We decided to have Korea Traditional Wedding and it was way more beautiful and meaningful than we expected.
We had blessing weather and about 450 people came to congratulate us!
Korean traditional wedding was…
1. Opening ceremony (Pungmul nori)
Since Wedding ceremony is very pleasant event, musical instruments takes place as pre-event in order to make the mood more festive and joyful.
2. Public announcement of the wedding ceremony –Daerye
Unlike western, In Korea marriage is not just about two individual getting married, rather emphasized as joining of the two families. Daerye means Great Ritual which means announcing tow individuals’ and families’ joining to heaven and earth, as well as wishing for good harmony between Ying and Yang (bride and groom)
3. Candle lighting
As beginning of the ceremony, bride’s and groom’s mothers would enter the wedding place and light candles. This candle flames represent the wish of the new couple’s bright future with passion.
This time, mothers would be super careful with light, since if the light goes off, it would be not so good luck. (haha don’t
worry too much Corrie! People will make sure light will go one until the ceremony ends)
4. Girukabi and Groom’s parade
Traditionally a wedding takes place at the house of the bride’s family and groom is traveling to the bride’s house with his attendants playing some musical instruments. Girukabi means person who leading the way to bride’s house holding
couple of wooden wild geese and usually groom asks one of his friend to do it. (Girugi means geese and Abi means man/father in Korean). The reason of using wild geese is because once they bound to each other they never meet another partner.
*This event would take in the wedding place not Suna’s parent’s house
5. Presentation of wild geese
When Girukabi enters wedding place, he gives wooden wild geese to the groom who then places it on the wedding table. Mother-in –law comes out to receive the geese and groom bows twice (This time groom need to put his hands up to his head for showing respect) to mother –in –law. Then mother-in –law takes Girugi in the house (her seat in this case)
6. Bride’s parade
Bride comes with beautifully decorated wagon and she does not show her face until entering the ceremony place. It is hard to believe, but in old days, lots of time, it was first time that the bride and groom see each other. (If groom is too curious, he would ask his friends to peek and see his bride beforehand)
7. Entering to the wedding table and washing hands
Groom walks to the east side of the wedding table and bride walks to the west
side. (Both of them have helper to assist, so no need to worry about figuring out which side is east or west) Then bride and groom face each other across the wedding table. The helpers wash the hands of the bride and groom which symbolizes cleaning both mind and body for the ceremony.
8. Bowing ceremony
The bride bows twice to the groom first then groom bows back once to the bride. The bride then bows two more times to the groom, who bows back once more. Bowing represents the promise of commitment to each other. After bowing, both kneel down and face each other.
9. Drinking and announcing the marriage to the heaven
Bride and Groom drink liquor in the gourd cups. (These cups are produces by splitting in half a whole gourd and symbolizes that the bride and groom each made up one half and only together could they be considered as whole) Both cups will be filled with liquor (by helpers) and both groom and bride drink only half (no one shot!!) then exchange the cups and drink all. Drinking signifies the destiny of the news husband and wife, and their harmony.
10. Weaving red and blue threads
The helpers weave red and blue threads into one and put it to the wedding table. (Represent Ying and Yang) The presenter of the wedding then performs a ritual ceremony to announce the binding of two people and families to the heaven, earth and all other places. He prays for prosperity of two families and asks to the heaven and earth to bring a bright future to new couple.
11. Receiving Girugi
Bride and Groom receive the Girugi (wooden wild geese) from bride’s mom. She would give one to groom and one to bride. This represents that the bride and groom will contribute to only to each other during their whole life.
12. Letter reading and bowing to the parents and guests
Bride and Groom may read a letter to the bride’s parents. (It is because in Korea, bride is consider leaving her family and entering new family –groom’s family, but I think in our case we can read letter to both family) Then they bow to both parents and guests for appreciating their support and joining.
Of course! Group photo is very important!!!
14. Paebaek (family event-Optional)
We skipped this part, since we are going to have wedding party in Holland. But usually this is also included.
After the wedding, the bride and groom immediately meet their new parents-in Law in an area of the main living room. The groom’s father sits in the east and mother in the west. The bride and groom bows to them. (This is to show their respect to groom’s family and ancestors and expressing their loyalty.) Then I believe, groom’s mother would throw some nuts to both bride and groom hoping for grand children. (Joop and I need to catch these nuts very well this time)
After groom’s family, bride’s family enters the room and does same things.
*Curious guest are allowed to observe
Special Thanks Eunah & Dominik, who provided English brochure so that I would have some Idea and less work.