I went to a wedding this weekend which was an interesting event, indeed. I don't really know how to explain the weddings. I think I would compare it to a Vegas-style ceremony. The whole thing seemed somewhat rushed. It started almost as soon as we sat down. I wouldn't say it was as intricate or emotional as Western weddings, either (although I have no idea what anyone was saying). When we first got there, we got to take pictures with the bride, who is my director at school. Her name is Violet and she looked absolutely beautiful! I got a little teary-eyed when I saw her. Such a stunning bride.
We went into a big room inside a building used just for weddings, in a nutshell. It had several different rooms that all looked the same, all used for the same purpose. It was very open and it didn't feel private. There were a few songs sung to the couple then Violet and her husband bowed to both of their parents. They also poured the champagne and cut the cake (with a katana) but they didn't eat or drink it. Then the both of them walked out and some funky music was played. The couple came back and took group pictures, first with family and then with friends. My co-workers and I were the only "way-gooks" (foreigners) in the picture so I'm sure we'll stick out like sore thumbs. We didn't know what to do, so we just smiled dumbly at the camera. We all got tickets to a buffet so we went and ate with other people, presumably coming from other weddings. Violet came in to greet everyone after we ate and she was wearing a traditional dress called a "hanbok," again she looked beautiful!
It was different compared to Western weddings, no doubt about that. A co-worker of mine told me that there are still traditional weddings in Korea, but they are far less common and they involve roosters (no joke). But I'm happy I got to experience it! Something I was hoping I would during my time in Korea.
Alix and I put together the gingerbread house my mother sent to me. It didn't taste good, but I think we did a fine job constructing it!
PS. Wondering what to get for a wedding gift? Money. I believe about 20,000 - 30,000 is standard. Maybe a little more or less, depending on the situation. You'll get a white envelope at the wedding where you can write a congratulatory message and slip the cash inside.