Staged Korean Wedding

There is a daily live exhibition on the process of Korean Traditional Wedding Ceremony in October in Insadong, Seoul, and I didn't know until today when I walked by.

It started with the matchmaker- she informed the girl's family of a potential groom. When the family nodded in approval for such a matchmake, the matchmaker was tasked to get agreement from the groom's family. She had to convince the groom's family of the goodness of the bride and bride's family. After exchanging birth dates between the two families, it was a done deal. Both families considered each other worth-while and auspicious. Gifts then were given to bride's family.

Hham (traditional wedding box that contains new clothing for the new couple) was brought to the bride's family by the messengers. The matchmaker has to 'steal' the Hham to bring into the bride's family. After losing to the main messenger's arm strength from trying to wring the Hham from him, she has to use formality of serving the messengers food (traditional crackers and sweets) and wine. Once unnoticed, she tried to take the Hham from the oblivious messengers. All this was somewhat supposed to be fun, in a traditional way, so all ends well and the Hham is delivered into the house.
On the day of the wedding, they picked noon time as it was said to be most auspicious time in the day (when yin and yang are balanced), the groom comes to bride's family for the ceremony.His face was shielded from a cloth for modesty when walking into the bride's residence. He had to bring a duck to the bride's family as ducks meant fidelity and sworn into taking care of the bride. Before seeing the brides face (she was still veiled), the couple was led to wash the hands to purify each other and then led to be put to face each other, separated by the ceremonial table. Only here, when being fed food and drinks that the bride's veil was taken off. It takes more steps before the couple are seated together.

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