Korean Wedding

Description: “This is based on what my parents did, cause they did partly western and partly eastern. The ceremony was held the normal way but the proposal was… the ceremony was held the western way… cause how long was it? It was like 1990 or something. So yeah. But the proposal was actually kind of traditional style in the sense that uh. So when you ask the daughter’s hand in marriage you don’t do it. Your friend does. As with most societies Korea was very patriarchal. So the son comes and then the father has to kinda sell his daughter essentially and the dad has to act like he needs to be paid a lot or something like that. And so there’s this back and forth going on between who is essentially the best man and the dad going like I’ll pay you this much and then the dad saying nah, nah. It just goes back and forth. And then.. Oh wait no… how much the… oh wait no… how much the husband’s family will by the daughter for. That was it. My bad. Like the father of the wife would go oh she’s worth this much. And the best man would go nah nah that’s waaaay too much. And then while that’s going on the to be husband is hiding back in the background watching. Well he’s not supposed to see but… you always kind of do that. Apparently that’s what my dad did. He kinda saw from the background. I heard this pretty recently too so I was pretty surprised. People don’t really do that anymore. They’re more western. And then eventually the son shows up with the mount and then they take the wife and they just get married. There’s a ceremony. I guess in Korean weddings they still dress up in traditional clothes and they sit together in like this mini altar kind of things. They just kind of eat and then take photos. But in the past it would be like that the entire time. There’d be celebration depending on how wealthy you are. If you’re rich it’d be pretty big, if you’re a commoner probably not as big. But, eh. The traditional clothing is hanbok. It’s like a dress for the most part. The guy also wears hanbok. It’s just traditional clothes. There’s normal ones and then there’s fancy ones. Although nowadays people only wear the fancy ones. Though, normal clothes make more sense. But it’s actually surprisingly comfortable it’s just a lot of layers. I’ve worn one as a kid before during special holidays. There’s winter ones and summer ones. The summer ones are very thin… like pretty thin. The winter ones are thicker and there are multiple layers.”

2. My friend got this story from listening to his parents proposal story. They experienced this tradition on a first hand account and then told him about the practice as he was growing up.

3. I walked into his dorm room and asked him if he could tell me some Korean folklore. He had so much and was able to dish it out really quickly.

4. There’s a lot of things you can take away from this. It’s easy to tell that these traditions find themselves in a more patriarchal system. In America, it would be considered outrageous if you had to pay for your bride. Still, on the other hand, many other cultures still do this as well. It’s a fairly common practice in other cultures. Still, there are specifics here that make this very Korean. First of all, the fact that you just find a friend to go barter for a wife for you is interesting. This gives insight into Korea’s belief system on trust. They obviously keep their friends close and give them power to influence their lives and their pocketbooks.