Thursday, June 04, 2009

My Traditional Korean Wedding, May 2nd, 2009!!!

The groom enters the ceremony hall. His attendant follow behind holding a wild goose. Wild geese are used as they are always faithful to their first love and will never find another even when their loved one is lost. They represent innocent and good relations between couples. Upon reaching the bride's house, the attendant gives the wild goose to the groom. The groom places the wild goose in the hands of his future father-in-law who then places it upon a small table. After bowing twice to his future mother-in-law, she takes the wild goose into the house and brings out her daughter. The bride enters in a cart. This would mark the first time the bride and groom saw each other.
The groom walks to the East side of the wedding table and the bride walks to the West.
The bride and groom then face each other across the wedding table. The brides mother lights the blue candle and the groom's mother lights the red candle, representing the elements of yin and yang.
The two mothers then bow to the guests.
Next, the helpers wash the hands of the bride and groom. In Korea, it is traditional etiquette to wash one's hands before all rites in order to prepare the mind.The groom should turn his head away.
Facing each other the bride bows twice to the groom. In the past, this moment would have signified their first encounter together. The groom bows once in acknowledgement of the bride's bows.
The bride bows twice again.This symbolizes the bride's acceptance of the groom as her husband. The groom bows once again in acknowledgement This symbolizes the groom's acceptance of the bride as his wife. After the bowing is complete, the bride and groom take their seats The helpers pour the alcohol and prepare the side dishes. The cups are raised to honour the heavens.
The bride pours the alcohol into the empty bowl to honour the earth.
The bride and groom hold up their cups to each other. At this point the couple makes their marriage vows and promises to keep these forever by drinking alcohol together. They promise each other they will love forever.
Next the couple drinks from the gourd. The cups are made from a small gourd, cut into half. There are two variations of this due to regional differences. Alcohol can either be shared from the same cup, or from two cups made from a single gourd, cut into two. This symbolizes two becoming one, since once you cut a gourd in half, it can never be paired with another one. At this point the couple becomes husband and wife.
The newly wed couple stands and faces the alter. The bride and groom then bow with the parents to the guests.



Amanda said...

Cool pictures and good commentary, Jen. Question: were all of those people wearing the exact same shade of blue on their hanboks on purpose?

Shelley said...

I love your wedding pictures and they are so unique. I just love our very cultural weddings. You look stunning and so so happy!
I will post more about the male vs female thing, I tell ya there is a lot to write. I have content for a year! It's a hard pill to swallow. It is very similar to Korea, but different, if you can understand that. But the first son here in India does have the responsibility to take care of the family, and joint families are the thing here too.
I'll try to write more about it! Glad I'm back to blogging world!!

Wandering Ju said...

Wow, these pictures are AMAZING! What an incredible experience it must have been! I had a Jewish wedding but not a Korean one. I'm so jealous!