(Closed) Help with Korean American wedding with African American Groom

posted 6 years ago in Intercultural
Post # 3
7561 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I’m not Korean but I live in Korea and have been to some Korean weddings. Korean weddings are mostly westernized these days, but there are a few quirks.

There are a few weird traditions you can do. One is that the groom is supposed to prove he can provide for and support his wife. He does this by running around grabbing money, then picking up his bride. A little strange but it’s always fun! 

Another cute tradition is that the bride and groom give a deep bow to the parents. We’re talking deep – knees and forehead on the floor.

I believe the ducks are given by the bride’s family but I’m not exactly sure. I don’t think there’s a big show, the ducks are just there! 

I like hanboks but I don’t think they’re that glamourous. I’ve never seen a Korean wear a hanbok for their actual wedding, but only in pre-wedding pictures. Maybe you could do that? If not, you could always change into it during the reception and dance the night away! 

Hope this helped! 

Post # 5
7561 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

It’s no problem, let me know if you have any more questions. 

I just had another idea – you could have some Korean food at the reception. Even if your caterer won’t allow it for dinner, maybe you could buy some of your own appetizers? I’ve found that people are most open to experiencing different cultures if it’s on a plate! 

Post # 6
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

First I wanted to say I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s issues with you and your fiance.  That is not easy to deal with.  I hope he comes around.  *hugs*

We are going to do the Paebaek during cocktail hour.  We purchased our regular hanboks, and found a Korean catering company that covers Paebaeks.  They provide everything, from the fancy robes & headress, backdrop, tables, traditional decor and ceremony items, etc.  They also MC the whole thing talking us through the ceremony.  We were told it’s only about 30 minutes.  That’s in it’s entirety, with the bowing, tossing of the dates/chestnuts, tea ceremony, and when the groom gives you a piggy back ride.  

But if you’d rather not do the whole shebang, that’s understandable.  You could change into your hanbok during cocktail hour, and do your thing for a little while at the beginning of the reception, some good photo ops, etc., then change back into your gown for the rest of the reception.  You could always do an abbreviated version of the Paebaek, and pick a section or one element of the ceremony.  Like the piggy back thing, since that part is usually the biggest hit and crowd pleaser.  And if I remember correctly I think the ducks are supposed to be gifted to you, and they just sit on the table during the Paebaek.  Ours are just included with our rental though, lol.  

Let me know if you need anymore help on this.  I can give you the ceremony breakdown that our Paebaek vendor gave us, if you want to pick and choose which elements to use, or whatever.

And ps..I think hanboks are beautiful, and so will everyone else.

Post # 7
10 posts
  • Wedding: May 2012

@kimmykim23:  Hi! First, congratulations on your engagement! I am also Korean and my fiance is black. Fortunately, my parents have embraced my fiance but I know that the asian culture can be really rigid and narrow-minded. Hopefully, your dad will recognize before your wedding!

My wedding is less than a month away and I also struggled to find ideas to incorporate little Korean details into the ceremony/reception. I did not want to wear a hanbok or do a full-on Korean ceremony. It just wasn’t me. My parents were on board with that and just encouraged a couple details. I am going to get some wooden wedding ducks from my parents and set them on my cake table with a nice frame description of the tradition and what the ducks stand for. Originally, I thought about asking our cake vendor to recreate the wedding duck with gum paste or wahtever they use as our cake topper but as our wedding budget grew out of control, I really didn’t want to spend another dime on flour and sugar lol!! We are considering doing the bowing to our parents but as my fiance just tore his ACL this is still up in the air lol (if we decide to do this, our dj will MC and briefly explain). This may not be a Korean tradition but I am also displaying wedding photo frames of his parents and my parents when they both got married 30+ years ago.

I am also making wedding ceremony program fans and found this super cute clipart of a bride and groom in traditional korean garb that I am incorporating into our fun fans. I know this isn’t much but I just wanted a sprinkling here and there 🙂 Good luck with your wedding!

Post # 8
109 posts
Blushing bee

I’m half Korean and have thought a lot about what I will do when I start to plan my wedding someday (sooner than later I hope, lol!)  My full Korean cousin was married last summer and he and his bride changed into their hanboks for only about 20-30 minutes of the reception, mostly for photo opps- they didn’t do any of the bowing or anything like that, although because they are both full Korean and about 99% of the guests were Korean they served about 80% Korean food.  Anyway, I loved that they changed into hanboks for part of it- the bride especially was just so beautiful!!  I love the tradition of the groom showing his strength by running around carrying his mom (or maybe the brides mom?) on his back- I can imagine it would be really entertaining!  I truly hope that your family, especially your father, does come around regarding your fiance- I also know from experience that Korean families can be very stubborn and traditional and for us who are westernized it can be really hurtful.  Good luck and keep us updated please!  I would love to hear/see how your day ends up turning out!!  🙂


Post # 9
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I just wanted to say sorry that your family will probably not attend 🙁 I hope you’re doing okay with that – it must be hard. Sending positive thoughts your way.

I’m not Korean, but my fiance is. We’re having a pretty traditional Jewish (Im Jewish) wedding here in the states with a few Korean elements (my ì‹œì–´ë¨¸ë‹ˆ is going to wear a hanbok, our ketubah is going to be in Korean, English, and Hebrew, there may be ducks :P) but then we’re going to go to Korea for more festivities with his family that couldn’t make it to our wedding (his entire family lives in korea – Fiance is a Korean citizen). Im lucky in that his family is quite progressive and they really love me. But of course, that’s not very typical. I really hope your family comes around…

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