ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on October 24th, 2004 at 3:23 am

Korean Wedding Halls

I had a chance to attend a wedding at a Korean wedding hall recently. I have always seen the various wedding halls all around Korea that look like castles or Greek buildings. The wedding hall I went to had three floors. The first floor was the banquet room, the second floor was where the wedding ceremony took place, and the third floor is where the bride and groom take pictures in traditional Korean clothes. There was a wedding already going on before the one I was attending. They probably have a conveyor belt of weddings everyday in the wedding hall. Something else I noticed was that before entering the wedding hall the family will have a table setup to take cash donations for the couple in white envelopes.

 Here is a picture I got from the internet of a typical Korean Wedding Hall

The ceremony started at 2PM. The minister made an announcement some music began to play, bubble & smoke machines turned on, and the groom walked up the aisle with everyone seated clapping and cheering for him. Was this a wedding or the announcing of the starting line up at a Bulls game? What I found odd was that the groom was followed up the aisle by two cute young girls dressed in skimpy soldier outfits. The two girls then posted themselves on the left and right sides of the altar. This was all something I have never seen before. The groom then bows to the minister. The bride then walks down the aisle with her father. Once again the crowd erupts in applause. At least she didn’t have two buff dudes in a tight fitting soldier outfits following her. So that was a relief. Something else I noticed, there is an ajumma that coaches the wedding participants throughout the ceremony on what to do. I found out later there was no time for wedding practice due to the tight wedding schedule at the wedding hall so the ajumma is needed to ensure things run smoothly. The groom then bows to the father and takes the bride’s hand and then proceeds to go through the formality of being married. All throughout the ceremony the multiple photographers and people in the crowd surrounded the couple like a horde of papparazzi. This wasn’t Ben and JLO getting married but it seemed like it.

The minister quickly married them with the couples aknowledging their love for each other. Then the minister gave a 15 minute biography about the couple and their future plans. Once completed the couple then bow to their seated parents and then walk down the aisle together. Once again everyone erupts in applause. Party favors and confetti are blasted and thrown, music blaring, bubble & smoke machines going off, and even strobe lights are turned on. I thought I was at a disco party instead of a wedding now. If I would have known, I would have worn some of the 70′s outfits I have from retro parties back in college.

Once the couple finish walking down the aisle through all the noise and lights they stop and come back to the altar and take pictures. Everyone who is not involved in the pictures go down stairs to eat in the banquet hall. The couple will then go upstairs and take pictures in the traditional Korean clothes before going down to the banquet hall to eat with their families and friends. Before leaving all the guest made sure to stop by the couples’ table and say good bye before heading off to the nearest bar or No-rae bang.

The whole wedding and dinner was complete by 4PM just in time for the next wedding to begin. I wonder if they will have the disco party atmosphere, scantily clad females, and paparazzi too? I didn’t stay to find out.

  • Nomad
    3:45 am on December 24th, 2006 1

    Heh, things haven't changed too much. I married my wife in 1987 and everything was exactly the same except I didn't have any pretty girls in soldier outfits. And brother, do I remember the minister giving that 15 minute speech at the end…except it felt like 2 hours to me. My friends had taken me out the night before and I was soooooooooooooooooooo hung over. The guy videotaping our wedding had these super bright and hot lights in my face and it was all I could do to keep from passing out from all the standing. The only thing that kept me from keeling over was the thought of me hitting the floor being recorded for posterity by the ajoshi with the video camera.


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