Tie the Knot Outside InsteadIf you are planning to get married this fall and want something fun and special, try an outdoor Korean traditional wedding instead of confining wedding halls.
In the open you can enjoy beautiful scenery, crystal-clear blue skies, colorful leaves and comfortably-served food.
"For foreigners, it's refreshing to experience cultural differences by partaking in this sort of events. And there is no 'ppalippali,' (quickly) as it is often said among Koreans, as in many other wedding halls," said Chong Jong-soo, chief folk researcher at the National Folk Museum (NFM).
Usually the ceremony starts at around 3 P.M., a time considered optimum by ancient Koreans, and continues on for a couple of hours.
"As time passes, the solemn ceremony, rich in traditional formalities, gets more exciting and fills with the cheers and laughter of the people watching it," Jong-soo said. "It's a lot of fun."
The Korean traditional ceremony consists of four parts, according to the reports by NFM: the Ewheehon, the time to discuss a marriage; the Nabcheh, the time to determine a wedding date; the Nabpheh, the time to send a gift; and the Chinyoung, the actual performance of the wedding ceremony.
"These days, however, young people enjoy only the Chinyoung part because the other parts involve drawn-out procedures," Jong-soo said.
Naksungdae Park, Yangchon Hyanggyo, Myungryundang and the Secret Garden are very popular Seoul city destinations for the outdoor weddings. The number of international couples interested in traditional weddings is on the rise, according to An Joon-hyung, director of the Korea Wedding Culture Welfare Association.
"Foreigners want to see some traditional things, and look for a convenient location, with easy access by public transportation. I think these places are well-equipped," said Issac Durst, an American who married a Korean woman at one of the traditional wedding places seven years ago.
The total expenses are between 800,000 won and 1,500,000 won, depending on the services offered. Special effects a sedan chair borne by four men, make up, etc., are charged separately, according to Korea Wedding Study Society.
For more information call the following places: Secret Garden, tel. (02) 765-4021; the Korea Wedding Culture Welfare Association (English Service is available) tel. (02) 826-6141; the Korea Wedding Study Society (English Service is available) tel. (02) 585-5338.
by Kim Jae Seon