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What do Koreans do at weddings?


Korean weddings are an important part of Korean culture and are steeped in tradition. They have evolved over time but still maintain some of the ancient customs that have been passed down through generations. Korean weddings are a big celebration, and they are a time for families and friends to come together to celebrate the union of two people.

The Engagement

The engagement is an important part of the wedding process in Korea. In the past, parents would arrange marriages for their children, but nowadays, couples are free to choose who they want to marry. However, engagements are still seen as a formal agreement between the two families. During the engagement ceremony, the groom’s family presents gifts to the bride’s family and asks for their approval to marry.

The Wedding Date

Choosing the wedding date is an important decision in Korea. Couples often consult with fortune-tellers or astrologers to determine the most auspicious date for their wedding. The wedding date is chosen based on the lunar calendar, and it is important that it does not clash with any other significant events or holidays.

The Traditional Wedding Attire

Korean traditional wedding attire is called hanbok. The bride and groom both wear hanbok, which is made of silk and embroidered with intricate designs. The colors of the hanbok represent different meanings; for example, red represents happiness, while blue represents fidelity.

The Wedding Ceremony

The wedding ceremony in Korea is called Taerye, which means “great ritual.” It is usually held at a wedding hall or in a hotel ballroom. During the ceremony, there are many rituals that take place, including bowing to parents and grandparents, exchanging vows, and drinking from a cup of wine.

The Wedding Banquet

After the ceremony, there is a wedding banquet. The banquet is a time for the newlyweds to greet their guests and receive congratulations. The banquet usually consists of traditional Korean food, such as kimchi, bulgogi, and bibimbap.

The Wedding Toast

The wedding toast in Korea is called kook-hyang-shin-jang. It is a special moment when the parents of the bride and groom give a speech to express their love and good wishes for the couple. The toast is often accompanied by traditional Korean music.

The Wedding Gifts

In Korea, it is customary for guests to give money as a wedding gift. The amount of money given depends on the guest’s relationship to the couple. Close family members and friends usually give more money than distant relatives or acquaintances.

The Honeymoon

After the wedding, the newlyweds usually go on a honeymoon. In Korea, it is common for couples to go to Jeju Island, which is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning scenery. Other popular honeymoon destinations include Bali, Hawaii, and Japan.

Modern Korean Weddings

While many Korean weddings still follow traditional customs, there are also modern elements that have been added over time. For example, some couples choose to have a western-style wedding dress or have a wedding cake.


Korean weddings are rich in tradition and are a time for families and friends to come together to celebrate the union of two people. From the engagement ceremony to the honeymoon, every aspect of the wedding process has meaning and significance. Whether you are attending a traditional Korean wedding or a modern one, you are sure to experience a unique and memorable celebration.

What happens on Korean wedding night?

As part of the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom have their hands washed by attendants to represent a purification ritual. The couple then face each other and bow, with the bride bowing twice to the groom and the groom bowing once to the bride. This is followed by two more bows from the bride and one final bow from the groom.

Is there a kiss in Korean wedding?

In Korean wedding traditions, there is no exchange of vows or rings as seen in Western weddings. Additionally, the newly married couple does not engage in a kissing ceremony upon being announced as husband and wife.

What is Korean culture for marriage?

In Korean traditional culture, similar to other traditional societies, the elders of the bride and groom’s families made the decision regarding marriage. Confucian values prioritize the family and its customs above everything else, making marriage the most significant milestone in one’s life.

Do couples sleep together night before wedding?

Many couples are facing the dilemma of whether to spend their wedding night together or apart according to tradition. The decision is entirely yours to make and there is no set rule. The most important thing is that you are relaxed and well-rested for your big day.

What happens after you kiss the bride?

After the first kiss, the recessional begins and typically follows the opposite order of the processional. The couple leads the way down the aisle while the maid of honor returns the bouquets and fixes the bride’s dress and train if necessary. This typically occurs directly after the wedding ceremony.

Do Korean wives take their husband’s name?

In Korean culture, names are composed of two parts – a family name and a given name. Normally, children inherit their father’s last name, as is common in many societies. However, unlike some other cultures, Korean women do not change their surname to their husband’s upon getting married.

Challenges Faced by Modern Korean Weddings

While modern Korean weddings have embraced some western elements, they also face challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the cost of weddings. Korean weddings can be expensive, and many couples struggle to afford the traditional customs and ceremonies.

Another challenge faced by modern Korean weddings is the changing attitudes towards marriage. In the past, marriage was seen as a duty and obligation, but now many young Koreans are choosing to delay marriage or not get married at all. This has led to a decline in the number of traditional Korean weddings.

Impact of COVID-19 on Korean Weddings

Like weddings around the world, Korean weddings have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many couples have had to postpone or cancel their wedding plans due to restrictions on gatherings and travel.

To adapt to these challenges, some couples have opted for smaller, intimate weddings with only close family and friends in attendance. Others have chosen to hold virtual weddings, where guests can participate in the ceremony remotely.


Despite the challenges faced by modern Korean weddings, they remain an important part of Korean culture. From the traditional customs and ceremonies to the modern elements that have been added over time, Korean weddings are a unique and memorable celebration of love and family. As Korea continues to evolve and change, it will be interesting to see how these traditions continue to adapt and evolve as well.

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