there was even free beer! For the most part, it was delicious, but there was this one pasta dish that had me reeling for kimchi — or anything else with enough burn to scorch away the flavor old shoes. No doubt it was some sort of freak nasty bottom feeder, a hagfish maybe. Sitting and discussing my disdain for this particular dish with some fellow teachers, an usher approached and asked if we were finished eating. Nodding that we were indeed, he motioned for us to leave. Another party would be arriving soon.