With the holidays behind us and an exciting 2010 season about to begin, I am so happy I have time to resume my Best of 2009 series. The events I planned and coordinated last year were among the best of my career, I am so thrilled to finally have the opportunity to share the details of these very special events with you.
Real Weddings: Helen and John
<img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 271px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ZEJZhXWzy3g/S0DIlKqk2SI/AAAAAAAACQc/D3UBEWDq6Og/s400/Helen%26John.png" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5422554492197722402" Helen’s cousin welcomed the guests, the music of his french horn filled the chapel.
The traditional tea ceremony is paebaek. It was originally a way to pay respect to the groom’s family but since brides no longer live with the groom’s parents after the wedding, many couples have modernized the tradition. Relatives on both sides of the family are often invited to participate and offer blessings to the couple. When a Korean-American gets married, they will often do both a Western ceremony and a Paebaek ceremony. Helen and John did. In Korean tradition, the marriage between a man and a woman represents the joining of two families, rather than the joining of two individuals.
Helen and John dressed in ceremonial Korean wedding attire called hanbok. Their parents, the honorees, were seated in front of a table filled with various edibles and tea (or soju – rice wine). The couple bowed deeply to their parents, then kneeled as the tea/soju is poured. Once each honoree drank the tea/soju, they offered wisdom, advice or a wish for the couple’s future.
Finally, the honorees threw dates, which symbolize girls and chestnuts which symbolize boys. Helen tried to catch these in her skirt. According to legend, the number of dates and chestnuts caught signifies how many children she will bear. Later in the evening, the couple is traditionally supposed to eat the dates and chestnuts that were caught.
Helen and John hosted their paebaek at the end of their reception inviting all their guests to witness this spectacular tradition! Some couples plan it for the night before or choose to host a private ceremony in a separate room for immediate family only.
It was truly a joy and privilege for me to help Helen and John plan and coordinate their wedding. They are both amazing individuals and I loved submersing myself in their culture. Sincere thanks to Moss Creations for allowing me to share the images from this couple’s wedding.