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You will get something like this which will allow you to eat at the wedding

Rory and I had a bit of a fun argument last night. We were looking at options for wedding invitations and the websites we were looking at also were selling food tickets as well. I was a bit confused about this. Rory explained that it is customary for guests to receive food tickets when they turn in their wedding gift (money stuffed into a small envelope.) While I knew that money is supposed to be given instead of toasters and glassware I didn’t understand the whole ticket thing. As long as there are no wedding crashers, we should have a good sense of how many people will come to the wedding and can just let people eat without having to give them tickets in exchange for their gift. Rory explained that it is a way to keep track of how many people are eating and because it is what everyone is used to doing. Who am I to argue with that?

This is what Rory and I will look like at the wedding (minus the whiskers)

Now I received a slightly related link to a New York Times article about the tradition of giving money at Korean weddings and it interests me further to find out that the tradition is to open the envelope in front of guests and mark how much they paid in a ledger. I find this to be a bit insensitive and slightly unfair but I don’t think it’s done to purposely shame people into giving more, it’s just a way of doing the whole wedding present thing in a simple, quick, efficient and open way.

I find the article interesting mostly because of the idea that some people were using the wedding ceremonies of politicians and their families as an opportunity to bribe them with large cash gifts. I don’t expect anything similar to happen at our wedding but I think Rory and I agree that we can be bribed pretty easy 😉

Red envelopes with money are the standard gift at traditional Korean weddings

Here is a link explaining some of the Korean gift giving customs. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us.

 

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this is traditional wedding box and some of it's contents. We will do a bigger post on this later.

In Korea marriage isn’t just between a couple, it is also the marriage of two families. Yai mul is how you call all the wedding presents that are exchanged between the two families. Jamie and I are going to go look for some diamond jewelery today that we will give to my mom when we visit in December. Normally this would go into the Ham 함, the wedding chest that the groom presents the bride’s family. It is also filled with fine silks (예단) that the wedding party uses for the wedding day and a formal letter that states the groom’s family’s acceptance of the bride into their family.

We are breaking a little with the tradition by giving my mom the jewelery ahead of time. Normally it is a pearl set, a diamond set and a watch given for the father. These are normally all presented just before the wedding but for convenience we will give them a bit separately.

The actual Korean word for marriage when referring to a girl is Shi jip Kan Da (시집간다). This literally means ‘going to the groom’s house and becoming their family’. This is why the groom’s family presents such lavish gifts. It is in thanks to my parents for raising me to be such a great wife to Jamie :p

We’ll be sure to share pictures when we get back from the Gold and Diamond park.

China_24_cardinal_directionsThis is a quick post to let everyone know Rory and I have will be married on May 2, 2010 in Seoul, South Korea.

After taking a good hard look at the energies that swirl about this great universe, the Korean Shaman has suggested only a couple possible dates for us to be married.   This was one of two possible dates in the lunar calendar that represent the best luck, the best timing and the best weather for a wedding. We chose May because in Seoul, the blossoms will be in full bloom, the sun warm, the air cool and of course the kimchi spicy. It’s also because we want to be married as soon as we can.

We are very hopeful that all of our friends and family can attend but understand that this might not be possible for everyone.

Please keep following this Blog for all the relevant details around the wedding but also to share in our adventure. We will be updating the blog with interesting details about Korean culture, the traditional Korean wedding process, specific details relating to logistics for those attending as well as documenting our own experiences. For those of you who use Twitter, you can follow updates through our account @roryandjamie.

Please feel free to share this blog with anyone who would be interested to follow us on our wedding journey.