These are a few pictures taken by my coworker RF which have a bit of a different perspective from my sister’s photos.
I really loved our venue space. I think it was the best part of the wedding. If you’ve been to a wedding here, you know that they are usually in somewhat cramped rooms in multi-leveled wedding halls meaning that there are multiple weddings happening in the same building simultaneously. While there was one other wedding on the same day, it was an hour after ours, and the space was large, shaded by 500 year old ginko trees, and had a natural beauty which cannot be matched by most wedding halls. We had over 330 people attend, including children, so there was ample room for everyone, and the children would roam freely without disturbing the ceremony.
Mr. Lee’s initial idea was to have a Korean girl and a Western boy carry the lanterns, but when we realized most of our friends had children too small to participate, and that my sister really wanted to play an active roll in the ceremony, we gave the lantern bearing job to her alone.
We made offerings of alcohol and jeon during the ceremony, and then drank some alcohol (not jeon).
I was trying desperately to see what was happening in the rest of the ceremony (can you see me trying to catch a glimpse?), but I was being a bad Confucian bride, and my handlers kept reprimanding me and putting my arms up higher. If you want to be standing beside your spouse-to-be during the ceremony, this is not the tradition for you. However, even though I didn’t see everything that went on, there was a certain relief in not being responsible for anything else than getting myself up and down during prostrations. Also, as I had attended several ceremonies for other people or in preparation for our own, I knew what was happening without seeing it.
I can’t even explain how difficult it is to prostrate oneself while wearing bloomers/traditional underclothes, a crinoline pinafore, a traditional top, a large coat piece, two headpieces, and a wig…in a graceful way (in 29 degree weather). But that was sort of the fun of being in the traditional ceremony. I do advise you to practice ahead of time – not just in your comfy pjs, but in your whole outfit so you can figure out how to maneuver with all the layers on.
Before my own wedding, I thought the women were actually helping to hold your arms up. They’re not…they are simply holding me in place and pushing my arms up to cover my face. Do a lot of free weights in preparation as well!
Overall, this was the absolute best option for us, and many of our Korean guests – 95% who had never seen a traditional wedding before – felt very moved at seeing this form of wedding. Mr. Lee’s one coworker is even going to encourage his son to have this kind of ceremony when it is his time to marry. I LOVED the performative aspect of the ceremony, and although it was physically demanding, it was also such a joyful spectacle of music and colour that it was exciting to be apart of.
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